Malena Cunningham Anderson (born c. 1958 in Laurens, South Carolina) is an actor, filmmaker and former news anchor.
Malena is the daughter of Odell and Betty Brummell Cunningham. She grew up in the town of Gray Court. She completed a bachelor of arts in journalism at the University of Georgia in 1980 and began her career as a production assistant at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia in 1982.
After brief stops at television stations in Lexington, Kentucky; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Savannah, Georgia, Cunningham came to Birmingham in 1992 to work as a news anchor for WVTM-TV. She won two regional Emmy Awards during her 12 years at Channel 13.
Cunningham left WVTM in 2004 and founded Strategic Media Relations, a consulting firm, and was employed as communications manager for Fait Chapel Christian Center. She also wrote a book and opened a fitness center.
Cunningham was a member of the 2008 class of Leadership Birmingham. In 2013 Cunningham made a documentary "Little Music Manchild" about Malik Kofi. It wasn't until 2017 that she founded "Newslady Productions" to complete that production and pursue other projects. "Little Music Manchild" won "Best Documentary" at the 2017 BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta.
In 2014 she married attorney Carl Anderson and moved to Pennsylvania where he was serving as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. The couple later relocated to South Carolina, and then to Atlanta.
In 2022 Cunningham was contacted about a casting call for background actors in the Showtime drama "The First Ladies". That led to additional roles, often leveraging her experience as a television journalist. In 2023 she appeared in a lead supporting role on the Allblk series "Judge Me Not". Later that year she won a part in the 2023 reboot of "The Exorcist".
- Poole, Shelia (August 25, 2017) "Atlanta filmmaker screens “Little Music Manchild" at BronzeLens festival." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Smith, Kelundra (July 20, 2018) "10 questions with filmmaker Malena Cunningham Anderson (ABJ ’80)." Georgia Alumni
- Johnson, Roy S. (May 21, 2023) "Through faith, former Birmingham news anchor finds unlikely new season as actor." AL.com