Olivia Pope is a fixer. The best in D.C. A title earned first by getting an underdog candidate elected President. What makes Olivia Pope the best is that she doesn’t fix problems. She fixes clients. She fixes people. They come to her at their lowest moment. On the worst day of their lives. Covered in blood, on the verge of conviction…when rock bottom is in sight and there’s nowhere left to turn they come to Olivia Pope for salvation. Olivia’s about to take on the biggest scandal of our era, all the while trying to hide the fact that she’s a key player at the center of it all.
Campaign Manager Cyrus Beene brought Olivia on to manage image problems for presidential candidate Fitzgerald Grant. Their first encounter did not go well, with Olivia giving brutally honest critiques and Fitz arguing to have her fired immediately. But after some time, and learning to trust Olivia’s gut, Fitz realized not only was she incredibly smart and great at her job, but he actually felt an amazing connection to her. This lead to a forbidden romance between the two of them, which ended when she left his staff to start her own company, Olivia Pope and Associates.
Olivia reluctantly took on President Grant as a client when his Chief of Staff, her old friend and boss, Cyrus Beene, told her that a young White House intern was threatening to expose an alleged affair. Both Fitz and Cyrus swore that the affair never happened, and Olivia trusted her gut and them. She threatened the intern, Amanda Tanner, to get her to go away. But after Amanda attempted suicide and divulged that the President had called her “sweet baby”—a term of endearment he had said to Olivia in the past—she knew that she had been played. In response, she took Amanda Tanner on as her client.
Even with the brewing scandal of Amanda Tanner on the horizon, Fitz was still clearly in love with Olivia, but she couldn’t be the “other woman” any more. Besides, things were getting very complicated with Amanda revealing that she was pregnant and that the baby was the President’s. And things got even darker when Amanda was abducted from Olivia’s apartment. How could she trust Fitz after something like that?
Amanda Tanner turns up dead. Billy Chambers, the Vice President’s Chief of Staff goes on record that she was his girlfriend and the baby was his and he releases an audio tape of President Fitzgerald supposedly having sex with her. Little does everyone else know that the woman on the tape is Olivia, and it was recorded years ago on the campaign trail. Fitz suggests that he resign, but, while Olivia is tempted to let him, she and the First Lady concoct an explanation that gets President Fitzgerald out of his scandal, keeping his presidency, but costing him the woman he loves.
Played by Kerry Washington
A New York native, Kerry Washington performed with the Tada theater teen group and later graduated from The Spence School in Manhattan. She earned a Presidential Arts Scholarship to attend The George Washington University and, in 1994, was a winner of the YoungArts national program. In 1998 Washington graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from The George Washington University.
Washington’s Hollywood career quickly took off after her role in the 2001 film Save the Last Dance, where she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance. In 2002 she starred in Lift, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress for her role as Niecy. Then in 2004 she received the Hollywood Life Breakthrough Award, and the following year received the Young Artist Award from Americans for the Arts for her exemplary leadership. That same year Washington won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role as Della Bea Robinson, the wife of famed Ray Charles, who was played by Jamie Foxx in the film Ray.
Washington has garnered critical acclaim for her roles in The Last King of Scotland, opposite Forest Whitaker—which earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards in 2007—and for The Dead Girl and Lakeview Terrace, opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Patrick Wilson. More recently she has starred in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, with Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad and Janet Jackson, as well as in Night Catches Us, where she received an NAACP nomination for Best Actress. Most recently she was cast as the starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, Django Unchained, opposite Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio.
On television Washington appeared in Howard Zinn’s documentary, The People Speak, with Matt Damon, Josh Brolina and Sean Penn, which premiered on the History Channel in 2009. She is also the voice of Princess Shuri in the BET animated series Black Panther. In 2010 she made her Broadway debut in David Mamet’s provocative hit, Race.
Aside from her acting career, Washington is an active member of the V-Counsel, serves on the board of non-profit arts and education group Voices of a People’s History, and has received accolades including U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Artist-Citizen Award for public leadership in the arts. In 2009 Washington was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Washington was born in the Bronx and currently resides in Los Angeles.
- description from ABC.com