Annie Ilonzeh
AnnieIlonzeh.jpg
Date of birth: August 23, 1983
Place of birth: Grapevine, Texas, U.S.
Active: 2007-present
Role: Emily Foster
Show(s): Chicago Fire (regular)

Annette Ngozi Ilonzeh (born August 23, 1983) is an American actress who portrays Emily Foster in Chicago Fire.

Biography and career

Born and raised in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Ilonzeh is the eldest of five sisters. Her father is Nigerian and her mother is of Polish and English descent. She began taking dance lessons at a young age, but quickly learned she was better suited for basketball, soccer and track. In high school, she discovered her passion for basketball, which earned her a college scholarship to the University of Texas.

Ilonzeh visited Los Angeles in 2006 and the idea of an acting career suddenly appealed to her. Without looking back, she moved to Los Angeles and gave herself one year to explore show business. After booking a few high-profile advertising campaigns, she decided to stay. Many more commercials and small TV and movie roles followed. In March 2010, she got her big break and was cast on "General Hospital."

In film, she starred as lead detective opposite Jennifer Garner in the action-drama thriller "Peppermint." She also starred as Kidada Jones in the Tupac biopic, "All Eyez on Me," and appeared opposite Taye Diggs in the thriller "’Til Death Do Us Part."

Ilonzeh had recurring roles on "Empire," "Person of Interest," "Graceland," "Drop Dead Diva," "Arrow," "Switched at Birth" and "Entourage." Her guest-starring roles include ABC’s revamp of "Charlie’s Angels," "General Hospital," "Rush," "Beauty and the Beast," "Melrose Place" and "The Game."

Ilonzeh spends most of her free time in the gym and considers it her "happy place." She creates her own routines, incorporating moves from her favorite sports, such as boxing and mixed martial arts. Fitness is a major part of her life, and she also spends time with her Chihuahua Pacino.

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