“ Big fan of Christian: Christian Keyes was born in Detroit, Mich. He is a humble, hardworking and driven young man. An experienced actor and singer, he was labeled by Tyler Perry as “One of the most consistent male actors I’ve worked with." Christian has done more than 40 stage productions and more than 1,200 theatrical shows and has performed live in front of more than 4 million people while touring the country with several national stage plays ” - lakeshahys
“ Stacey Lauretta Dash (born January 20, 1966) is an American film and television actress. Dash was born in The Bronx, New York. She is an alumnus of Paramus High School in Paramus, New Jersey. Her mother, Linda, was the general manager of DME Interactive Holdings. Her father was a methadone addict. She is of Bajan, African American, and Mexican descent, with "clear green" eyes.[ ” - lakeshahys
“ You've seen him in the Tyler Perry Productions of "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" the movie," Madea's Class Reunion", and" Meet the Browns". He stands 6-foot-5-inches, natural good looks, with a rare gift. Although his background may be common to many, Terrell Carter has more to his credit than most have within the life of an entire career.
After being noticed while singing at church in Detroit, gospel great Fred Hammond auditioned him and seamlessly Carter found himself working with Hammond and later with a host of others. His classic sensibility and non-formulaic approach can be attributed to years of absorbing the irreplaceable soul in the music passed down to him through the gospel music of the church he attended with his mother and grandmother in his native home town on the east side of Buffalo, New York. His drive and confidence were born from his desire to rise above the despair that surrounded him on the often-unkind streets of east Buffalo. ” - lakeshahys
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 named Heidi Berry
Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son...
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 mother transplanted her family to Brooklyn after his parents divorced...
Jenifer Lewis Jenifer Lewis is one of Hollywood's most familiar faces, with more than 300 appearances in film and television. Dubbed a "national treasure" by TV Guide.com, Jenifer currently stars on the hit show Black-ish (ABC), where her hilarious portrayal of "Ruby Johnson" earned her a nomination for the 2016 Critics Choice Award...
“ Lewis was born in Kinloch, Missouri, to a nurse's aid mother and a factory worker father. She attended college at Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri. ” - lakeshahys
Denzel Washington is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received three Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory
and Best Actor for his role as a corrupt cop in the crime thriller Training Day
. Denzel Hayes Washington...
Jada Pinkett Smith
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 Jamaica). Jada majored in dance and choreography at the Baltimore School for the Arts...
“ Great actress! ” - lakeshahys
Shemar Franklin Moore (born April 20, 1970) is an American actor and former fashion model. His notable roles are that of Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless from 1994 to 2005, Derek Morgan on CBS's Criminal Minds from 2005 to 2016, and as the third permanent host of Soul Train from 1999 to 2003.
“ Graduated from Santa Clara University.
Attended Santa Clara University where he majored in communications and played varsity baseball.
Nephew of a high school teacher, Stephen Wilson of Watertown High School in Watertown Massachussetts.
Was a "Weakest Link" (2001) contestant and was voted off.
His mother is Dutch and his father is African American.
His mother moved the family to Holland, she only spoke Dutch to him as a child. Since his African-American father was not around, he didn't learn to speak English until he was about five or six. ” - lakeshahys
Rae Dawn Chong
Rae Dawn Chong was born February 28, 1961 in Edmonton, Canada to Maxine Sneed and Tommy Chong
. After a few film and television spots, Rae Dawn earned a Genie for her performance in Jean-Jacques Annaud
's prehistoric-drama Quest for Fire
. She played the young, Ivaka prisoner, Ika. Other notables roles include Harpo's girlfriend "Squeek"...
“ Chong was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the daughter of Maxine Sneed and Tommy Chong. She and her sister Robbi were raised by her grandmother, Tommy Chong's mother. Chong's father is of Chinese and Scottish-Irish ancestry and her mother is of Afro-Canadian descent. Her sister Robbi Chong is a model and actress.
Chong is known for appearing in the films Quest for Fire (1981), The Color Purple (1985), Choose Me (1984), Beat Street (1984), Commando (1985), Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers (1984), and Far Out Man (1990), in the latter two appearing with her father. Chong won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1983 for Quest for Fire. Chong saw her most active period in films during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. However, she continues working in television and film.
Chong also played the love interest in Mick Jagger's video "Just Another Night". ” - lakeshahys
“ Taimak (pronounced Tie-Mock) Guarriello (born June 27, 1964) is a martial arts actor and stuntman, best known as Leroy Green in the 1985 martial arts film The Last Dragon. He was born in New York, to an African American mother, and an Italian father. ” - lakeshahys
Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order to find work as an actress and Lena was left in the care of her grandparents...
“ Williams was born in New York City, New York, the son of Loretta Anne, a West Indian-born elevator operator from Montserrat, and William December Williams, Sr., an African-American caretaker from Texas. He has a twin sister, Loretta, and grew up in Harlem, where he was raised by his maternal grandmother while his parents worked at several jobs. Williams graduated from Manhattan's School of Performing Arts, where he was a classmate of Diahann Carroll, who coincidentally played the wife of his character Brady Lloyd on the 1980s prime-time soap Dynasty. ” - lakeshahys
An out-of-wedlock child, Eartha Kitt was born in the cotton fields of South Carolina. Kitt's mother was a sharecropper of African-American and Cherokee Native American descent who became pregnant after being raped by a white plantation owner. Given away by her mother, she arrived in Harlem at age nine...
“ Eartha Mae Kitt (January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008)Kitt was born Eartha Mae Keith on a cotton plantation in North, a small town in Orangeburg County near Columbia, South Carolina. Kitt's mother was of Cherokee and African-American descent and her father of German or Dutch descent. Kitt was conceived by rape.
Kitt was raised by Anna Mae Riley, an African-American woman whom she believed to be her mother. Anna Mae went to live with a black man when Eartha was 8. He refused to accept Kitt because of her relatively pale complexion. Kitt lived with another family until Riley's death. She was then sent to live in New York City with Mamie Kitt, who she learned was her biological mother. She had no knowledge of her father, except that his surname was Kitt and that he was supposedly a son of the owner of the farm where she had been born.
- was an American singer, actress, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 hit recordings of "C'est Si Bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby." Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world." She took over the role of Catwoman for the third and final season of the 1960s Batman television series. ” - lakeshahys
“ Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up as an only child in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his mother, Elizabeth Jackson (née Montgomery), who was a factory worker and later a supplies buyer for a mental institution, and his maternal grandparents and extended family. His father lived away from the family, in Kansas City, Missouri, and later died from alcoholism; Jackson had only met his father twice during his life. Jackson attended several segregated schools and graduated from Riverside High School in Chattanooga. Between the third and twelfth grades, he played the French horn and trumpet in the school orchestra. Initially intent on pursuing a degree in marine biology, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After joining a local acting group to earn extra points in a class, Jackson found an interest in acting and switched his major. Before graduating in 1972, he co-founded the "Just Us Theatre".[9 ” - lakeshahys
One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an important part of her life as a child...
“ Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Anita Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard. His maternal great-grandmother, Minnie Gentry, was a stage actress, as were his mother and uncles. Both of his parents were biracial, of African American and European American descent. At the age of 16, Howard emancipated himself from his parents and was put on welfare; at 18, he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. He wanted to be a science teacher, though he had a low GPA in high school and was admitted to the Pratt Institute in New York only after convincing them to give him a special entrance exam. Howard did not complete his education, as he had joined his brother on an audition for The Cosby Show and was cast in the role. Though he did not obtain a degree, Howard claims to be an engineer. Howard had a principal role in a short-lived CBS sitcom, Tall Hopes. ” - lakeshahys
Phylicia Rashad was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex), and younger sister, dancer and actress Debbie Allen
, lived in Mexico. She has another brother...
“ Wonderful voice ” - lakeshahys
With roots that lead back to Louisiana southern aristocracy, lovely leading lady Lynn Whitfield was born in 1953, the eldest of four children and a third-generation BFA graduate from Howard University. Her dentist father was instrumental in developing Lynn's initial interest in acting as he was a prime figure in forming community theater in her native Baton Rouge...
Boris Frederic Cecil Tay-Natey Ofuatey-Kodjoe, better known as Boris Kodjoe, is a German actor known for his roles as Jason in the 2000 film Love & Basketball
, and the sports-courier agent Damon Carter on the Showtime drama series Soul Food
. Kodjoe was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Ursula...
Born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa Williams became a member of the New York City Opera's Children's Chorus at age 11. Vanessa then signed with a talent manager and booked her first audition, a commercial for Frito Lay. Her pattern for success clearly set, her winning streak had only just begun...
Larenz Tate was born on the west side of Chicago to Larry and Peggy Tate, the youngest of three brothers. His brothers are actors Larron Tate
and Lahmard J. Tate
. In 1984, Larenz and his family moved to California. It was while living in California that Larenz's parents got him and his brothers involved in a drama program at the Inner City Cultural Center...
Regina King was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gloria, a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician. She began her career in the television show 227
, followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood
. She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba Gooding Jr.
's character's wife in Jerry Maguire
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr. was born on January 2, 1968, in The Bronx, New York. His mother, Shirley (Sullivan), was a backup singer for The Sweethearts. His father, Cuba Gooding
, was the lead vocalist for the R&B group The Main Ingredient
, which had a hit with the song "Everybody Plays The Fool". His paternal grandfather was from Barbados...
Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and...
Alfre Woodard was born on November 8, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the youngest of three children of Constance, a homemaker, and Marion H. Woodard, an interior designer. She was named by her godmother, who claimed she saw a vision of Alfre's name written out in gold letters. A former high school cheerleader and track star...
Smart, confident, eloquent, exceptionally handsome African-American actor Blair Underwood was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1964, the son of Marilyn Ann, an interior decorator, and Frank Eugene Underwood, Sr., an army colonel. With his family, he lived all over the world. Trained in musical theater at Carnegie-Mellon...
Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge
(née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge
began performing publicly, usually in black Baptist churches throughout the country...
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 Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards...
Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. When she was eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. In high school...
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer, and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the 2004 biographical film Ray
. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral
Thandie Newton was born in London. She is the daughter of a Zimbabwean mother, Nyasha, a health-care worker from the Shona tribe, and Nick Newton, a British father who worked as a lab technician. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK. She then lived in Cornwall in the southwest of Britain until the age of 11...
A tall, handsome, and versatile American actor, Morris Chestnut was born in Cerritos, California, to Shirley (Wynn) and Morris Chestnut, Sr. He first came to be recognized by moviegoers starring as Ricky in Boyz n the Hood
, a role where he played a high school running back using his football skills to escape the violent surroundings of his South Central Los Angeles neighborhood...
Stunning pop culture icon, Hollywood leading lady and three-time NAACP award winner Nia Long returns to the big screen this fall in the highly anticipated Universal Pictures sequel The best man holiday (in theaters November 15th) where she reunites with original castmates Taye Diggs ("Private Practice")...
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 of the classic cuts from their debut LP "Straight Outta Compton" (Ruthless/Priority...
LisaRaye McCoy-Misick was born September 23, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois. She is of African American and Native American descent and is proud of her heritage. She later attended Eastern Illinois University but she never really took the idea of a career in acting seriously until persuaded by an insistent roommate to attend a local audition in Chicago...
Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White portrayed Jax Briggs in Mortal Kombat: Legacy...
Mekhi Phifer was born in Harlem, Manhattan, and was raised by his mother, Rhoda, a high school teacher. Phifer's acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for director Spike Lee
and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel
and Delroy Lindo
Anika Noni Rose
Anika Noni Rose followed her work in the feature film "Dreamgirls" with a role in the comedy feature "Just Add Water," in which she co-stars with Danny DeVito, Dylan Walsh, Jonah Hill and Justin Long, under the direction of Hart Bochner. In 2004, Rose was honored with a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the widely acclaimed Broadway show "Caroline...
Omar Epps is an American actor, starring on the ABC drama Resurrection
. Epps was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films, including Paramount's Against the Ropes
LL Cool J
L.L. Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, the son of Ondrea Griffith and James Louis Smith, Jr. Todd, as he was called, did not have a very happy childhood. At the age of four, he saw his mother and grandfather shot by his own father. After they recovered from their injuries...
A lovely and gifted actress, Michael Michele has won acclaim for her portrayals of strong and capable women on television as well as in feature films. Born in Evansville, Indiana, on August 30, 1966, she--like practically everyone in the Hoosier State--grew up a big basketball fan. Michele played roundball...
The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade. His aunt lived in the South Los Angeles district of Crenshaw...
Loretta Devine was born August 21, 1949 in Houston, Texas, to Eunice O'Neal (née Toliver), a beautician, and James Devine, who worked as a laborer. Loretta grew up in the Acres Home area of Houston and later enrolled at the University of Houston, where she earned a a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama...
Vanessa Lynn Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and she has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television...
Born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 19, 1982, Columbus Keith Short, Jr., started entertaining at the age of three, by putting on shows for his folks' enjoyment. Whether impersonating relatives, dancing or just making people laugh, everyone sensed something special about the boy. Fortunately, his family later relocated to Los Angeles where...
Meagan Monique Good was born on 8 August 1981 in Panorama City, California, USA, to Tyra Wardlow-Doyle, who worked as her manager, and Leondis "Leon" Good, an LAPD officer. She began appearing on commercials at the age of four. Then she started guest-starring on series like The Parent 'Hood
, Touched by an Angel
Known for his charming looks and deep personality, Michael Ealy blessed the movie screen with his role in Barbershop
. When he left Silver Spring, Maryland, with a degree in English, he headed off to New York. From there he performed in several stage productions, including the Off-Broadway hits "Joe Fearless" and "Whoa-Jack"...
An only child, Idris Elba was born and raised in Hackney, London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at a Ford motor factory. His mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. He gained a place in the National Youth Music Theatre - thanks to a £1,500 Prince's Trust grant...
Victoria Rowell is an award-winning actress, international lecturer, holds two doctorates - a teacher, advocate, mother, and former foster youth. She has been recognized by 193 members of Congress for advocacy work on behalf of education, arts, foster and adoptive youth and parents as well as diversity issues...
Born and raised in Washington DC, Laz always knew he wanted to be an actor. He remembers at a very early age entertaining his family by imitating relatives and family friends. He graduated from the prestigious Howard University School of Business, earning a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing...
Debbie Morgan was born September 20, 1956 in Dunn, North Carolina, to Lora and George Morgan, Jr., she moved to New York City when she was three months old. Debbie's earliest film role was in Cry Uncle
. She played the role of Olga Winter. Her most memorable role was on the television series All My Children
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 at the Juilliard School of Drama...
Oprah Winfrey was born Orpah Gail Winfrey in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to Vernita Lee, a former maid, and Vernon Winfrey, a coal miner, barber, and city councilman. While Winfrey has been cited as the richest African American of the 20th century, she does not come from a rich, or even middle class, family...
Lisa Nicole Carson
Lisa Nicole Carson has the distinction of having simultaneously starred in television's most lauded comedy and drama series. She has both amused audiences as Renee Radick, the D.A. roommate of Calista Flockhart
on Fox's Ally McBeal
and riveted them as Carla Reese, the mother of Eriq La Salle
's son on NBC's ER
Wendy Raquel Robinson
Wendy Raquel Robinson was born July 25, 1967, in Los Angeles, California. She is of African-American and Native American descent. Robinson is a cum laude graduate of Howard University of the School of Fine Arts and received her B.F.A. in drama. She's appeared in several plays, such as "The Vagina Monologues"...
Duane Martin is a triple threat in Hollywood and has proven himself as a true maverick with a career that expands beyond Hollywood. Not only do his good looks and impeccable comedic timing earn him respect in the acting arena, but he is an accomplished writer and producer. Duane was last seen starring in a film he wrote...
Vivica A. Fox
Vivica A. Fox was born in South Bend, Indiana, on July 30, 1964, and is the daughter of Everlyena, a pharmaceutical technician, and William Fox, a private school administrator. She is of Native American and African-American descent and is proud of her heritage. She is a graduate of Arlington High School in Indianapolis...