African American Actors & Films

by syncinup-856-402864 | created - 28 Nov 2013 | updated - 07 Dec 2013 | Public

African American Actors & Film

1. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

2. John Singleton

Writer | Boyz n the Hood

Son of mortgage broker Danny Singleton and pharmaceutical company sales executive Sheila Ward and raised in separate households by his unmarried parents, John Singleton attended the Film Writing Program at USC after graduating from high school in 1986. While studying there, he won three writing ...

3. Tyler Perry

Writer | Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Perry was born and raised in New Orleans, to Willie Maxine (Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr. His mother was a church-goer and took Perry along with her once a week. His father was a carpenter and they had a very strained and abusive relationship, which led Perry to suffer from depression as a ...

4. Keenen Ivory Wayans

Writer | White Chicks

Keenan attended college at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama but dropped out his senior year to persue comedy full time. His comic influence is Richard Pryor.

5. Damon Wayans

Actor | My Wife and Kids

An outrageous cueball-domed comedian of film and television satire, fortified by a dazzling, sly smile, New York-born Damon Wayans is the third of ten children of Elvira Alethia (Green), a social worker and singer, and Howell Wayans, a supermarket manager. He grew up humbly in the Fulton Housing ...

6. Shawn Wayans

Actor | White Chicks

Shawn Wayans was born on January 19, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Shawn M. Wayans. He is an actor and writer, known for White Chicks (2004), Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996) and Littleman (2006).

7. 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.

8. Lee Daniels

Producer | Precious

Lee Daniels gave his parents an early Christmas present when he entered the world on December 24, 1959; unfortunately, the Philadelphia native was to have a difficult relationship with his police officer father who later reacted violently to his son's sexuality. Despite the brutality of his ...

9. Damon Wayans Jr.

Actor | Big Hero 6

Damon Wayans Jr. was born at his grandmother's home in Vermont, in November 1982, and was raised in Los Angeles. He is the son of Lisa Thorner and actor Damon Wayans.

He made his film debut at age 11 in the 1994 film "Blank Man" playing the role of young Kevin. Later, Damon pursued his early passion...

10. 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.

...

11. Eddie Murphy

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian (Laney), 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...

12. 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 ...

13. Malcolm D. Lee

Director | Girls Trip

Malcolm D. Lee was born on January 11, 1970 in the USA. He is a director and producer, known for Girls Trip (2017), Undercover Brother (2002) and The Best Man Holiday (2013).

14. Tamela J. Mann

Actress | Madea Goes to Jail

Tamela J. Mann was born on June 9, 1966 in Limestone County, Texas, USA as Tamela Jean Johnson. She is an actress and producer, known for Madea Goes to Jail (2009), Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005) and Meet the Browns (2008). She has been married to David Mann since June 9, 1988. They have four ...

15. Oprah Winfrey

Producer | The Oprah Winfrey Show

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, ...

16. Kim Wayans

Actress | In Living Color

Kim Wayans was born on October 16, 1961 in New York City, New York, USA as Kim N. Wayans. She is an actress and writer, known for In Living Color (1990), My Wife and Kids (2001) and Pariah (2011). She is married to Kevin Knotts.

17. Pearl Bailey

Soundtrack | The Fox and the Hound

Her father Joseph was a minister and her mother was named Ella Mae. Her birth name was Pearly Mae but her parents anticipated she would be a boy and when a girl was born she was nicknamed "Dickie". Her brother was entertainer Bill Bailey (1912-1978). She spent her early life in Washington DC where ...

18. Dorothy Dandridge

Actress | Carmen Jones

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 ...

19. Ruby Dee

Actress | American Gangster

Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and civil rights activist. She is best known for originating the role of "Ruth Younger" in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun (1961).

She also starred in The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), Cat People (1982), ...

20. Eartha Kitt

Actress | The Emperor's New Groove

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. Her father's identity is unknown. Given away by her mother, she arrived in Harlem at age nine. At 15, she quit high school...

21. Diana Ross

Actress | Lady Sings the Blues

Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes, Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children of African-American parents Ernestine Lillian (Moten), a schoolteacher, and Fred Earl Ross, who served in the ...

22. Whoopi Goldberg

Actress | Ghost

Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1955. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi's recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in...

23. Gloria Reuben

Actress | Lincoln

Gloria Elizabeth Reuben is a Canadian born actress and singer who has amassed impressive credentials in television, film, theater, and music.

Reuben was born in Toronto, Ontario and started classical piano lessons at the age of five. It was the beginning of a lifelong love of music.

Gloria's career ...

24. Alfre Woodard

Actress | Star Trek: First Contact

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 ...

25. Lynn Whitfield

Actress | Eve's Bayou

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 ...

26. Whitney Houston

Soundtrack | The Bodyguard

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into a musical family on 9 August 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel star Cissy Houston, cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin.

She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist ...

27. Loretta Devine

Actress | Crash

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 ...

28. Angela Bassett

Actress | Strange Days

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...

29. 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 ...

30. Janet Jackson

Soundtrack | Poetic Justice

Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana, to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse) and Joe Jackson, a musician. She is the youngest of ten children. After her birth, her brothers formed a band later called The Jackson 5. She lived at home with her sisters, while ...

31. Regina King

Actress | Ray

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 (1985), followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood (1991). She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba ...

32. Queen Latifah

Actress | Chicago

Often considered hip-hop's first lady (though some would attribute that to Roxanne Shanté), the woman behind the moniker Queen Latifah was born Dana Elaine Owens on March 18, 1970, in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita (Bray), a teacher, and Lancelot Owens, Sr. She came from a ...

33. Jada Pinkett Smith

Actress | The Matrix Reloaded

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 ...

34. LisaRaye McCoy

Actress | The Players Club

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 ...

35. Monica Calhoun

Actress | The Best Man

Monica Calhoun was born on July 29, 1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is an actress and producer, known for The Best Man (1999), The Best Man Holiday (2013) and The Players Club (1998).

36. Nia Long

Actress | Big Momma's House

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 ...

37. Stacey Dash

Actress | Clueless

Stacey Dash was born in the Bronx, New York. Stacy knew that she wanted to act, and from an early age began to act professionally. She made regular appearances on The Cosby Show (1984), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), and also St. Elsewhere (1982). At 21 she made her feature film debut in Enemy...

38. Thandie Newton

Actress | Crash

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 ...

39. Kerry Washington

Actress | Scandal

Kerry Washington was born on January 31, 1977 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Kerry Marisa Washington. She is an actress and producer, known for Scandal (2012), Django Unchained (2012) and Save the Last Dance (2001). She has been married to Nnamdi Asomugha since June 24, 2013. They ...

40. Kimberly Elise

Actress | Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Kimberly Elise was born on April 17, 1967 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Kimberly Elise Trammel. She is an actress, known for Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), The Manchurian Candidate (2004) and John Q (2002). She was previously married to Maurice Oldham.

41. Mary J. Blige

Soundtrack | Mudbound

Mary J. Blige was born on January 11, 1971 in Yonkers, New York, USA as Mary Jane Blige. She was previously married to Kendu Isaacs.

42. Vivica A. Fox

Actress | Independence Day

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 ...

43. Vanessa Williams

Actress | Ugly Betty

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born in Millwood, New York, to Helen L. (Tinch) and Milton Augustine Williams, Jr., both music teachers. Vanessa and her brother grew up in suburban New York in comfortable surroundings. Vanessa sang and danced in school productions and signed her high school yearbook with...

44. Viola Davis

Actress | Fences

Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer. Her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), ...

45. Gabrielle Union

Actress | Bring It On

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. There, ...

46. Regina Hall

Actress | Scary Movie

Regina Hall was born December 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., to Ruby, a teacher, and Odie Hall, a contractor. She graduated from Fordham University in 1992, and went on to earn a master's degree in journalism from New York University before shifting to an acting career. In 1997 at age 26, she began ...

47. Sanaa Lathan

Actress | AVP: Alien vs. Predator

Sanaa Lathan, pronounced Sa-NAA, "like Sinatra without the tra", was born on September 19, 1971, in New York, as her actress mother Eleanor McCoy performed on Broadway with the likes of Eartha Kitt, and her director father Stan Lathan worked behind the scenes in television for PBS. She was exposed ...

48. Rashida Jones

Actress | Parks and Recreation

Rashida Jones was born in Los Angeles, California, the younger daughter of media mogul, producer, and musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. She has an older sister, Kidada Jones, and five half-siblings by her father's other relationships. Her father is African-American and her mother is ...

49. Paula Patton

Actress | Precious

Paula Patton was born in Los Angeles, California, to Joyce (Vanraden) and Charles Patton. Her father is African-American and her mother, who is caucasian, has German, English, and Dutch ancestry. Her family lived across the street from the 20th Century Fox lot when she was growing up and she was a ...

50. S. Epatha Merkerson

Actress | Law & Order

A native of Michigan, S. Epatha Merkerson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Wayne State University. In 1978, she moved to New York City to apply her craft on stage. Although best known since 1993 as the smart and shrewd Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the long-running TV crime drama Law &...

51. Maya Rudolph

Actress | Bridesmaids

Maya Rudolph was born on July 27, 1972 in Gainesville, Florida, to Richard Rudolph, a music producer, and soul singer Minnie Riperton. Her mother was African-American and her father is Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Lithuania, Russia, Germany, and Hungary). In 1973, Maya, her parents, and her...

52. Meagan Good

Actress | Think Like a Man

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 (1995), ...

53. Melissa De Sousa

Actress | Miss Congeniality

Melissa De Sousa was born in New York City and raised in Brooklyn and Queens. Both of her parents are from Colon, Panama. Melissa started dancing at a young age and was accepted into the renowned High School of Performing Arts in NYC where she was as a ballet major. Dancers were also required to ...

54. Patti LaBelle

Soundtrack | Licence to Kill

Patti LaBelle, born Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards, is an American singer, author, and actress. Patti began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer of the band Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. A decade later the group changed their name to Labelle and recorded the hit song "Lady Marmalade". ...

55. Jennifer Hudson

Soundtrack | Dreamgirls

Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author. Bright and booming talent Hudson is a perfect example of how NOT winning the title of American Idol (2002) can actually be a boon to your career and not necessarily the end of a ...

56. Mariah Carey

Actress | Precious

Mariah was born in Huntington, New York. She is the daughter of Patricia Carey (born: Patricia Hickey), an opera singer and vocal coach, and Alfred Roy Carey, an engineer. Her mother is of Irish descent, and her father was of African & Venezuelan descent. Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields ...

57. Tyra Banks

Actress | Coyote Ugly

Tyra Banks was born on December 4, 1973 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Tyra Lynne Banks. She is a producer and writer, known for Coyote Ugly (2000), America's Next Top Model (2003) and Tropic Thunder (2008).

58. Beyoncé

Soundtrack | Dreamgirls

Beyoncé was born & raised in Houston, Texas. Her father, Mathew Knowles, manages Destiny's Child. Her mother, Tina Knowles designs their glittering costumes. Solange, her sister (they're about 5 years apart), has released her debut album. She dances with her big sister during DC-3 concerts. Beyoncé...

59. Lauryn Hill

Soundtrack | Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Lauryn Hill, a native of South Orange, New Jersey, first came to attention with the multi-talented Fugees. Their first album, "Blunted On Reality", went virtually unnoticed by the public; their real breakthrough came with the sophomore album, "The Score", which featured "Killing Me Softly". That ...

60. Aaliyah

Soundtrack | Romeo Must Die

Talented. Beautiful. Modest. These three words described R&B singer-turned-actress Aaliyah perfectly.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Diane (Hankerson) and Michael Haughton. Her uncle was music manager Barry Hankerson and her brother is director Rashad Haughton. Aaliyah was ...

61. 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 ...

62. Anika Noni Rose

Actress | The Princess and the Frog

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 ...

63. Brandy Norwood

Actress | I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

Brandy Norwood was born on February 11, 1979 in McComb, Mississippi, USA as Brandy Rayana Norwood. She is known for her work on I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Moesha (1996) and Osmosis Jones (2001).

64. Raven-Symoné

Actress | That's So Raven

Raven-Symoné Pearman was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Lydia (Gaulden) and Christopher Pearman. At a young age, she moved to New York. While there Raven signed with the Ford Modeling Agency. They sent her out on a audition for a movie called Ghost Dad (1990), which also starred the legendary Bill ...

65. Lil' Kim

Soundtrack | Moulin Rouge!

Kimberly Denise Jones, was born on July 11, 1974, to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Mae. She is of Native American and African American descent. Standing just 4 feet 11 inches tall Kimberly Jones seems much less than being just your average girl in the hood, but when "Lil' Kim" was introduced to ...

66. Missy Elliott

Soundtrack | Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Hip-hop emcee and R&B songwriter Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott has become one of the most esteemed figures in contemporary American music, providing material for artists including MC Lyte, Adina Howard, and Jodeci, as well as working as an arranger, producer, talent ...

67. 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 ...

68. Ellen Cleghorne

Actress | Armageddon

Ellen Cleghorne was born on November 29, 1965 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She is an actress and writer, known for Armageddon (1998), Little Nicky (2000) and Coyote Ugly (2000).

69. Yvette Nicole Brown

Actress | Community

Yvette Nicole Brown was born on August 12, 1971 in East Cleveland, Ohio, USA. She is an actress, known for Community (2009), Repo Men (2010) and Meet Dave (2008).

70. Quvenzhané Wallis

Actress | Beasts of the Southern Wild

Wallis was born in Houma, Louisiana, to Qulyndreia (Jackson) Wallis, a teacher, and Venjie Wallis, Sr., a truck driver. She has one sister, Qunyquekya, and two brothers, Vejon and Venjie, Jr. "Quven", the first part of her name, combines the first syllables of her parents' first names. Wallis, at ...

71. Jaden Smith

Actor | The Karate Kid

Jaden Smith is a movie actor, known for The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), The Karate Kid (2010) and After Earth (2013). In addition to being an actor he is also a dancer, songwriter and rapper who won an MTV award for his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness. He co-starred with his father Will ...

72. James Earl Jones

Actor | Rogue One

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: ...

73. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

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 ...

74. Harry Belafonte

Actor | Bobby

Harold George Belafonte was born on March 1, 1927 in New York City. He was educated at the New York Dramatic Workshop. He grew up in Jamaica, British West Indies, and did folk-singing in nightclubs and theaters, and on television and records. His debut was at the Village Vanguard in New York. Also,...

75. Ossie Davis

Actor | Do the Right Thing

Ossie Davis was born on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia, USA as Raiford Chatman Davis. He was an actor and writer, known for Do the Right Thing (1989), Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) and Grumpy Old Men (1993). He was married to Ruby Dee. He died on February 4, 2005 in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

76. Bill Cosby

Actor | The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high...

77. 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 ...

78. Danny Glover

Actor | Lethal Weapon

Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 35 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 ...

79. Garrett Morris

Actor | Coneheads

Garrett Morris was born on February 1, 1937 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Garrett Gonzalez Morris. He is an actor, known for Coneheads (1993), Saturday Night Live (1975) and Ant-Man (2015). He has been married to Freda Morris since September 20, 1996.

80. Bill Cobbs

Actor | Demolition Man

Bill Cobbs was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where his parents were hard-working people, who instilled in him a sense of self-reliance and humility. As an amateur actor in the city's Karamu House Theater, he starred in the Ossie Davis play "Purlie Victorious". Cobbs was an Air Force radar ...

81. 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...

82. Ernie Hudson

Actor | Grace and Frankie

As a child growing up in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Ernie Hudson wrote short stories, poems and songs, always thinking that his words might one day come to life on stage. After a short stint in the Marine Corps, he moved to Detroit where he became the resident playwright at Concept East, the oldest ...

83. Tommy Davidson

Self | Vacation Creation

Davidson started his career as a stand-up comedian in Washington DC, earning an ardent following with sheer hard work in various comedy clubs. As one of the cutting-edge, young stand-ups, he was spotted by major concert promoters, who booked him as the opening act for A-list touring acts, including ...

84. David Alan Grier

Actor | In Living Color

David Alan Grier was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Aretas Ruth (Dudley), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Grier, a psychiatrist and writer. He trained in Shakespeare at Yale University, where he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Grier began his professional career on Broadway as ...

85. 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 ...

86. 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 ...

87. 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 ...

88. Arsenio Hall

Actor | Coming to America

Arsenio Hall was born on February 12, 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He is a producer and actor, known for Coming to America (1988), Black Dynamite (2009) and Amazon Women on the Moon (1987).

89. 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), ...

90. 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 film The Last King of Scotland (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to...

91. 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 ...

92. Larenz Tate

Actor | Crash

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 ...

93. Martin Lawrence

Actor | Martin

Martin Lawrence was born on April 16, 1965 in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany as Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence. He is an actor and writer, known for Martin (1992), Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys (1995). He has been married to Shamicka Gibbs since July 10, 2010. They have two children. He was ...

94. Bill Bellamy

Actor | The Bounce Back

1 brother (deceased) - per TV series "UnSung Hollywood - Bill Bellamy" (S3 Ep7)

Recently aired on TVOne as a repeat on 11/16/2016, It's a Documentary show which details archival film footage and personal, revealing interviews, about the lives and careers of some of the world's most highly talented ...

95. John Witherspoon

Actor | Friday

John Witherspoon was born on January 27, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, USA as John Weatherspoon. He is known for his work on Friday (1995), Next Friday (2000) and Littleman (2006). He has been married to Angela Robinson Witherspoon since 1988. They have two children.

96. Tupac Shakur

Soundtrack | Poetic Justice

Born in New York City, Tupac grew up primarily in Harlem. In 1984, his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he became good friends with Jada Pinkett Smith. His family moved again in 1988 to Oakland, California. His first breakthrough in music came in 1991 as a member of the group Digital ...

97. Cuba Gooding Jr.

Actor | Jerry Maguire

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 ...

98. Omar Gooding

Actor | Baby Boy

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, both of whom were singers and entertainers. His father, now deceased, was the lead singer...

99. Jamie Foxx

Actor | Django Unchained

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 biographical film Ray (2004). The same year, he was nominated for the Academy...

100. Malik Yoba

Actor | Cool Runnings

Malik Yoba was born on September 17, 1967 in Bronx, New York, USA as Abdul-Malik Yoba. He is an actor and writer, known for Cool Runnings (1993), New York Undercover (1994) and Cop Land (1997). He has been married to Cat Wilson since December 21, 2003. He was previously married to Trisha Mann.



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