She is most notable on screen for her recurring role as Janice in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. On film she is arguably best known for her role as Tituba in The Crucible, alongside Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder. She is also well known for playing Elijah's mother in Unbreakable alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis, and Angel Kosinsky in Eye for an Eye, alongside Sally Field.
Woodard has been married to Alan Harris, an intellectual property lawyer, since 1991. They have no children.
Contrary to popular belief, she is not related to fellow actress Alfre Woodard.
She currently is performing a one-person performance, entitled "The Night Watcher", at the La Jolla Playhouse at the University of California, San Diego.