10 Best African American Actors

Monday, November 22 by Lisa Gove

Want to know who the 10 best African American actors are? The list of great African American actors is a long one. Here are the 10 best African American actors that includes Oscar winners, Emmy winners and those who may not have won the awards but have the star power that viewers flock to the movies to see.

  1. Denzel Washington Denzel Washington holds the record for the most Acadamy Award nominations for an African American. He has a very diverse acting background, but is probably best known for his portrayal of historical figures such as Malcom X and Rubin Carter.
  2. Morgan Freeman Believe it or not Morgan Freeman started his career on a well known childrens series called the "Electric Company" in 1971. He soon moved on to film. He has been nominated for 5 Oscars, most recently for his role in "Invictus". He won in 2005 for his supporting role in "Million Dollar Baby".
  3. Will Smith "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" is now one of the biggest stars of the big screen. Will Smith started out in a fuffly TV sitcom but he now has a diverse collection of film roles to his credit. They range from romantic comedies to action adventure, and the gritty true life drama of "Pursuit of Happyness".
  4. Sydney Poitier Potier was the first African American to win an Academy Award. This was for his role of Homer Smith in "The Lily of the Fields". He started his career on the Broadway stage but soon moved into film. He has also directed and produce several films throughout his career.
  5. Lawrence Fishburne You can now see Fishburne every week on the original version of CSI, but before this recurring TV role he had a career that included over 83 movies and TV series.
  6. Forest Whitaker Whitakers scholarships for operatic voice training led him to Berkeley where he started his acting lessons. He started off with small TV  and movie roles, but these soon led to bigger parts. His role in the movie "Platoon" got him a place on the "A" list and he hasn't looked back since.
  7. Cuba Gooding Jr. Although he was probably best known for his role in Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Jr. also had a fantastic performance in "Men of Honor" alongside Robert De Niro.  Whether is is a drama or a lightweight comedy such as "Daddy Daycamp" Cuba Gooding Jr. is great to watch.
  8. Jamie Foxx Foxx belongs on this list because of his performance in "Ray" the movie about Ray Charles, and also his performance in "The Soloist". He is a diverse actor who can do more than the stand up that he was first known for.
  9. James Earl Jones Jones is probably best known for his voice as Darth Vader in "Star Wars". His legendary voice is also the voice of Mufasa in "The Lion King". He has acted in or lent his voice to over 180 films. Not bad for a boy who started acting lessons to help control a stutter.
  10. Don Cheadle Cheadle, who is now known for his role in Hotel Rwanda and Iron Man, got his first big break as a hotel clerk in a spin off of "The Golden Girls" called "The Golden Palace"