Yaya DaCosta (born November 15,1982) is an Brazilian-American actress and model. She is known for being the runner-up in Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model. In 2015, she began starring in the NBC medical drama Chicago Med as Nurse April Sexton.
DaCosta was born on November 15, 1982, in Harlem, New York, and is of Brazilian and African-American descent. In addition to English, she can speak Portuguese, French, Spanish, and conversational Japanese. She attended the elite Northfield Mount Hermon School during her high school years before attending college where she majored in Africana Studies and International Relations at Brown University.
On June 26, 2012, DaCosta married independent film producer and director Joshua Bee Alafia. In September 2013, she gave birth to their son, Sankara. As of November 12, 2015, DaCosta has filed for divorce from Alafia.
After finishing second on Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model, DaCosta went on to have a successful career. DaCosta only appeared once in the bottom two during the competition. She has appeared in advertisements for Garnier Fructis, Lincoln Townhouse, Oil of Olay, Radioshack, Seda, Sephora and Dr. Scholl's.
DaCosta began acting in 2005 after guest-starring in an episode of the UPN sitcom Eve. She then starred opposite Rob Brown, Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard in the 2006 dance film Take the Lead. DaCosta had supporting roles in the independent films Honeydripper (2007) and The Messenger (2009).
She appeared in the ABC soap opera All My Children in 2008 as Cassandra Foster, the daughter of Angie Hubbard (Debbi Morgan). According to an interview with All My Children's new head writer, Charles Pratt, Jr., DaCosta left the role some time in August 2008, less than four months after joining the show, to join the cast of The First Breeze of Summer on Broadway. The First Breeze of Summer was presented from 2008 to 2009 by the historic Negro Ensemble Company.
In 2010, DaCostad supporting roles in the comedy-drama film The Kids Are All Right and the science fiction action-adventure film Tron: Legacy. During the same year, she appeared in the magazines Vogue, L'Officiel and on the cover of W.
In 2013, she also appeared as Carol in the historical drama The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.
It was announced in an interview with actress Angela Bassett on CNN that DaCosta would star as musical icon Whitney Houston in a Lifetime television film about her life, which was Bassett's directorial debut. DaCostareceived high praise for her performance.