British actress, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, plays Death in the highly anticipated new Netflix adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, releasing on August 5, 2022. Howell-Baptiste was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award (Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series) in both 2019 and 2020 for Barry.
She may also be familiar for her part in Disney's Cruella (2021), in which she played reporter/photographer Anita Darling - owner of the famous dalmatians. Howell-Baptiste has had memorable roles in several recent popular series but does not appear to have played a part quite like Death before.
Howell-Baptiste played Beth in the Judd Apatow-created romance Netflix series, Love, which wasn't that big a role for the actor, but she does get to be one of the many quirky band members in Gus Cruikshank's (Paul Rust) band.
For the most part, Beth is very easygoing and sometimes the voice of reason. For example, she tells Gus he should take care of his sick girlfriend instead of staying on the horror movie tour with the rest of the band.
Howell-Baptiste plays a memorable one-off character as Rezecca, a waitress in the episode "Spiritual Gurus" from Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, a comedy series parodying the reality show, Million Dollar Listing.
While Howell-Baptiste doesn't have much to do, she makes the most of her one scene and reacts completely shocked when being told that Victoria "killed her mother in childbirth" while she is pouring water. This shows that Howell-Baptiste can make the most of even the smallest of roles.
One of Howell-Baptiste's most recent roles is Elena Felton in the popular suspense drama, Killing Eve. Howell-Baptiste's Elena Felton is one of the side characters who work for the secret task force but manages to be notable due to her total adoration of Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw).
She is also very sarcastic and always is honest with Eve, no matter what happens. Elena is also very ambitious and is working her way up to being a spy - making her way through clerical work.
Even though Simone doesn't end up with Chidi, she is still a fascinating character in her own right. She is a kind and caring scientist who, after she dies, completely lets loose under the belief that the afterlife is a dying dream her brain constructed from her memories. The way she reacts to the afterlife is informed so much by her being a scientist and reveals her quirky side, as seen when she tries to wake herself up by singing a song on her clock radio as a child.
Howell-Baptiste plays the small but pivotal role of Daisy in the episodes "Interview" and "There Will Be Blood" in the TV series, Hacks.
Daisy may not be a big role for Howell-Baptiste, but her character does play an important role in Ava's story arc. Daisy is one of two British TV producers who Ava thinks are a better option for her career to write for than Deborah Vance. However, it turns out they want to cruelly use Ava's experiences working with Deborah for a TV series about an evil female prime minister. Daisy is, at first, very friendly but then reveals her predatory intentions while still smiling. Her character being sent the email by Ava exposing Deborah also sets up the story arc for season 2.
Howell-Baptiste plays the lead, Taylor Harding, in the 2019 segments of the Paramount+ anthology series, Why Women Kill. She gets to show off her range as an actress playing the complex bisexual lawyer and feminist in an open marriage.
This is one of Howell-Baptiste's most confident roles, as a woman who always takes charge both in her relationships and in general. Taylor Harding is also a role that gets rather intense, as she has to fend off an attack by her lover, Jade (Alexandra Daddario).
Howell-Baptiste plays another bit part as Kristy in the episode "That's My Daddy Watch" on the Comedy Central series Six Guys One Car.
This is another small role where she still manages to be significant as Rome's loud and strong date, Kristy. She doesn't take his nonsense when he can't remember her name and tells him to get out. This shows Howell-Baptiste's talent for character work - that she still manages to be memorable despite her small role, really using her facial expressions and little dialogue to her advantage.
Howell-Baptiste played the recurring role of Sasha Smith on the popular HBO series Barry. Although not the biggest part, Howell-Baptiste still gets to play a quirky member of Gene Cousineau's (Henry Winkler) acting troupe.
Sasha is a bit two-faced as she does help Barry get a job at Lululemon in order to help him support himself, but she is snide about him in private texts calling him a "jarhead." Howell-Baptiste even gets to reference her role in The Good Place by having Sasha talk about how she never wants to play an Australian.
Nicole Malloy bonds with Veronica similar to how Howell-Baptiste bonds with Bell in real life. They have similar sarcastic senses of humor, which help them to be friends with each other. Nicole also has a very sympathetic backstory in how she ended up at the bar, Comrade Quack's: she was raped when she was a waitress after being denied her request for extra security, sued the owner, and got the bar in return.
Howell-Baptiste plays one of her most complicated characters, Grace Monroe, on the animated series Infinity Train.
Grace Monroe features a lot of character development, starting off as a teen cult leader who regards the train as an amusement park, and actively stopping her cult members from being able to return home to recognize her faults and dismantle her cult for the better. Grace is essentially a female Peter Pan, with her cult of unruly children wreaking havoc on the train. Howell-Baptiste shows a lot of range that she can convincingly play a teen cult leader.