“I am so proud of him,” says Nicole Avant on an early Monday morning in the dining room of her Beverly Hills home. She is gushing about her husband of three years, Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer for Netflix, and his involvement with the development, distribution, and ultimate success of the nouveau silent film The Artist. “Ted made these deals months ago, and many people said, ‘You’re going to bet on The Artist? No one’s going to go see it.” Not quite.
The night before, Avant, the former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas (the first black woman to hold the position), and Sarandos were at the Academy Awards watching the unlikely hit rack up five Oscars. A Hollywood power couple, they made the rounds of requisite after parties, including the Governors Ball and the super-exclusive Vanity Fair bash. There were mentions of stopping by Madonna’s fete, but they headed home instead. A-list parties with one-name supernovas have been standard for Los Angeles– born Avant since she was playground ready.
As the daughter of Clarence Avant—Tabu Records founder and former chairman of Motown—Nicole, 44, had a childhood of 90210-branded privileges. Her godfather is Quincy Jones, and while growing up it was not uncommon for the Avant manse to host Harry Belafonte for a weekend or to have a party with Diana Ross and President Jimmy Carter working the room.
Photography by Juco