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The Best Black African-American Actors in Hollywood

Updated on March 8, 2012

The Best Black African-American Actors in Hollywood

The Best African-American actors in Hollywood

There are many African-American actors in Hollywood and they are all great in their own rights. In this article, I will pay a tribute to most of them like :

  • Forest Whitaker
  • Denzel Washington
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Will Smith
  • Sidney Poitier
  • Jamie Foxx

The heritage of black African-American actors are rich and they integrate well into Hollywood films. There are well known artists, directors and members of the film industry who excel on their own chosen field.

And they are in the major stream of Hollywood films.

There are many others Black African-American actors and if you have suggestions, feel free to comment and suggest.

FOREST WHITAKER
FOREST WHITAKER

Best African-American actors in Hollywood 1 -- Forest Whitaker captured my attention when he played the role of General Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland in 2006. He won an Oscars for that role.

He is an American actor, producer and director, a very talented actor indeed. He won other awards for his roles in different films from Globe and BAFTA. He became the fourth African American to win an Academy Award for Best actor, following in the footsteps of Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx.

His acting in the films The Bird and the Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai are awesome too.

MORGAN FREEMAN
MORGAN FREEMAN
DENZEL WASHINGTON
DENZEL WASHINGTON
DENZEL WASHINGTON
DENZEL WASHINGTON
WIll SMITH, MEN IN BLACK
WIll SMITH, MEN IN BLACK
WILL SMITH
WILL SMITH
SIDNEY POITIER
SIDNEY POITIER
JAMIE FOXX
JAMIE FOXX

 

 

Best African-American actors in Hollywood 2 -- Morgan Freeman is an actor, narrator and film director. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice.Freeman received Academy award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy and the Shawshank Redemption. He won an award to his role in "Million Dollar Baby".

He appeared in many films such as Deep Impact, Unforgiven glory, The Sum of all fears, Almighty, Batman Begins, The Bucket List, Evan Almighty, Wanted and the Dark Knight.

Best African-American actors in Hollywood 3 -- Denzel Washington is an American producer actor, screen writer. He received acting awards three times for Golden Globe and two Academy awards for his acting. I like him in the film “Training day“.

He has garnered praises for his acting since 1990s for his portrayals of Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas and Herman Boone. In 1993, he portrays the role of a homophobic lawyer of a homosexual man with AIDS in the movie “Philadelphia” starring Tom Hanks. He became a renowned Hollywood leading man, starring in several successful thrillers, including The Pelican Brief, and Crimson Tide also in the comedy Much Ado About Nothing” and alongside brilliant singer Whitney Houston in the romantic drama The Preachers Wife“.

Best African-American actors in Hollywood 4 -- Will Smith is a versatile actor, rapper, producer of record and film plus a darling of the television, and started his career in 1985. I followed through his television career in The Prince of Bel-Aire which ended in May 1996. He became a solo artist afterwards.

Smith began a successful solo music career while simultaneously starring in a series of films. He starred first in two films, the “Men in Black I and II” and Independence Day in 1996 and 1997 respectively. He was praised for his acting in the latter. I like him in the movie "The Hitch” , Bad Boys II and I, Robot.He turned down the role of Neo in “The Matrix“ which went to Keanu Reeves. He has one hit theme song with the movie the Men in Black movie “Getting Jiggy with It“, Just the two of us, Big Willie style, and “Willennium“.

He turned down the role of Neo in “The Matrix“ which went to Keanu Reeves.

Best African-American actors in Hollywood 5 -- Sidney Poitier is an American-Bahamian actor producer, film director , author and diplomat.

In 2001, Poitier received an Academy Honorary Award for his overall contribution to American cinema. He is the first African American to win in the Oscars. In August 2009, Poitier received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama too.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Poitier one of the Greatest Male Stars of All Time. He is also the Bahamian ambassador to Japan since 1997. It was in 2002, when he was chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an honorary award that says "To Sidney Poitier in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being”.

He broke through as a star in acclaimed performances in American films and plays, which, by consciously defying racial stereotyping, gave a new dramatic credibility for black actors to mainstream film audiences in the Western world.

He starred in the film “Lilies of the Field“, “To Sir with love“, In the heat of the night“, and “Guess who’s coming to dinner”.

Best African-American actors in Hollywood 6 -- Jamie Foxx is an actor, singer and stand up comedian who won best actor at the Oscars and BAFTA for his portrayal for the film “Ray“.He told people that he got his name Jamie because of a dare from a girlfriend, and during his first careers he noticed that female stand up comedians were called first, so he chose a neutral name, he got his surname as a tribute to actor “Redd Foxx“.

He has also won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a musical/comedy and has been nominated for several Grammy Awards. I like him personally because he always acknowledge his grandmother every time he has a chance to speak about her. He also plays football as quarterback in his high school years. I like him most in the film Ray. He got a scholarship and pursued music composition in college.

From 1996 to 2001, Foxx starred in his own sitcom The Jamie Foxx show, and in 1992 he made his film debut. His first dramatic role came in Oliver Stones' 1999 film Any Given Sunday, where he portrayed a hard-partying American football player

Foxx has a role of a taxi drive in the film Collateral which earned him best supporting actor nomination. He also appeared in the films Miami Vice, Jarhead and Dreamgirls too and the Kingdom. He was awarded Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 and he said that It was one of the most amazing days of his life.

There are lot of other noted African-American actor like Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby among others.

CHRIS ROCK
CHRIS ROCK
CHRIS TUCKER and JACKIE CAHN
CHRIS TUCKER and JACKIE CAHN
BILL COSBY
BILL COSBY
EDDIE MURPHY
EDDIE MURPHY

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    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      These guys are certainly on the short list of A-list Hollywood Actors. I remember Will Smith when he was only known as, "The Fresh Prince." I remember learning that he became a millionaire at the age of 18 and before then, he turned down a scholarship from M.I.T.! Isn't that amazing? Yeah, he's pretty doggone smart besides from being multi-talented.

      Thanks for a wonderful hub, Maita! You really did some good research on this one ;)

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 7 years ago from Canada

      Definitely great actors and always see and buy their movies! great info! :)

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

      Great choices I watch almost anything with Morgan Freeman, and Will Smith and Denzel are great also. Nice Hub. thanks

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm a long time big big fan of Forrest Whitaker!

      And Will Smith is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood - in fact he was described as 'most bankable' so I wrote a hub about him - being the most bankable.

      I know for sure if Forrest Whitaker is in it I can watch it.

      Fun hub - thanks!

    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      Interesting and compelling compilation of African American men who have been successful in the entertainment business. Should I look for African American women soon?

      Enjoyable hub!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi RevLady, yes I will try to have a hub on African-American women too, thanks for the read, maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Dohn, yes I remember that Will Smith is very rich indeed but he should have taken the scholarship, well, money is a big come on, thanks for the read, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Dame, I also watched them everytime they have a new movie, thanks BTW for the read, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi BK, thnaks for the read, I will look for your article about Will Smith, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Truth, I agree with you about Morgan Freeman, I like him too, Maita

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      I agree with you on all counts. I think you should add Samuel Jackson as well. I loved him in "Amos and Andrew", "Long Kiss Goodnight", "Loaded Weapon I", and "The Man". Check them out. Most are very funny. He plays a humorous role in the serious movie "Long Kiss Goodnight". I like your choices.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Oh I forgot Samuel, hmm I need to edit and add him towards the end, tomorrow bit tired now, thanks so much Micky, Maita

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Forest Whitaker is a terrific actor; I like James Earl Jones and Wesley Snipes, too. Fun post, Maita!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Chris, I will add Earl and Wesley, thanks for reading this hub, Maita

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      As long as the list has Morgan Freeman as far as I am concerned it is complete . Good job Maita !

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi tony, morning,thanks, yes Morgan is best! how are you? Maita

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      I am good thank you sweetie , I hope the same goes for you

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      get well soon, you drink lots of juice, Maita

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 7 years ago

      I love to read these short bios. These are defientely the best of the best. Morgan Freeman is probably my favorite because of his persona, then Will Smith because he can do both serious and comic. A loyal fan to all of them though. Great work.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      yes I agree with you, they are the best of the best indeed, thanks for the read ehern, maita

    • mintinfo profile image

      mintinfo 7 years ago

      Great Hub. I agree that all these actors deserve to be where they are. I also feel bad for some other actors such as Blair Underwood who is amazing but never seemed to get the breaks that elevated some of these other Stars. Hollywood is not a friendly place for Black actors.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hi mintinfo, I am glad you read this hub, that is why I am paying tribute to them, and yes there are a lot of actors who needs recognition too, Maita

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Love all these guys! I actually met Sidney Poitier in Nassau years ago, and he was super nice!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      wow, you met him, that's great habee, thnaks for the read, maita

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      You read my mind I like everyone on your list Good Article

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hi Coolmon, thanks for that comment, we have the same wavelength, Happy holidays< Maita

    • abchs_princess profile image

      abchs_princess 7 years ago

      Cool article! You really managed to put great African-American actors together :)

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hi abchs, thanks and they're really great isn't it, Maita

    • Richieb799 profile image

      Richieb799 7 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

      Glad Eddie Murphy got a mention here :) Will Smith is always entertaining even if he's gone commercial in recent years..thanks for your comments on my harmonica vids, its appreciated x

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hey Richie, thanks too for commenting here, Maita

    • Phillyfreeze69 profile image

      Phillyfreeze69 7 years ago

      I remember seeing Sidney Poitier in the 1967 movie Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. At that time it was controversial because of the interracial dating subject matter, which was considered taboo. I am thrilled that Mr. Poitier was awarded a life time achivement oscar by the Academy.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      You are lucky Phillyfreeze, you saw him -- Sydney Poitier in that movie Mam, He is great and thank you for the comment, have a great day! Maita

    • profile image

      Phillyfreeze69 7 years ago

      You are most welcome and thank you for sharing such an interesting Hub.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      You're welcome too, Maita

    • profile image

      Jose Nicken Okia 7 years ago

      shhhhhhhhhh....

    • optimus grimlock profile image

      optimus grimlock 7 years ago

      i think sam jackson, james earl jones, laurence fishburn should be their before jamie fox! I will say this if you think ray was good, jamie was better in the soloiest with robert downey jr great pair! awesome hub

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      you have recommended actors par excellence sir, thank you much, Maita

    • xixi12 profile image

      xixi12 6 years ago from Everywhere but here. In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. You can never be truly free till you have the discipline to manage it.

      You forgot James Earl Jones. Forest Whitaker is very good, had not heard much of him till I watched last king of scotland. He was really believable. Great hub

    • Maryanne Maguire profile image

      Maryanne Maguire 6 years ago from Santa Monica, CA

      These gents top my list. Well done, Hub and gents :)

    • Carolyn2008 profile image

      Carolyn Gibson 6 years ago from Boston

      This is a great hub. The pictures are unique and capture their beauty. How about Blair Underwood, Shemar Moore, and Terrance Howard?

    • profile image

      Selassie 6 years ago

      I like your short listed f African -American actors ,but will like to see Samuel L. Jackson on the list as well.Thanks for the good work .

    • WrightAmb profile image

      WrightAmb 6 years ago

      Just joined here, and totally agree with your choices.

    • N.E. Wright profile image

      N.E. Wright 6 years ago from Bronx, NY

      I love your choices though I would have placed Denzel first, and Samuel L. Jackson would have been somewhere in there. LOL. Still they are your choices and you did fine.

      LOL.

      Forrest Whitaker's role in the Crying Game was masterful. I was stunned how great he was playing a British soldier. He was also brilliant in Bird.

      Denzel in the movie a Soldier's Story was great.

      Morgan Freeman in Glory touched my heart.

      Sorry, you just have me thinking about these guys' movies that allowed me to see them as great actors, and I am getting carried away with my memories. LOL.

      Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed.

      Take Care,

      N.E.

    • profile image

      frank mike efe 5 years ago

      hahahaha i think this is great menn,hahaha

    • profile image

      amel s 5 years ago

      martin lawrance is the best and the most charming.why you didn,t mention him?

    • profile image

      Arch 5 years ago

      Where is Samuel L? Not much of a list without him ....

    • Paul Bisquera profile image

      Paul Bisquera 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great list, prettydarkhorse! I like writing about the industry of Hollywood too and you have a list that I agree with. Minority actors and actresses (including the Latinos and Asians) have a long way to go in Hollywood when it comes to diversity and it is something that I am passionate about! I'm hoping one day that all the minorities have "equal footing" in the entertainment industry and mirror the diversity that we have in society today.

      Good job prettydarkhorse!

    • DarylnCochrane profile image

      Darylen Cochrane 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Great Hub and excellent picks! Totally agree with you except you left out Samuel L. Jackson! LOL. I linked your hub to mine on my top 10 actors for 2012.

    • profile image

      Korsa.Ramesh Donald 4 years ago

      Denzel Washington is the greatest legendary actor i never seen before,

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 4 years ago from US

      Thanks, Denzel Washington is a great actor I agree.

    • profile image

      James 2 years ago

      I was actually hoping by the designation black African-American actors to see a list of actual African actors that either emigrated to the U.S. or were working in the U.S. as there are plenty of White South African actors working in Hollywood.

      The reason I was looking was because Hollywood very seldom casts actors of Africa to star in films (unless they portray a villainous character). When Hollywood casts a European role typically they find an actor originally from that country.

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