10 Best Black American Actors

Thursday, April 28 by Bo Vandy

When looking for the 10 best black American actors in all of Hollywood you really don't have to look very far. The best of the best, no matter the race tend to be the ones who are getting the most work, and these ten have been working like crazy over the last decade.

  1. Will Smith. Whether talking about Will's first real big acting gig in "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", or any of his myriad of films one thing is certain. Will Smith has the kind of range other actors, black, white and purple wish they had. Smith can do a turn as comedy relief, in a dramatic role and as the resident hunk.
  2. Denzel Washington. Like Smith, Washington has taken a turn in all kinds of different movies and television shows. Washington's most reknown role is probably his depiction of Malcolm X but he's done so many great pictures we can't name them all.
  3. Forest Whitaker. Whitaker, more than any of the other men on this list has taken the hard way to real stardom. Part of that could be the fact that he's not really a dream boat, but the other reason is because he chose to do quite a few more indie films. Whitaker seems less interested in making blockbusters and more interested in honing his craft.
  4. Morgan Freeman. Freeman is the oldest of this group by a decent margin but that doesn't make him any less of an actor than the others. Freeman seems to have actually come into his own as he got older and that's allowed him to take some roles the younger guys simply wouldn't fit in.
  5. Jamie Foxx. Once known simply as a comedic foil, Foxx has grown into being an actual actor. He probably proved to all his detractors that he could hang with the best of them thanks to his turn as Ray Charles in the bio-pic a few years back.
  6. Laurence Fishburne. Another actor that really saw stardom as he matured. Fishburne's deep resonating baritone makes him instantly recognizable but he will most likely forever be best known as Morpheus in "The Matrix" trilogy.
  7. Terrence Howard. This soft spoken actor is another one that is getting more popular the more stuff he's in. While he is in the top ten, he really might be underappreciated as he still hasn't hit mega-star status.
  8. Samuel L. Jackson. Is there a harder working man in Hollywood right now than Samuel L. Jackson? It seems like the man pops up in every third movie and his memorable roles are simply too numerous to mention. If there's a drawback to Jackson's career it's that it seems he will do almost anything offered to him and because of this he's put out more than his fair share of stinkers.
  9. Don Cheadle. Cheadle really didn't burst onto the true superstar scene until about five years ago or so. Still he's a heck of an actor and rarely if ever gets mentioned as taking a turn in truly bad movie.
  10. Eddie Murphy. It would be weird if we made this list and didn't include Eddie Murphy but even we have to admit that Murphy's best days seem to be long behind him. Still, the man was one of the premiere comedic black actors of the last 30 years and for that he gets the nod at the 10th spot. There is still hope, he might turn around and made another great picture some day.

-Oliver VanDervoort