African American A List Actors

A List Actors
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1.
Denzel Washington
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...
 
2.
Morgan Freeman
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...
 
3.
Louis Gossett Jr.
Actor, Enemy Mine
Louis Cameron Gossett Jr. was born on May 27, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York City. He made his professional acting debut at age 17, winning the Donaldson Award as best newcomer to theatre. He went to New York University on a basketball scholarship and was invited to try out for the New York Knicks, yet...
 
4.
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance, Unbreakable, Shaft, Formula 51, Black Snake Moan, Snakes on a Plane, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
 
6.
Jamie Foxx
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...
 
7.
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...
 
8.
Will Smith
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...
 
9.
Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia...
 
10.
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...
 
11.
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...
 
12.
Taye Diggs
Actor, Chicago
Taye Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was raised in Rochester, New York. He is the son of Marcia (Berry), a teacher and actress, and Andre Young, a visual artist. When he was a child, his mother married Jeffries Diggs, whose surname Taye took. He received a BFA degree in musical theater from Syracuse University...
 
14.
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...
 
15.
Blair Underwood
Actor, Gattaca
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...
 
16.
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.
 
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18.
Hill Harper
Actor, CSI: NY
Hill Harper, an accomplished film, television and stage actor, stars in the hit CBS drama series, CSI: NY. He portrays "Dr. Sheldon Hawkes", a reclusive coroner who walked away from a promising surgical career after the traumatic loss of two patients. This February, he will star in the HBO movie...
 
19.
Shemar Moore
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.
 
21.
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 mother transplanted her family to Brooklyn after his parents divorced...
 
22.
Omar Epps
Actor, House M.D.
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...
 
24.
Columbus Short
Actor, Accepted
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...
 
25.
Omari Hardwick
Actor, The A-Team
Born "Omari Latif Hardwick," he grew up in Decatur, Georgia. Hardwick's parents gave him a name to set a precedent, "Omari" meaning "most high," and "Latif" meaning "gentle." He shares, "I in no way believe that I am the highest or most high, but I feel like my name gives me something to strive for." Growing up...
 
26.
Laz Alonso
Actor, Avatar
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...
 
27.
Hosea Chanchez
Actor, The Game
Chanchez was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and spent the majority of his childhood in Atlanta. He was raised by a loving family who recognized his talents and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. From the moment he sang along to his grandmother's records, Chanchez displayed an inherent knack for performance...
 
29.
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...
 
31.
Jamie Hector
Actor, Bosch
Jamie Hector (born October 7, 1975 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.) is an American actor of Haitian descent who is known for his portrayal of Marlo Stanfield on the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire. Jamie Hector began acting immediately after high school when he auditioned for a community theater company...
 
32.
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...
 
33.
Mehcad Brooks
Actor, Supergirl
Mehcad Brooks continues to rise as one of Hollywood's most promising stars. Brooks was in USA's new drama Necessary Roughness, in which he portrayed Terrence "TK" King, the star wide receiver for the Hawks who is becoming notorious for his frequent fumbles -- not to mention his regular run-ins with the law...
 
34.
Common
First known as a rapper who became one of the more prominent voices in hip-hop's new millennium renaissance, Common later transitioned into acting. He was born in Chicago, and is the son of educator Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines and Lonnie Lynn, an ABA basketball player turned youth counselor. On October 6...
 
35.
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...
 
38.
Morris Chestnut
Actor, Kick-Ass 2
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...
 
39.
Boris Kodjoe
Actor, Surrogates
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...
 
40.
Mekhi Phifer
Actor, ER
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's Clockers and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel and Delroy Lindo...
 
41.
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"...
 
42.
Tristan Mack Wilds
Actor, 90210
Tristan Wilds was born in Staten Island, New York. In 2005, at the age of 15, Tristan made his television debut as AJ in the mini-series Miracle Boys. After that, he took his talents to a different venue and tried his hand in theater. He worked with Phylicia Rashad and the Roundabout Theater Company in the workshops Wool and Stockholm Brooklyn as Bryce for the Cherry Lane Theater...
 
44.
Corbin Bleu
Cobin Bleu was born Corbin Bleu Reivers on February 21, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York City, to Martha (Callari) and David Reivers, an actor. His mother is of Italian descent and his father is Jamaican. Corbin began appearing in television commercials at the age two, for products such as Life cereal...
 
45.
Pooch Hall
Actor, The Game
Pooch Hall was born on February 8th 1976 in Brockton, Massachusetts. There he played football, ran track and boxed. Pooch won the Southern New England golden gloves in 1994. He started acting at the age of 21. He started in commercials and then made his debut in the film Lift. He played Derrick...
 
47.
Duane Martin
Actor, All of Us
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...
 
48.
Jesse Williams
Jesse Wesley Williams born August 5, 1981 is an American actor, model, and activist, best known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series Grey's Anatomy. He also appears in the hit 2013 film Lee Daniels' The Butler as real life civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson. Previous roles include Holden in The Cabin in the Woods (2012)...
 
49.
Michael B. Jordan
Actor, Creed
Michael B. Jordan, middle of three children, was born in Santa Ana, California and raised in Newark, New Jersey by Donna (Davis), and Michael A. Jordan. His middle name Bakari means "noble promise" in Swahili. Jordan has starred in three of the most critically acclaimed television dramas of the past decade...
 
50.
Chiwetel Ejiofor
English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, 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, the Operative in Serenity...
 
51.
Don Cheadle
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 Denver...
 
52.
Wesley Snipes
Actor, Blade
Wesley Trent Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, to Maryann (Long), a teacher's assistant, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer. He grew up on the streets of the South Bronx in New York City, where he very early decided that the theater was to be his career. He attended the High School for the Performing Arts (popularized in Fame)...
 
53.
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...
 
54.
Danny Glover
Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. Glover was born in San Francisco, California, to Carrie (Hunley) and James Glover, postal workers who were also active in civil rights. Glover trained at the Black Actors' Workshop of the American Conservatory Theater...
 
55.
Mykelti Williamson
Actor, Con Air
Perhaps best remembered for his touching performance as "Bubba" opposite Tom Hanks in the Academy Award-winning Forrest Gump, Mykelti Williamson is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, who has been steadily honing his craft since he first began acting professionally at the age of 18...
 
56.
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...
 
57.
Sidney Poitier
A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with his brother...
 
59.
Chris Rock
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. Rock has been in stand-up comedy for several decades...
 
60.
Eriq La Salle
Actor, ER
Born and raised in Hartford, CT, as one of four children. Studied two years at Juilliard and graduated from New York University graduate theater program with a B.F.A. degree in theater. Meanwhile he participated in the first of Joseph Papp's Shakespeare productions at the Park theater company. Later he supported himself by acting on and off Broadway and as "Mike Rivers" in the soap One Life to Live...
 
61.
Giancarlo Esposito
Music Department, The Electric Company
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an Italian carpenter/stagehand father from Naples and an opera-singing African-American mother from Alabama. His parents, working in Europe at the time of his birth, settled in Manhattan by the time he was six, and that's where he grew up...
 
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64.
Jason George
Actor, Eve
 
65.
Ving Rhames
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...
 
66.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Born and raised in London, England, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje began his career as a model in Milan. He graduated with a masters degree in Law from London's prestigious Kings College, before moving to Los Angeles to make the transition to acting. Fluent in several languages, including English, Italian...
 
69.
Chris Brown
Soundtrack, Ted
 
70.
T.I.
Soundtrack, The Hangover
T.I. was born Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. on September 25, 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Violeta Morgan and Clifford "Buddy" Harris, Sr. He is also known as T.I.P. and "Rubberband Man". T.I. is from the streets of Westside Bankhead Zone 1 in Atlanta. His original stage name, T.I.P., it stems from his childhood nickname "Tip"...
 
71.
Michael Beach
Born and raised in the rough inner city Roxbury area of Boston, Beach was an athlete who never expected to be an actor. After performing in a few high school plays, he auditioned for, got accepted to and later graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School Of Drama in NYC. For the past thirty years...
 
72.
Ludacris
Soundtrack, The Hangover
Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Illinois, where he was raised, the son of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges. At nine years old, he started rapping. He attended Emerson Middle School and, eventually, Oak Park and River Forest High School for his freshman year. Furthermore...
 
73.
Ice Cube
Producer, 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 of the classic cuts from their debut LP "Straight Outta Compton" (Ruthless/Priority...
 
74.
Chris Tucker
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 show business...
 
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76.
Eddie Murphy
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian, a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant. His siblings are Charlie Murphy and Vernon Lynch...
 
77.
D.L. Hughley
Hughley is the second of four children. His father was an airline maintenance worker and his mother was a homemaker. He grew up in L.A.'s South Central where he was a member of the Bloods gang after getting kicked out of high school. However, he turned his life around after a cousin was shot. He quit the gang and got a job as a telemarketer for the Los Angeles Times...
 
79.
Redd Foxx
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 records became available...
 
81.
Mario Van Peebles
Mario Van Peebles is a highly regarded director, actor, producer and writer. His directorial skills can be seen in the retelling of the epic mini-series "Roots" starring Forest Whitaker and Matthew Goode. Van Pebbles has directed award-winning shows such as the recent hit "Empire" and "The Last Ship,"...
 
82.
D.B. Woodside
Actor, 24
 
83.
Delroy Lindo
Actor, Up
On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X is what first attracted attention to Lindo's considerable talents. Since then, his star has slowly been on the rise...
 
84.
Usher Raymond
Usher Raymond IV was born in Dallas, Texas, to Jonetta Patton (née O'Neal) and Usher Raymond III. He began singing when he was six years old, joining the local church choir at the behest of his mother who acted as choir director. Jonetta, a single mom, raised Usher and his younger brother, James, in Chattanooga...
 
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86.
Tupac Shakur
Soundtrack, Django Unchained
Notorious 25-year-old gangsta MC and actor Tupac Shakur was shot and killed before he had a chance to fulfill the promise of a successful career in both fields. He was born in New York City and his mother, Afeni Shakur, was a member of the Black Panther Party. Shakur spent much of his youth in Harlem...
 
88.
Idris Elba
Actor, Prometheus
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...
 
89.
Tyrese Gibson
Tyrese Darnell Gibson was born December 30, 1978 in Watts, Los Angeles, California, where he was raised. He is an R&B singer, songwriter, actor, author, television producer and model. He is well known for his actor role as Roman Pearce in the The Fast and Furious movie franchise. Other popular movies Tyrese has acted in are Death Race...
 
90.
DMX
Soundtrack, Deadpool
 
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92.
Henry Simmons
Actor, NYPD Blue
Henry Simmons was born in Stamford, Connecticut, one of three children to Aurelia, a school teacher, and Henry Simmons, Sr., an IRS agent. One of his sisters is his twin. Simmons earned a basketball scholarship at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire. He graduated with a business degree and went to work for a Stamford financial firm...
 
94.
Fredro Starr
Was 1/3 of the Hip Hop group Onyx, the group debuted in 1993, Onyx won Soul Train's 1993 Best Rap Album of the year over Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Fredro has offically retired from rap. He is now only concentrating on his budding acting career which spans a total of 10 years. His last 2 solo albums were received with little or any good reviews...
 
96.
Terry Crews
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 1988 MAC champion WMU Broncos...
 
97.
Brandon T. Jackson
Brandon Timothy Jackson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Beverly Yvonne (Bozeman) and Wayne Timothy Jackson. His parents are both pastors, and his maternal grandfather was a Pentecostal child preacher. He credits his sense of humor to both his father and his life straddling the fence between suburbia and the inner city...
 
98.
Shad Moss
Actor, Like Mike
Shad Gregory Moss was born on March 9, 1987 in Columbus, Ohio to Teresa Rena (Jones) and Alfonso Preston Moss. When Shad was five, he started his rap career using the nickname "Kid Gangsta." One year later, he took front stage during "The Chronic Tour" and impressed rapper Snoop Dogg, who later gave him the name Lil' Bow Wow...
 
99.
Adolph Caesar
Born in the Harlem section of New York City, joined the Navy, then studied drama at New York University; was an announcer for then joined the Negro Ensemble Co. in 1970 for such productions as "The River Niger", "Square Root of the Soul" and "The Brownsville Raid"; worked with repertory groups such as the Minnesota Theater Co....
 
100.
Al Freeman Jr.
Actor, Malcolm X
Al Freeman, Jr. was an actor and director who was the first African American to win a Daytime Emmy Award for acting. His most famous role was that of Police Captain Ed Hall in the soap opera One Life to Live, which brought him the Emmy in 1979. He was a regular on the soap from 1972 through 1987, and appeared off and on as Captain Hall from 1988 through 2000...