Underrated Black Male Actors

This is a random list of black actors who are able to give a great performance, but still get over shadow by bigger name stars.
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1.
Terrence Howard
Actor, Iron Man
Terrence Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Anita Jeanine Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His love for acting came naturally, through summers spent with his great-grandmother, New York stage actress Minnie Gentry. He later began his acting career after being discovered on a New York City street by a casting director...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
Clarence Williams III
Actor, Mod Squad
As the son of a displaced musician, Harlem-born African-American actor Clarence Williams III was raised by his musical grandparents, the legendary jazz and boogie-woogie composer/pianist Clarence Williams, who wrote such classics as "T'Aint Nobody's Business If I Do" and "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home," and blues singer Eva Taylor (1895-1977)...
 
4.
Larenz Tate
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...
 
5.
Keith David
Actor, Platoon
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...
 
7.
Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young was born as the son of Velma Love and Tommy Scott Young. When he was in second grade his parents split up and he went to live with his mother. At age ten, he portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King in a play called "A Night of Stars and Dreams". That's when Lee decided he wanted to be an actor...
“ R.I.P ” - jobei84
 
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Djimon Hounsou
Actor, Gladiator
Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He moved to Lyon, France, when he was 13. Hounsou has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model. He has since left his modeling career and has worked on Gladiator by Ridley Scott and Amistad by Steven Spielberg.
 
13.
Jeffrey Wright
Quite possibly the most underrated and underexposed actor of his caliber and generation, Jeffrey Wright's undeniable talent and ability to successfully bring to life any role he undertakes is on a par with the most praised and revered A-list actors in the business. Born and raised in Washington DC, Wright graduated from the prestigious Amherst College in 1987...
 
14.
Bokeem Woodbine
Actor, Ray
Bokeem Woodbine grew up in Harlem, New York. At the age of 19, he secured the lead role in the HBO production of Forest Whitaker's directorial debut Strapped. Bokeem moved to Los Angeles shortly after completing the film Jason's Lyric, and has pursued his dream of becoming a noteworthy film actor while balancing a passion for musical expression...
 
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18.
Anthony Mackie
Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Drowning Crow...
 
19.
Michael Ealy
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"...
 
20.
Billy Dee Williams
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 episodes of the original Star Wars-trilogy: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi...
 
22.
James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred in many films over a 40-year period, beginning with the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. He is...
 
23.
John Amos
Actor, Die Hard 2
A native of New Jersey and son of a mechanic, African-American John Amos has relied on his imposing build, eruptive nature and strong, forceful looks to obtain acting jobs, and a serious desire for better roles to earn a satisfying place in the annals of film and TV. He has found it a constant uphill...
 
24.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Emmy-nominated actor and director Malcolm-Jamal Warner was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was named after Malcolm X and legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal. Warner first rose to national prominence by starring on the celebrated and long-running classic television series "The Cosby Show."...
 
27.
Peter Mensah
Actor, Avatar
Peter Mensah has been doing martial arts since he was 6 years old, growing up in St. Albans, England, just north of London. A former engineer, Mensah came to Canada 11 years ago. He'd worked for British Gas developing gas fields at Morecambe Bay and had done theatre in school. He comes from an academic family...
 
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Samuel Monroe Jr.
Actor, Set It Off
Emerging from the streets of L.A., Samuel "Caffamilliano" Monroe, Jr., of Los Angeles, California, has embarked upon success. Starting out as a young actor Samuel Monroe Jr,"Caffamilliano", Landed his first roll as an actor in Patti LaBelle's Hit TV series "Out All Night" (Episode: Taking Care of Business as Dion)...
 
31.
Omar Gooding
Omar Gooding, an American actor and producer, is the youngest son of an African-American and Barbadian or Bajan (from Barbados) father, Cuba Gooding, and an African-American and Irish mother, Shirley Sullivan, who were both singers and entertainers. His recently deceased father was the lead singer of the internationally known R&B group The Main Ingredient...
 
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