Sallie Toussaint was born on May 10, 1978, in Hartford, Connecticut, to her Trinidadian parents. Shortly after her birth, her parents returned the family to Trinidad, but they moved back to the States when Sallie was in her preteen years.
She excelled in school and went to the University of Connecticut on a full scholarship to earn her bachelor’s degree in journalism. Toussaint modeled to help pay for her education. She appeared in Essence and Vogue magazines, and she was also the face of Colgate, Reebok and Bacardi. Sallie’s modeling career led her to seek and attain the beauty pageant titles of Miss Connecticut in 1999 and Miss USA World in 2000.
In 2006, after hundreds of different actresses were screened for the bit part of one of the girlfriends of mobster Frank Costello in The Departed, Toussaint finally got the call. “I went on three auditions with casting agents,” she said, “and finally got the call in the middle of the night telling me it was between me and another girl.”
After meeting with none other than Martin Scorsese and Jack Nicholson themselves, Sallie got the part and a copy of her scenes at the opera and in a bedroom. “It was just so well done,” she explains. “It’s absolutely shocking! But you have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about. Martin Scorsese is so eloquent and experienced and creative.”
For several years, Sallie and her father have been managing an orphanage, Jacob House, in Trinidad. They created it when they saw a need to place unwanted children in loving homes. Sallie herself supports the organization from money she earns in the States.
Aside from her charity work and modeling career, Sallie kept her acting career burgeoning in 2007 when she appeared in an off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues.