Hollywood was once dominated by caucasians but today there are many famous African American actors who light up the big screen. African American actors are among television and film's biggest stars but the following are ten of the best.

  1. Denzel Washington. Arguably the most famous African American actor alive today, Washington is one of Hollywood's most recognizable stars. He usually plays the good guy in films but he is talented enough to also play the ruthless villains.  

  2. Samuel L Jackson. Jackson has had played a variety of different roles ranging from military men to a Jedi master. He is one of the best actors in Hollywood and often ends up playing the role of the intimidating character in films. 

  3. Don Cheadle. Perhaps best known for his role in "Hotel Rwanda," but prior to that Cheadle was one of the unsung heroes of television and film. One of the most versatile African American actors, he is equally comfortable on the big screen and the small screen. 

  4. Sidney Poitier. Back when roles in Hollywood where few and far between for African Americans, Poitier was one of the best actors of his day. He tackled racism onscreen and off screen and remains one of the most respected actors in the U.S.

  5. Morgan Freeman. He came to prominence fairly late in life but Freeman is one of those actors with a prolific work ethic. He commands the respect of his peers and with that in mind it is worth pointing out that he has taken on roles as both the U.S. president and God. 

  6. Laurence Fishburne. He is as famous for his distinctive gap tooth as he is for the challenging roles he has taken on, and Fishburne is one Hollywood's  best African American actors. Like Samuel L Jackson, he tends to get the roles of the intimidating characters but given his height and size it is hardly surprising.

  7. Forest Whitaker. He came to prominence when he played Ugandan dictator Idi Amin but Forest has become a regular fixture in theaters since then. He seems to appear as regularly on TV as he does in movies and is a versatile actor. 

  8. Chris Tucker. The funniest African American actor in Hollywood. He forms a great double act with Jackie Chan and whenever Tucker is on screen it is a laugh a minute. 

  9. Ice Cube. He started off as a controversial rap star but he has become a box office superstar. Ice Cube works well in comedy films but he also has the right frown to play tough guy villains.

  10. Will Smith. He started off as the Fresh Prince on TV, had a great rap career and he is now one of Hollywood's best paid African American actors. Smith is an energetic and charismatic actor who looks set to stay in the limelight for years to come.