With her role on the show, Cox, an Alabama native, has become the first transgender person to play a transgender character in a major, recurring role on network television. 'Doubt' debuts on Feb. 15, 2017, at 9 p.m. CT on CBS.
Laverne Cox isn't just another actress. And her appearance tonight on the CBS series "Doubt" isn't just another TV debut.
Cox, an Alabama native, has become the first transgender person to play a transgender character in a major, recurring role on network television. That's a milestone for the LGBTQ community, and for the entertainment world at large.
On this new show, Cox portrays Cameron Wirth, a smart, serious lawyer whose quest for justice is grounded in personal experience. She's passionate about her work, committed to her clients and savvy in the courtroom.
"I'm an avid TV watcher, and there are people in my community who watch a lot of TV. Growing up, I did not see people like me on television," Cox said during a panel discussion for the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.
"That folks can have a character like Cameron, who is Ivy League educated, it's wonderful," Cox said, according The Hollywood Reporter. "And to be a black transgender woman in that position on CBS is really special."
Cox is part of a cast that includes Katherine Heigl (best known for her work on "Grey's Anatomy") Dule Hill (formerly of "The West Wing") and veteran actor Elliott Gould (most recently seen on "Ray Donovan").
Personal concerns and professional ethics don't always mesh on "Doubt," a drama series helmed by executive producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan. It debuts at 9 p.m. Central.
Heigl, the star of the series, plays a lawyer at a boutique firm who's struggling to reconcile her job -- defending a pediatric surgeon accused of killing his girlfriend -- with her romantic feelings for her client. Cox and Hill portray her colleagues; Gould plays the head of the firm.
Cox makes a strong impression on the show, according to a review from Variety.
"The standout of the cast is not Heigl but Laverne Cox's Cameron, who expands into the role to offer it a touch of gravitas that gives the show much-needed grounding," writes TV critic Sonia Saraiya, who reviewed the first three episodes.
"Cameron, like Cox, is trans, and her gender identity is discussed in the pilot with careful explanation before becoming a part of the scenery with quick, natural ease. The third episode introduces the beginnings of a flirtation with a rival lawyer (apparently, on 'Doubt,' characters are required to dabble in professionally perilous romances), which provides an avenue for truly unique storytelling for network television."
Cox -- who was born in Mobile and attended the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham -- also broke new ground with her role on the hit Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black." On that show, she portrays a transgender inmate and former firefighter, Sophia Burset, who's serving time for credit card fraud.
Cox has appeared on four seasons of "Orange Is the New Black," and earned a 2014 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. She's also the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
"For me as a viewer, whenever I've seen trans characters up on screen played by trans actors, it gives me hope and inspiration that I can be up there doing it, as well," Cox said during a 2013 interview.
"Also, it validates my experience," Cox said. "It makes me feel like I am not alone. I think everyone needs to feel a sense of connection, a sense of belonging. That happens interpersonally, but it also needs to happen in our representations in mainstream media, so that when we see ourselves up on the screen and we see our stories, we feel less alone, we feel less invisible. It also teaches the world that being around people who are different from us teaches us wonderful lessons, if we choose to listen to those lessons."
Laverne Cox, transgender actress and Alabama native, earns acclaim on 'Orange Is the New Black'
- Rumor the German shepherd wins best in show at Westminster 2017 (photos)
- Mobile's Garrick Ogburn is the happiest chef you'll ever meet
- The Masked Observer goes wobbling with the Conde Explorers
- Damon Johnson talks Black Star Riders, Alice Cooper, teaching Sting how to play 'Sweet Emotion'
- Have the wedding of champions at this luxury golf resort in Georgia
- Love Landmarks: Stories of real-life romance from the heart of Birmingham
- Bags with Benefits: How one Alabama company crafts beautiful bags and helps the community
- Local artist and McDonald's franchiser hosts annual art contest
- 'The Great Wall' review: Matt Damon is mad in China
- Centenary's world premiere 'The Surrogate' asks what makes a family today
- Katie Couric's evolution, Legend on Trump, Perry on Kennedy
- Prison policy changes on the way for transgender inmates
You might also like
- Found objects make this artist's work unique. See it in Guttenberg
- Centenary's world premiere 'The Surrogate' asks what makes a family today
- Westminster 2017: Rumor the German shepherd wins best in show
- Westminster dog show 2017: Live updates and best in show
- Find some 'Love' at Hoboken's hob'art gallery
- 'American Son' review: This sharp, intense play is worth seeking out
- Westminster dog show 2017: N.J. winners and more from day 1
- Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas for lunch with your friends
- Christie signs bill limiting painkiller prescriptions to five days
- Christie talk on Obamacare repeal spurs worry that N.J. residents could lose coverage
- Valentine's Day gift: Transplant patient's old heart to serve as teaching tool
- Kushner's convictions are irrelevant in $600M fraud case, judge rules again
- Powerful South Carolina political consultant implicated in indictments of a veteran state senator
- Will Donald Trump get a second Supreme Court nomination?
- "Hazing" rituals await Supreme Court's "junior justice" Neil Gorsuch
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Trump approves controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline
- Trump praises 'Fox & Friends,' renews old feuds in early morning tweets
- Rex Tillerson finally answers question from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell
- First Read's Morning Clips: The Latest in the Russia Investigation
- Spicer: 'I've let the president down'
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday
- OMB Diriector Mick Mulvaney: Washington's 'a lot more broken' than Trump thought
- Trump attacks conservatives over failure of health care bill
- A very consequential week didn't go well for President Trump
- Health Care Showdown: Republicans look to go big or go home
- No deal on health care bill after conservatives meet with Trump
- CA gov on those supporting health bill: 'Their name is going to be mud'
- Give it to me straight, doc: Is Obamacare dying?
- First Read's Morning Clips: Waiting for CBO
- 14 People Share What's It's Really Like to Have An Ex Who Is Now Their In-Law
- The Internet Is Freaking Out About The Way This Chef Cuts Pizza
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia rethinks the use of his closer in tight games
- Chemistry onstage makes Faith Hill and Tim McGraw a top tour
- I’m Taking A Break From Social Activism And OMG I Need Like Everyone I Know To Read About This
- 5 'Fate Of The Furious' Moments So Unnecessary, They're Necessary
- Noah Cyrus Reveals Her Next Tattoo & Dishes On Her Famous Family
- The Lonely Island Tell The Story Of How 'Dear Sister' Came To 'SNL'
- 'Marketplace' is America's most popular business show. Now it has ambitious plans to expand
- United fiasco shows airlines' power over passengers — and how it might change
- 'I really did it for my daughters': L.A. radio host Wendy Walsh on why she spoke out against Bill O'Reilly
- Trump backs Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, but advertisers keep fleeing
- IFC swings for the comedy fences with Funny or Die's 'Brockmire'
- MGM to spend $1 billion for full control of the Epix movie service
- YouTube TV launches today. It has some cool features and some big drawbacks
- 'Boss Baby' to sack 'Smurfs,' and other box office predictions
- Meet the new faces aboard 'Mystery Science Theater 3000's' Satellite of Love
- Werner Herzog wouldn't live anyplace other than Los Angeles, 'the city with the most substance'
- 'A blemish on America': The arts world reacts to proposed cuts in Trump's budget
- Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment is getting into the booming, competitive animation business
- Fox News faces another sexual harassment claim as Mercedes and Hyundai pull ads from 'O'Reilly Factor'
- Roman Polanski is denied latest bid to resolve 40-year-old statutory rape case