My Favorite Black Entertainers

by rundtc | created - 05 Apr 2011 | updated - 24 Jan 2012 | Public

This is in response to all the people who think I'm a racist.

1. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

2. Will Smith

Music_department | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden ...

3. Samuel L. Jackson

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), ...

4. Morgan Freeman

Actor | Se7en

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...

5. Don Cheadle

Actor | Crash

Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in...

6. Shaquille O'Neal

Actor | Steel

Shaquille O'Neal is regarded as one of the most dominant athletes and arguably the most gregarious personality in sports history. He wrote an autobiography (Shaq Talks Back), preserves an online presence for his fan base and produced a number of albums (Biological Didn't Bother, Shaq-Fu: Da Return,...

7. Cedric the Entertainer

Actor | Barbershop

Cedric the Entertainer was born on April 24, 1964 in Jefferson City, Missouri, USA as Cedric Antonio Kyles. He is an actor and writer, known for Barbershop (2002), Be Cool (2005) and A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). He has been married to Lorna Wells since September 3, 1999. They have two ...

8. Redd Foxx

Actor | Sanford and Son

Redd Foxx began doing stand-up comedy on the infamous "Chitlin' Circuit" in the 1940s and 1950s. Foxx was one of the premier "blue humor" comedians. Blue humor was very dirty, too dirty for white audiences. For years his party albums were not available in white record stores. In the 1960s his ...

R.I.P.

9. Ice Cube

Soundtrack | Friday

Ice Cube was born in South Central Los Angeles, to Doris (Benjamin), a custodian and hospital clerk, and Hosea Jackson, a UCLA groundskeeper. He first came to public notice as a singer and songwriter with the controversial and influential band N.W.A. His compositions with that group included many ...

10. Halle Berry

Actress | Catwoman

Halle Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, Jerome Jesse Berry, was African-American, and worked as a hospital attendant. Her mother, Judith Ann (Hawkins), who is Caucasian, has English and German ancestry, and is a retired psychiatric nurse. Halle has an older sister, Heidi Berry. Halle ...

11. Rosario Dawson

Actress | Rent

This stunning and resourceful actress has been primarily a film player thus far. Only recently has she been opening herself up more to doing television (the series Gemini Division (2008), which she executive-produced), and animated voice-overs. Dawson's powerhouse talent stands out the most in edgy...

12. Chiwetel Ejiofor

Actor | 12 Years a Slave

English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things (2002), the ...

13. Leslie David Baker

Actor | The Office

Leslie David Baker was born on February 19, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor, known for The Office (2005), Wish I Was Here (2014) and The Office: The Accountants (2006).

14. Craig Robinson

Actor | This Is the End

Craig Robinson was born on October 25, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Craig Phillip Robinson. He is an actor, known for This Is the End (2013), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) and Pineapple Express (2008).

15. Gary Anthony Williams

Actor | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Gary Anthony Williams was born on March 14, 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012) and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004). He is married to Leslie. They ...

16. Rihanna

Actress | Battleship

Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born in a parish in Barbados called St. Michael, to Monica (Braithwaite), an accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor. Her mother is Afro-Guyanese and her father is of Afro-Barbadian and British Isles ancestry (known as "Redlegs" in the Caribbean). Rihanna lived ...

17. Charles Barkley

Actor | Hot Shots!

Charles Barkley was born on February 20, 1963 in Leeds, Alabama, USA as Charles Wade Barkley. He is an actor, known for Hot Shots! (1991), He Got Game (1998) and Space Jam (1996). He has been married to Maureen Blumhardt since February 9, 1989. They have one child.

18. Dwight Howard

Actor | The Three Stooges

Dwight Howard was born on December 8, 1985 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Dwight David Howard. He is an actor, known for The Three Stooges (2012), Free Birds (2013) and Shen qi (2013).

19. Marvin Gaye

Soundtrack | High Fidelity

Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. He was married to Jan Gaye and Anna Gordy Gaye. He died on April 1, 1984 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

R.I.P.

21. Ving Rhames

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Strikingly featured and muscular American actor Ving Rames was born Irving Rameses Rhames in Harlem, New York, to Reather, a homemaker, and Ernest Rhames, an auto mechanic. A good student, Ving entered the New York High School of Performing Arts, where he discovered his love of acting. He studied ...

22. Laurence Fishburne

Actor | The Matrix

One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.

His ...

23. Forest Whitaker

Actor | The Last King of Scotland

Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American ...

24. Keith David

Actor | The Princess and the Frog

Keith David was born Keith David Williams in New York City's Harlem district, and was raised in East Elmhurst, in the Queens section of the city. He is the son of Dolores (Dickenson), a New York Telephone manager, and Lester Williams, a payroll operations director. As a child, he realized he wanted...

25. Eve

Actress | Barbershop

Eve was born on November 10, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Eve Jihan Jeffers. She is an actress, known for Barbershop (2002), xXx (2002) and Whip It (2009). She has been married to Maximillion Cooper since June 14, 2014.

26. Chris Rock

Actor | Top Five

Christopher Julius Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped, and Julius Rock, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman, whose own father was a preacher.

...

27. Bernie Mac

Actor | The Bernie Mac Show

Bernard Jeffrey McCollough was born in Chicago in 1957. He grew up in Chicago, in a rougher neighborhood than most others, with a large family living under one roof. This situation provided him with a great insight into his comedy, as his family, and the situations surrounding them would be what ...

R.I.P.

28. Terry Crews

Actor | Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Terry Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, to Patricia and Terry Crews, Sr. He earned an Art Excellence Scholarship to attend Western Michigan University and also earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to play football. Crews was an All-Conference defensive end, and was a major contributor on the ...

29. Michael Clarke Duncan

Actor | The Green Mile

Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother, Jean, a house cleaner, on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let ...

30. Jay Z

Soundtrack | The Great Gatsby

Shawn Corey Carter was born 4 December 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Raised in Brooklyn, Carter was a school friend of The Notorious B.I.G.. He first started releasing records in the late 1980s. In 1990, he appeared on records by his close friend, Jaz ("The Originators") and Original Flavor ("...

31. Miles Davis

Soundtrack | In the Line of Fire

Miles Davis, famous jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader, was born 26 May 1926 in Alton, Illinois. He moved to New York in 1944 and studied at Juilliard. He left school and entered the jazz society of New York, meeting such famous musicians as Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus. ...

R.I.P.

32. John Coltrane

Soundtrack | Vanilla Sky

John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, USA as John William Coltrane. He was married to Alice Macleod and Naima. He died on July 17, 1967 in Huntington, Long Island, New York, USA.

R.I.P.

33. Alicia Keys

Soundtrack | The Secret Life of Bees

Alicia Keys was born in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, to Teresa (Augello), a paralegal who was also an occasional actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Her father is African-American, and her mother, who is caucasian, is of Italian and English/Irish/Scottish ancestry. Alicia began taking piano ...

34. Jada Pinkett Smith

Actress | The Matrix Revolutions

Jada Koren Pinkett Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Robsol Grant Pinkett, Jr., a contractor, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones, a nurse. They divorced after only a few months of marriage. Her father is of African-American descent and her mother is of Afro-Caribbean ancestry (from Barbados and ...

35. Marlon Wayans

Actor | White Chicks

Marlon Wayans was born on July 23, 1972 in New York City, New York, USA as Marlon L. Wayans. He is an actor and writer, known for White Chicks (2004), Littleman (2006) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009). He is married to Angelica Zackary. They have two children.

36. Bill Russell

Actor | On the Right Track

The term Dynasty might have never applied to Basketball had it not been for Bill Russell. In the History of professional sports there has never been an athlete who has more accolades or championships, in other words Bill Russell is not only a champion, but he is perhaps the definition of a champion...

37. Magic Johnson

Producer | Obsessed

Magic Johnson was born on August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan, USA as Earvin Johnson. He is a producer and actor, known for Obsessed (2009), Dead Tone (2007) and Brown Sugar (2002). He has been married to Cookie Johnson since September 14, 1991. They have two children.

38. Billy Dee Williams

Actor | Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Billy Dee Williams was born William December Williams on April 6, 1937 in New York City. Billy Dee has notched up an impressive array of film and television appearances over the past 50+ years. He is easily best known to international film audiences as the roguish Lando Calrissian in the last two ...

39. Biz Markie

Actor | Men in Black II

Biz Markie was born on April 8, 1964 in Harlem, New York, USA as Marcel Theo Hall. He is an actor, known for Men in Black II (2002), Office Space (1999) and The Wood (1999).

40. Jimi Hendrix

Soundtrack | Woodstock

Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, to African-American parents Lucille (Jeter) and James Allen Hendrix. His mother named him John Allen Hendrix and raised him alone while his father, Al Hendrix, was off fighting in World War II. When his mother became sick from ...

R.I.P. Greatest Guitarist Ever.

41. André Benjamin

Actor | Four Brothers

André Benjamin was born on May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Andre Benjamin.

42. Michael Jordan

Actor | Space Jam

Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 17, 1963. He was the fourth of five children born to James and Deloris. James Jordan was a mechanic and Deloris Jordan was a bank teller. Soon after Michael's birth, James and Deloris felt that the streets of Brooklyn were unsafe to ...

43. Chris Tucker

Actor | Rush Hour 2

At one point in time, Chris Tucker was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Tucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Mary Louise (Bryant) and Norris Tucker, who owned a janitorial service. After graduating from high school, Tucker made a change to move to Hollywood from Georgia to pursue a career in ...

44. Sinbad

Actor | Jingle All the Way

Sinbad was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan to two parents, Louise and the Baptist Rev. Dr. Donald Beckley Adkins and was then known as David Adkins. He is primarily known as an actor and somewhat a writer and proved his comedic acting style in House Guest (1994), Jingle All the Way (1996), First ...

45. Idris Elba

Actor | Beasts of No Nation

An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...

46. James Avery

Actor | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Although best known as the uncle/patriarch and judge "Philip Banks" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), James Avery is a classically trained actor and scholar. A native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, he joined the US Navy after graduating high school and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. ...

47. Alfonso Ribeiro

Actor | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Alfonso Ribeiro was born in New York on September 21, 1971. Alfonso's family is from Trinidad & Tobago. Although rumor has been that he is of Dominican descent, he has stated in an interview that this is false. Neither he nor his family are from the Dominican Republic; they originate from Trinidad ...

48. DJ Jazzy Jeff

Actor | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

DJ Jazzy Jeff was born on January 15, 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Jeffrey Allen Townes. He is an actor, known for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), Boyz n the Hood (1991) and Strange Days (1995).