|Date of Birth||15 July 1961, Longview, Texas, USA|
|Birth Name||Forest Steven Whitaker|
|Height||6' 2" (1.88 m)|
Mini Bio (2)
Forest Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. The athletically-inclined Whitaker initially found his way into college via a football scholarship. Later, however, he transferred to USC where he set his concentration on music and earned two more scholarships training as an operatic tenor. This, in turn, led to another scholarship at Berkeley with a renewed focus on acting and the performing stage.
Whitaker made his film debut at the age of 21 in the raucous comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) wherein he played, quite naturally, a footballer. He went on to play another sports-oriented student, a wrestler, in his second film Vision Quest (1985). He gained experience on TV as well with featured spots on such varied shows as Diff'rent Strokes (1978) and Cagney & Lacey (1981), not to mention the TV-movie Civil War epic North and South (1985) and its sequel. The movie that truly put him on the map was The Color of Money (1986). His one big scene as a naive-looking pool player who out-hustles Paul Newman's Fast Eddie Felson was pure electricity. This led to more visible roles in the "A" class films Platoon (1986), Stakeout (1987), and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), which culminated in his breakout lead portrayal of the tortured jazz icon 'Charlie "Bird" Parker' in Clint Eastwood's passion project Bird (1988), for which Whitaker won the Cannes Film Festival award for "best actor" and a Golden Globe nomination.
While his "gentle giant" characters typically display innocence, indecision, and timidity along with a strong underlying humanity, he has certainly not shied away from the edgier, darker corners of life as his occasional hitmen and other menacing streetwise types can attest. Although in only the first section of the film, he was memorable as the IRA-captured British soldier whose bizarre relationship with a mysterious femme fatale serves as the catalyst for the critically-lauded drama The Crying Game (1992). Always a willing participant to push the envelope, he's gone on to enhance a number of lesser films. Among those was his plastic surgeon in Johnny Handsome (1989), gay clothing designer in Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter (1994), alien hunter in Species (1995), absentee father confronted by his estranged son in Smoke (1995), and Mafia hitman who models himself after the samurai warrior in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), among many others. As would be expected, he's also had his share of epic-sized bombs, notoriously the L. Ron Hubbard sci-fi disaster Battlefield Earth (2000). On the TV front, he was the consulting producer and host of a revamped Rod Serling's cult series classic The Twilight Zone (2002), which lasted a disappointing one season.
In the early 1990s, Whitaker widened his horizons to include producing/directing and has since gained respect behind the camera as well. He started things off co-producing the violent gangster film A Rage in Harlem (1991), in which he co-starred with Gregory Hines and Robin Givens, and then made his successful directorial debut with the soulful Waiting to Exhale (1995), showcasing a legion of distaff black stars. He also directed co-star Whitney Houston's music video of the movie's theme song ("Shoop Shoop"). Most recently, he scored with audiences helming the fluffy romantic comedy First Daughter (2004) with Katie Holmes and Michael Keaton.
He is married to former model Keisha Whitaker and has three children by her. His younger brothers Kenn Whitaker and Damon Whitaker are both actors as well. Whitaker's multimedia company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, includes film, television and music production. He works closely with a number of charitable organizations, giving back to his community by serving as an Honorary Board Members for Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers, the Human Rights Watch and The Hope North organization.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / firstname.lastname@example.org
Forest Steven Whitaker was born in Longview, Texas July 15, 1961. His family moved to South Central Los Angeles in 1965. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Keisha and his children. American actor, producer, and director. Whitaker won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland. Whitaker has also won a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA. He became the fourth African American male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, following in the footsteps of Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, and Jamie Foxx. Later this year, Forest will release the Warner Bros. film "Where the Wild Things Are," directed by Spike Jonze, which is a mix of live-action, animation and puppetry as an adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic children's book, for which an October 16, 2009 release date has been set. "Repossession Mambo" with Jude Law, "Hurricane Season" and "Winged Creatures" will also release this year, along with "Powder Blue," which will release on April 24, 2009. Forest most recently wrapped filming the Olivier Dahan film "My Own Love Song" opposite Renee Zellweger. He just returned from Nigeria after being part of The African Movie Academy Awards 2009. He is one of Hollywood's most accomplished actors/directors/producers who has showcased his talents in a multitude of demanding and diverse roles. He has earned a reputation for intensive character study work for films such as Bird and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Whitaker has a long history of working with well-regarded film directors and fellow actors. In his first onscreen role of note, he played a football player in 1982 coming-of-age teen-comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In 1986, he appeared in Martin Scorsese's film, The Color of Money, and in Oliver Stone's Platoon. The following year, he co-starred with Robin Williams in the comedy Good Morning, Vietnam. In 1988, he had the lead role as musician Charlie Parker in the Clint Eastwood-directed film, Bird. His performance, earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination. Whitaker continued to work with a number of well-known directors throughout the 1990s. He starred in the 1990 movie "Downtown". In his 1992 film, The Crying Game. In 1994, he was a member of the cast that won the first ever National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble for Robert Altman's film, Prêt-à-Porter. He also costarred in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's 1995 film, Smoke. He starred in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, a 1999 film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. He co-starred in Joel Schumacher's 2002 thriller, Phone Booth, with Kiefer Sutherland and Colin Farrell. That year, he also co-starred with Jodie Foster in Panic Room. Whitaker's greatest success to date is the 2006 film, The Last King of Scotland. His performance earned him the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, For that same role, he also received the Golden Globe Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award, and many critical accolades. He has also received several other honors. In September 2006, the 10th Annual Hollywood Film Festival presented him with its "Hollywood Actor of the Year Award," He was also honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2007, receiving the American Riviera Award. Previously, in 2005, the Deauville Festival of American Film paid tribute to him. In 2007, Forest Whitaker won the "Cinema for Peace Award 2007. In 2007 Whitaker co-starred in The Great Debaters with fellow Oscar winner Denzel Washington. Last year, Whitaker played opposite Keanu Reeves in Street Kings, and together with Dennis Quaid in Vantage Point. In 1985 started his career in Television guest starring and appearing in many different popular series and TV shows. Producing and directing. Whitaker branched out into producing and directing in the 1990s. He co-produced and co-starred in A Rage in Harlem in 1991. He made his directorial debut with a grim film about inner-city gun violence, Strapped, for HBO in 1993. In 1995, he directed his first feature, Waiting to Exhale, which was based on the Terry McMillan novel of the same name. Whitaker also directed co-star Whitney Houston's music video of the movie's theme song ("Shoop Shoop"). Whitaker continued his directing career with the 1998 romantic comedy, Hope Floats, starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. He directed Katie Holmes in the romantic comedy, First Daughter in 2004. Whitaker also served as an executive producer on First Daughter. He had previously executive produced several made-for-television movies, most notably the 2002 Emmy-award winning Door to Door, starring William H. Macy. He produced these projects through his production company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, which he shut down in 2005 to concentrate on his acting career. Forest was given a star on the Hollywood Walk in April of 2007. In November 2007, Whitaker was the creative mind behind DEWmocracy.com, a website that let people decide the next flavor of Mountain Dew in a "People's Dew" poll. He directed a short film and created the characters for the video game. Forest Whitaker, has done extensive humanitarian work, he has been involved with organizations like, Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers. PETA and Farm Sanctuary, organizations that protect animals' rights. Close friends with Neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, Forest has helped raise awareness and funds for Dr. Blacks research. During the last couple of years, he has become a spokesperson for Hope North Ugandan orphanage and Human Rights Watch. In the year 2001 Forest received a Humanitas Prize. He was recently honored by The City of Los Angeles with the Hope of Los Angeles Award. And his entire clan received the LA BEST Family Focus Award. Last year he joined forces with "Idol Gives Back" and "Malaria No More"; he has become a GQ Ambassador supporting and fundraising for Hope North. He was a Surrogate for Barrack Obama's campaign supporting him across the United States.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: The Whitaker Team
|Keisha Whitaker||(4 May 1996 - present) (2 children)|