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Faces & Names: Winfrey to play civil rights protester in ‘Selma’ movie

Oscar-nominated actress Oprah Winfrey has joined the cast of Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” the civil rights drama that the media mogul also is producing.

The drama follows Martin Luther King Jr.’s landmark 1965 voting rights campaign, which is regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement.

The film stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr.; Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King; Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson; Tim Roth as George Wallace; and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Fred Gray.

Winfrey will play Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman who tried to register to vote and was unfairly denied by a sheriff. She was a visible leader among the civil rights protesters in Selma.

Winfrey earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple.” She most recently played Oyelowo’s mother in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

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