She's Down to Earth
1 / 15VIEW ALL
Washington has never given off a diva vibe and that's probably because she isn't one. According to colleagues, she is known for being a team player, cheerleading the Scandal cast and crew, and remembering everyone's name.
She's a Political and Social Activist
2 / 15VIEW ALL
Encouraged by her parents to be socially conscious, Washington has a long history of political and social activism, from promoting safe sex as a teen, to currently serving on President Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Photo: Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis
She Has a Distinguished Resume
3 / 15VIEW ALL
Scandal's Olivia Pope is such a popular character, she overshadows the actress' other roles. But Washington has acted in many other impressive projects including films Django Unchained, The Last King of Scotland, Ray and TV's Boston Legal.
Photo: 2015 HBO
She Has an Impressive Education
4 / 15VIEW ALL
One of the reasons Washington has had such a successful career is because of her education. After attending the prestigious Spence School in Manhattan, she earned a degree in performance studies from George Washington University.
Photo: RD/Scott Kirkland/Retna Digita/Retna Ltd./Corbis
5 / 15VIEW ALL
Another similarity between Kerry and her Olivia Pope character is that Washington was also on her high school swim team. Mature beyond her years, she took up the sport because proficiency in swimming could enable her to save lives.
6 / 15VIEW ALL
Washington has always had a wide variety of interests and while a student at the Spence School, she showed off her musical side, performing with a nine-girl a cappella singing group called Triple Trio.
Photo: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
She Testified Before Congress
7 / 15VIEW ALL
Further proof that Kerry Washington is truly dedicated to causes that she cares about, in 2007 she joined fellow performers John Legend and Robert Redford in testifying before Congress to support the Arts.
Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images
She's a Style Icon
8 / 15VIEW ALL
Since Washington began playing the fashionable Olivia Pope, she has become a style icon. The actress has even collaborated with Scandal's costumer Lyn Paolo and The Limited for a fashion line inspired by Pope and other female characters.
Photo: MSU Studio/Corbis
She Never Complains
9 / 15VIEW ALL
Despite all the perks of being a star, it's rare to find one who doesn't whine a least a little. Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes told Vanity Fair: "I have never heard Kerry Washington complain."
Photo: Retna Ltd/Corbise
She Designed an Interdisciplinary Major at GWU
10 / 15VIEW ALL
Not only was she an excellent student at George Washington University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1998, but the actress also actually designed her own interdisciplinary major in performance studies that included anthropology and sociology.
She's Prepared for Motherhood
11 / 15VIEW ALL
Washington says portraying Olivia Pope helped prepare her for motherhood to daughter Isabelle (born in 2014), explaining, "I feel like playing her made me feel like, 'All right, I can do it. I will figure out how to juggle it all.'"
Photo: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis
She's Ranked as One of the Most Influential People in the World
12 / 15VIEW ALL
It's one thing to be a popular celebrity and something else to be a widely influential celeb. Kerry Washington held a spot in Time magazine's 2014 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
She's a Savvy Businesswoman
13 / 15VIEW ALL
In addition to her involvement with The Limited's Scandal fashion line, Washington is partnering with companies like Neutrogena, Apple Music, and Movado. She's also executive producing the HBO film Confirmation, in which she stars as Anita Hill.
Photo: Edward Le Poulin/Corbis
She's in a Good Relationship
14 / 15VIEW ALL
Despite rumors to the contrary, Washington's nearly three-year marriage to former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha seems solid. In 2013 a friend talked to People about the couple's compatibility saying: "They have the same values, and are very close to their families."
Photo: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
She Inspires Us with her Portrayal of Olivia Pope
15 / 15VIEW ALL
Kerry Washington does more than entertain viewers by playing DC fixer Olivia Pope, she inspires us with her compelling performance as this powerful contemporary woman who is extremely successful without sacrificing her femininity or sex appeal.
Photo: 2015 American Broadcasting Companies