Best Black Actors/Actressesby petje-806-663041 | created - 14 Nov 2015 | updated - 7 months ago | Public
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 ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Malcolm X 2) Rubin Carter (Hurricane) 3) Frank Lucas (American Gangster) 4) Alonzo Harris (Training Day) 5) Whip Whitaker (Flight)
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...
Top 5 Roles 1) Ellis Boyd Redding (Shawshank Redemption) 2) Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris (Million Dollar Baby) 3) Somerset (Se7en) 4) Nelson Mandela (Invictus) 5) Hoke Colburn (Driving Miss Daisy)
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...
Top 5 Roles 1) Idi Amin (Last King of Scotland) 2) Charlie Parker (Bird) 3) Cecil Gaines (The Butler) 4) Ali Shokela (Zulu) 5) James Farmer Sr (Great Debaters)
4. 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...
Top 5 Roles 1) Ray Charles (Ray) 2) Django (Django Unchained) 3) Drew Bundini Brown (Ali) 4) Nathaniel Ayers (Soloist) 5) Max (Collateral)
5. 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), ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Rose (Fences) 2) Annalise Keating (How to get Away with Murder) 3) Veronica (Widows) 4) Aibileen Clark (The Help) 5) Mrs Miller (Doubt)
6. 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 ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Mohamed Ali (Ali) 2) Chris Gardner (Pursuit of Happyness) 3) Bennett Omalu (Concussion) 4) Robert Neville (I Am Legend) 5) Steven Hiller (Indepedence Day)
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), ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Jules Winfield (Pulp Fiction) 2) Ken Carter (Coach Carter) 3) Marquis Warren (Hateful Eight) 4) Ordell Robbie (Jackie Brown) 5) Carl Lee Hailey (A Time to Kill)
Actor | In the Heat of the Night
A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (although born, two months prematurely, in Miami during a visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (nee Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to...
Top 5 Roles 1) Walter Lee Jr (A Raisin in the sun) 2) Virgil Tibbs (In the Heat of the Night) 3) Noah Cullen (Defiant Ones) 4) John Prentice (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner) 5) Gordon Ralfe (A Patch of Blue)
Actor | House of Cards
Mahershala Ali is fast becoming one of the freshest and most in-demand faces in Hollywood with his extraordinarily diverse skill set and wide-ranging background in film, television, and theater.
This past fall, Ali wrapped A24's Brad Pitt and Adele Romanski produced independent feature film, ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Wayne Hays (True Detective) 2) Don Shirley (Green Book) 3) Remy Danton (House of Cards) 4) Juan (Moonlight) 5) Cottonmouth (Luke Cage)
10. Chiwetel Ejiofor
Actor | 12 Years a Slave
English actor, writer and director Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things...
Top 5 Roles
1) Solomon Northup (12 Years a Slave)
2) Okwe (Dirty Pretty Things)
3) Trywell Kamkwamba (Harnessed the Wind)
4) Huey Lucas (American Gangster)
5) Ray Kasten (Secret in their Eyes)
11. Idris Elba
Actor | Beasts of No Nation
An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...
Top 5 Roles 1) Russell Stringer Bell (The Wire) 2) Commandant (Beasts of No Nation) 3) John Luther (Luther) 4) Nelson Mandela (Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom) 5) Augustin (Sometimes in April)
12. Don Cheadle
Actor | Crash
Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in...
Top 5 Roles 1) Paul Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda) 2) Miles Davis (Miles Ahead) 3) Mouse (Devil in a Blue Dress) 4) Wendell Everett (The Guard) 5) Petey Greene (Talk to me)
13. Chadwick Boseman
Actor | Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman is an American actor. He is known for his portrayal of T'Challa / Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (since 2016), particularly in Black Panther (2018), and for his starring roles in as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and Thurgood Marshall...
Top 3 Roles 1) Jackie Robinson (42) 2) James Brown (Get on Up) 3) Thurgood Marshall (Marshall) 4) T'Challa (Black Panther)
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.
Top 5 Roles 1) Ike Turner (Tina) 2) Bumpy Johnson (Hoodlum) 3) Tyrone "Clean" Miller (Apocalypse Now) 4) Morpheus (Matrix) 5) Whitey Powers (Mystic River)
15. Octavia Spencer
Actress | Hidden Figures
Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, which she claims is the proverbial buckle of the Bible belt. She's the sixth of seven siblings and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. A "closet" lover of acting, this practical Alabamian knew that she'd someday work in the film industry, ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Minny Jackson (The Help) 2) Wanda (Fruitvale Station) 3) Dorothy Vaughn (Hidden Figures) 4) Tanya (Snowpiercer) 5) Zelda Fuller (Shape of Water)
16. Dwayne Johnson
Actor | Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California. He is the son of Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father, from Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada, is black (of Black ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Sean Porter (Gridiron Gang) 2) Hobbs (Fast & Furious) 3) Spencer Stransmore (Ballers) 4) Raymond Gaines (San Andreas) 5) Beck (Rundown)
17. Eddie Murphy
Actor | The Nutty Professor
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian Lynch (born: 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 ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Prince Akeem (Coming to America) 2) Billy Ray Valentine (Trading Places) 3) Rayford Gibson (Life) 4) James Thunder Early (Dreamgirls) 5) Charlie Hinton (Daddy Day Care)
18. Djimon Hounsou
Actor | Blood Diamond
Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, in west Africa, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He moved to Lyon, France, when he was thirteen. Hounsou has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model. He has since left his modeling career and has worked on Gladiator (2000) ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Solomon Vandy (Blood Diamond) 2) Mateo (In America) 3) Juba (Gladiator) 4) Cinque (Amistad) 5) Jean Roqua (Never Back Down)
19. Lupita Nyong'o
Actress | 12 Years a Slave
Lupita Amondi Nyong'o was born March 1, 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico, to Kenyan parents, Dorothy Ogada Buyu and Peter Anyang' Nyong'o. Her father, a senator, was then a visiting lecturer in political science. She was raised in Kenya. At age 16, her parents sent her back to Mexico for seven months to...
Top 4 Roles 1) Patsey (12 Years a Slave) 2) Adelaide Wilson (Us) 3) Nakku Harriet (Queen of Katwe) 4) Nakia (Black Panther) 5) Maz Kanata (Star Wars: Force Awakens)
20. Daniel Kaluuya
Actor | Get Out
Daniel Kaluuya is an English actor and writer. He is best known for Get Out (2017) and Black Panther (2018).
He also starred in the Black Mirror episode "Fifteen Million Merits".
For his work in Get Out he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Kaluuya also had minor roles in Johnny ...
Top Role 1) Chris Washington (Get Out) 2) Jatemme Manning (Widows) 3) W'Kabi (Black Panther) 4) Reggie Wayne (Sicario)
21. Taraji P. Henson
Actress | The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Taraji P. Henson was born on September 11, 1970 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Taraji Penda Henson. She is an actress and producer, known for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Hidden Figures (2016) and Hustle & Flow (2005).
Top 3 Roles 1) Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures) 2) Queenie (Benjamin Button) 3) Sug (Hustle & Flow) 4) Cookie Lyon (Empire) 5) Yvette (Baby Boy)
22. David Oyelowo
Actor | Selma
David Oyelowo (pronounced - "oh-yellow-oh"), is a classically trained stage actor who has quickly become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the "Scholarship for Excellence" from Nicholas Hytner in 1998.
Top 5 Roles 1) Martin Luther King (Selma) 2) Louis Gaines (The Butler) 3) Seretse Khama (A United Kingdom) 4) Robert Katende (Queen of Katwe) 5) Clifton Henderson (Nina)
Actor | Black Panther
Michael B. Jordan, the middle of three children, was born in Santa Ana, California and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He is the son of Donna (Davis), a high school counselor, and Michael A. Jordan. His middle name, Bakari, means "noble promise" in Swahili. (He is not related to, or named after, ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Oscar Grant (Fruitvale Station) 2) Adonis Johnson (Creed) 3) Killmonger (Black Panther) 4) Wallace (Wire)
24. Terrence Howard
Actor | Hustle & Flow
Terrence Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Anita Jeanine Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His love for acting came naturally, through summers spent with his great-grandmother, New York stage actress Minnie Gentry. He later began his acting career ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Djay (Hustle & Flow) 2) Cameron Thayer (Crash) 3) Lucious Lyon (Empire) 4) Franklin Birch (Prisoners) 5) Rhodey (Iron Man)
25. 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 ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Tre Styles (Boyz n the Hood) 2) Carl Brashear (Men of Honor) 3) O.J. Simpson (People v. O.J. Simpson) 4) Rodd Tidwell (Jerry Maguire) 5) Eugene (Life of a King)
26. Kerry Washington
Actress | Django Unchained
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 Django Unchained (2012), Scandal (2012) and Save the Last Dance (2001). She has been married to Nnamdi Asomugha since June 24, 2013. They ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Kay Amin (Last King of Scotland) 2) Olivia Pope (Scandal) 3) Patricia Wilson (Night Catches Us) 4) Della Bea Robinson (Ray) 5) Broomhilda von Shaft (Django)
27. 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...
Top 3 Roles 1) Celie Johnson (Color Purple) 2) Myrlie Evers (Ghosts of Mississippi) 3) Oda Mae Brown (Ghost) 4) Odessa Cotter (The Long Walk Home) 5) Valerie (Girl Interupted)
28. Wesley Snipes
Actor | Blade
Wesley Trent Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, to Marian (Long), a teacher's assistant, and SMSGT 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 dance and the theatre were to be his career. He attended ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Nino Brown (New Jack City) 2) Blade (Blade I,II,III) 3) Flipper Purify (Jungle Fever) 4) Monroe Hutchen (Undisputed) 5) Sidney Deane (White Men Can't Jump)
29. Angela Bassett
Actress | Strange Days
Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters and on 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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Tina Turner (Tina) 2) Dr. Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X) 3) Reva Styles (Boyz n the Hood)
Actor | The Wire
Emmy nominated actor and producer, Michael Kenneth Williams is one of this generation's most respected and acclaimed talents. By bringing complicated and charismatic characters to life-often with surprising tenderness-Williams has established himself as a gifted and versatile performer with a ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Omar Little (Wire) 2) Freddy (Night of) 3) Jack Gee (Bessie) 4) Bobby McCray (When They See Us) 5) Red (Brooklyn Finest)
31. Omar Sy
Actor | Intouchables
Omar Sy was born on January 20, 1978 in Trappes, Yvelines, France. He is an actor and writer, known for The Intouchables (2011), Jurassic World (2015) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). He has been married to Hélène since July 6, 2007. They have four children.
Top 3 Roles 1) Driss (Intouchables) 2) Rafael Padilla (Chocolat) 3) Samba Cisse (Samba) 4) Samuel (Two is a Family)
32. Anthony Mackie
Actor | The Hurt Locker
Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Marcus Washington (Night Catches Us) 2) Marcus Belmont (Triple 9) 3) JT Sanborn (Hurt Locker) 4) Greene (Detroit) 5) Falcon (Avengers)
33. Naomie Harris
Actress | 28 Days Later...
British actress Naomie Harris was born in London, England, the only child of television scriptwriter Lisselle Kayla. Her father is from Trinidad and her mother is from Jamaica. They separated before she was born, and Harris was raised by her mother and has no relationship with her father. She ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Paula (Moonlight) 2) Winnie Mandela (Long Way to Freedom) 3) Tia Dalma (Pirates of the Carribean)
34. Jeffrey Wright
Actor | Shaft
Born and raised in Washington DC, Wright graduated from Amherst College in 1987. Although he studied Political Science while at Amherst, Wright left the school with a love for acting. Shortly after graduating he won an acting scholarship to NYU, but dropped out after only two months to pursue ...
Top 4 Roles 1) Muddy Waters (Cadillac Records) 2) Bernard Lowe (Westworld) 3) Jean Michel Basquiat (Basquiat) 4) Al Melvin (Manchurian Candidate)
35. Ving Rhames
Actor | Pulp Fiction
Strikingly featured and muscular American actor Ving Rhames was born Irving Rameses Rhames in Harlem, New York, to Reather, a homemaker, and Ernest Rhames, an auto mechanic. A good student, Ving entered the New York High School of Performing Arts, where he discovered his love of acting. He studied ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Marcellus Wallace (Pulp Fiction) 2) Mann (Rosewood) 3) George Chambers (Undisputed) 4) Melvin (Baby Boy) 5) Luther Strickell (Mission Impossible)
36. Kevin Hart
Actor | Ride Along
Kevin Hart was born on July 6, 1979 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Kevin Darnell Hart. He is a producer and actor, known for Ride Along (2014), Central Intelligence (2016) and Grudge Match (2013). He has been married to Eniko Parrish since August 13, 2016. They have one child. He was ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Ben Barber (Ride Along) 2) Darnell (Get Hard) 3) Calvin Joyner (Central Intelligence)
37. 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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Albert Johnson (Color Purple) 2) Roger Murtaugh (Lethal Weapon) 3) Marty Madison (Dream Girls)
38. 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 ...
Top Roles 1) Geechee (Cros Creek) 2) Alma Roberts (American Violet) 3) Carolyn Carmichael (Crooklyn) 4) Mariah Dillard (Luke Cage)
39. Sophie Okonedo
Actress | Hotel Rwanda
Sophie Okonedo is a British actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda (2004).
Okonedo was born within London in 1968. Her parents were Henry Okonedo (1939-2009) and Joan Allman. Her father was British Nigerian, ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Tatiana Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda) 2) Juliette (Dirty Pretty Things) 3) Sandra Laing (Skin)
40. Omar Epps
Actor | House M.D.
Omar Epps is an American actor, starring on the ABC drama Resurrection (2014).
Epps was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films, including Paramount's ...
Top Roles 1) Eric Foreman (House MD) 2) Quincy McCall (Love & Basketball) 3) Q (Juice) 4) Malik Williams (Higher Learning)
Actor | Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an Italian carpenter/stagehand father from Naples, Italy, and an African-American opera singer mother from Alabama. His parents, working in Europe at the time of his birth, settled in Manhattan by the time he was 6, and ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Gus Fring (Breaking Bad) 2) Buggin' Out (Do the Right Thing) 3) Jack Baer (Usual Suspects)
42. Ice Cube
Soundtrack | Friday
Ice Cube was born in South Central Los Angeles, to Doris (Benjamin), a custodian and hospital clerk, and Hosea Jackson, a UCLA groundskeeper. He first came to public notice as a singer and songwriter with the controversial and influential band N.W.A. His compositions with that group included many ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Doughboy (Boyz n the Hood) 2) Craig Jones (Friday) 3) James Payton (Ride Along) 4) Fudge (Higher Learning)
Actor | The Green Mile
Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother, Jean, a house cleaner, on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let ...
Top 3 Roles 1) John Coffey (Green Mile) 2) Bear (Armageddon) 3) Duane (Challenger)
44. 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 ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Maeve Milley (Westworld) 2) Linda (Pursuit of Happyness) 3) Stella (RocknRolla) 4) Christine Thayer (Crash) 5) Laura Wilson (2012)
45. Wendell Pierce
Actor | The Wire
Top 3 Roles 1) Bunk Moreland (Wire) 2) Hosea Williams (Selma) 3) Tucker (Unsolved) 4) David Gordon (Night Catches Us)
46. Tessa Thompson
Actress | Creed
The actress Tessa Lynn Thompson was born on October 3, 1983 in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of singer-songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson and the granddaughter of actor-musician Bobby Ramos. She was raised in Los Angeles before moving to Brooklyn, New York. Her father is of ...
Top Roles 1) Bianca (Creed) 2) Sam (Dear White People) 3) Josie Radek (Annihilation) 4) Diane Nash (Selma) 5) Charlotte Hale (Westworld)
47. Derek Luke
Actor | Antwone Fisher
Derek Luke was born on April 24, 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. He is an actor, known for Antwone Fisher (2002), Glory Road (2006) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). He has been married to Sophia Adella Luke since 1998. They have one child.
Top 3 Roles 1) Bobby Joe Hill (Road to Glory) 2) Antwone Fisher (Antwone Fisher) 3) Gregory Thomas (Americans)
48. Queen Latifah
Actress | Hairspray
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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Bessie Smith (Bessie) 2) Matron Mama Morton (Chicago) 3) Cleopatra Sims (Set it Off)
49. 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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) O-Dog (Menace II Society) 2) Anthony Curtis (Dead Presidents) 3) Frankie Lymon (Why Do Fools Fall in Love)
50. 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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Sharon Rivers (Beale Street) 2) Terri LaCroix (American Crime) 3) Aliyah Shadeed (American Crime) 4) Margie Hendricks (Ray) 5) Monet (Higher Learning)
51. 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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Leticia Musgrove (Monster's Ball) 2) Storm (Xmen) 3) Vivian (Jungle Fever)
52. Danai Gurira
Actress | Black Panther
Danai Gurira was born in Grinnell, Iowa, to Josephine and Roger Gurira, who were from Zimbabwe. Her father was then teaching Chemistry at Grinnell College. When she was five, the family moved back to Zimbabwe, residing in the capital Harare. Gurira later returned to the United States, and studied ...
Top Roles 1) Adenike Balogun (Mother of George) 2) Michonne (Walking Dead) 3) Afeni Shakur (All Eyez on Me) 4) Okoye (Black Panther)
53. Cicely Tyson
Actress | The Help
Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and...
Top 3 Roles 1) Rebecca Morgan (Sounder) 2) Jane Pittman (Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman) 3) Madame Queen (Hoodlum) 4) Constantine Jefferson (The Help) 5) Ophelia Hartness (How to Get Away with Murder)
54. James Earl Jones
Actor | Rogue One
Widely regarded as the one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native USA and internationally, James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Jack Jefferson (The Great White Hope) 2) Roop (Claudine) 3) King Jaffe Joffer (Coming to America)
Actress | Precious
Mo'Nique received a standing ovation when she stepped on stage for the first time in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, giving her confidence to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. After numerous stand-up performances, she took a leap forward with one of the starring roles in The Parkers (...
Top Roles 1) Mary (Precious) 2) Ma Rainey (Bessie)
Actor | Grey's Anatomy
Isaiah Washington was born on August 3, 1963 in Houston, Texas, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Grey's Anatomy (2005), Hollywood Homicide (2003) and Exit Wounds (2001). He has been married to Jenisa Marie Garland since February 14, 1996. They have three children.
Top Roles 1) John Allen Muhammad (Blue Caprice) 2) Frank Beechum (True Crime) 3) Victor Dunham (Clockers) 4) Coach Simmons (Hurricane Season)
57. Carmen Ejogo
Actress | Selma
Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo was born in Kensington, London, England, to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother. Her television career began in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, where she presented the children's series Saturday Disney (1990). Subsequently, she has had an acting career in the ...
Top Roles 1) Coretta Scott King (Selma) 2) Amelia Reardon (True Detective) 3) Jane/Elaine (Born to be Blue) 4) Seraphina Picquery (Fantastic Beasts)
58. Reg E. Cathey
Actor | Fantastic Four
Born into a military family in Huntsville, Alabama -- his father was an army vet who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, while his mother held a somewhat mysterious job in the Department of Defence -- Reg E. Cathey spent much of his early childhood living on a rural farmhouse in Germany....
Top 3 Roles 1) Freddy (House of Cards) 2) Norman (Wire) 3) Don King (Hands of Stone)
Actor | Black Panther
Emmy Award-winning actor Sterling K. Brown stars in NBC's Emmy and Golden Globe nominated drama series THIS IS US. For his role as Randall Pearson, Brown won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, as well as a Golden Globe, becoming the first African American actor to win his ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Christopher Darden (People v. O.J. Simpson) 2) Joseph Spell (Marshall) 3) Randal Pearson (This is Us)
Actor | Lost
Born and raised in London, England, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje began his career as a model in Milan. He graduated with a masters degree in Law from London's prestigious Kings College, before moving to Los Angeles to make the transition to acting. Fluent in several languages, including English, ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Simon Adebisi (Oz) 2) Mr Eko (Lost) 3) Wombosi (Bourne Identity)
Actor | Sorry to Bother You
Lakeith Lee Stanfield is an actor and rapper from Victorville, CA. At the age of 15, Lakeith attended the John Casablancas Modeling & Career Center in Orange County. A few years later, he auditioned for Destin Cretton's then college thesis film Short Term 12 (2008). Later, the newer version of ...
Top Roles 1) Colin Warner (Crown Heights) 2) Darius (Atlanta) 3) Junior (Miles Ahead) 4) Reggie (Come Sunday)
Actor | Ragtime
Howard E. Rollins Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950. He was the youngest of four children born to Howard E. Rollins Sr. (steelworker) and Ruth R. Rollins (domestic worker). Rollins graduated from Towson State College, where he studied theater. His first break into acting came when a ...
Top Roles 1) Captain Davenport (A Soldier's Story) 2) Coalhouse Walker Jr (Ragtime)
Actor | An Officer and a Gentleman
Louis Gossett Jr. is one of the most respected and beloved actors on stage, screen and television and is also an accomplished writer, producer and director. Off-screen he is a social activist, educator and author dedicated to enriching the lives of others. Gossett was the first African-American to ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Emil Foley (An Officer and a Gentleman) 2) George Murchison (A Raisin in the Sun) 3) Fiddler (Roots)
Actor | The Hunt for Red October
Courtney B. Vance was born on March 12, 1960 in Detroit, Michigan, USA as Courtney Bernard Vance. He is an actor and producer, known for The Hunt for Red October (1990), Space Cowboys (2000) and Dangerous Minds (1995). He has been married to Angela Bassett since October 12, 1997. They have two ...
Top Roles 1) Johnnie Cochran (People v. O.J. Simpson) 2) Bobby Seale (Panther)
65. Jason Mitchell
Actor | Straight Outta Compton
Jason Mitchell is an American actor. He had roles in the films Contraband (2012) and Broken City (2013), both of which starred Mark Wahlberg. In 2015, Mitchell played Compton rapper Eazy-E in the biopic Straight Outta Compton (2015), with his performance being met with significant praise by critics...
Top 3 Roles 1) Eazy-E (Straight Outta Compton) 2) Ronsel Jackson (Mudbound) 3) Carl (Detroit)
66. Adolph Caesar
Actor | The Color Purple
Born in the Harlem section of New York City, joined the Navy, then studied drama at New York University; was an announcer for then joined the Negro Ensemble Co. in 1970 for such productions as "The River Niger", "Square Root of the Soul" and "The Brownsville Raid"; worked with repertory groups such...
Top Roles 1) Sergeant Waters (A Soldier's Story) 2) Old Mister Johnson (Color Purple)
67. Dennis Haysbert
Actor | Far from Heaven
Dennis Haysbert was born on June 2, 1954 in San Mateo, California, USA as Dennis Dexter Haysbert. He is an actor and producer, known for Far from Heaven (2002), 24 (2001) and Heat (1995). He was previously married to Lynn Griffith and Elena Simms.
Top Roles 1) Nelson Mandela (Goodbye Bafana) 2) Donald Breedan (Heat) 3) Raymond Deagan (Far from Heaven) 4) Zeke McCall (Love & Basketball) 5) Dean Fairbanks (Dear White People)
68. Rob Brown
Actor | Finding Forrester
Rob Brown was born in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A natural who never studied acting and who had no professional acting experience, made his acting and motion picture debut in Finding Forrester (2000). Rob celebrated his 16th birthday just before the start of production. He is a ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Kenyon Stone (Coach Carter) 2) Jamal Wallace (Finding Forester) 3) Ernie Davis (The Express)
69. Nate Parker
Actor | The Birth of a Nation
Nate Parker was born on November 18, 1979 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Birth of a Nation (2016), Arbitrage (2012) and The Great Debaters (2007). He has been married to Sarah DiSanto since 2007. They have four children.
Top 3 Roles 1) Nat Turner (Birth of a Nation) 2) Henry Lowe (Great Debaters) 3) Kaz (Beyond the Lights)
70. Barkhad Abdi
Actor | Captain Phillips
Top Role 1) Muse (Captain Phillips) 2) Abdi (Pirates of Somalia)
71. Chad L. Coleman
Actor | Left 4 Dead 2
Delivered a fantastic performance of a reformed street 'hitter' on the HBO show 'The Wire' from Series 3 to Series 5 with varied screen time. The character reflected the possibility of reformed criminals into positive characters of society; as with Coleman's character starting a boxing gym for the ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Dennis Cutty Wise (Wire) 2) Mingo (Roots) 3) Tyreese Williams (Walking Dead)
Actor | Alien³
Charles S. Dutton was born on January 30, 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Charles Stanley Dutton. He is an actor and producer, known for Alien³ (1992), Gothika (2003) and Legion (2010). He was previously married to Debbi Morgan.
Top 3 Roles 1) Mr Butler (Menace II Society) 2) Reverad Sanders (American Violet) 3) Ozzie Walls (Time to Kill) 4) Ken Karsch (Secret Window)
73. 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 was previously married to Shamicka Gibbs and Pat Smith.
Top 3 Roles 1) Marcus Burnett (Bad Boys) 2) Miles Logan (Blue Streak) 3) Malcolm Turner (Big Mommas House)
74. Chris Tucker
Actor | Rush Hour 2
At one point in time, Chris Tucker was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.
Tucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Mary Louise (Bryant) and Norris Tucker, who owned a janitorial service. After graduating from high school, Tucker made a change to move to Hollywood from Georgia to pursue a career in ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Smokey (Friday) 2) Carter (Rush Hour) 3) Skip (Dead Presidents) 4) Danny (Silver Linings Playbook)
75. Ruth Negga
Actress | Loving
Top Role Mildred Loving (Loving)
76. 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.
Top 3 Roles 1) Caretaker (The Longest Yard) 2) Kurt McKenzie (Grown-Ups) 3) Richard Cooper (I Think i Love my Wife)
77. Bokeem Woodbine
Actor | Spider-Man: Homecoming
Bokeem Woodbine grew up in Harlem, New York. At the age of 19, he secured the lead role in the HBO production of Forest Whitaker's directorial debut Strapped (1993). Bokeem moved to Los Angeles shortly after completing the film Jason's Lyric (1994), and has pursued his dream of becoming a ...
Top Roles 1) Mike Milligan (Fargo) 2) Daryn Dupree (Unsolved) 3) Fathead Newman (Ray) 4) Cleon (Dead Presidents) 5) Can't Get Right (Life)
78. Gabourey Sidibe
Actress | Precious
Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, the star of Precious (2009), was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Alice Tan Ridley, is a former special education teacher who gave up her career and became a street performer/singer, while her father, Ibnou Sidibe, is a cab driver....
Top Role Precious (Precious)
79. Oprah Winfrey
Producer | The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Sofia (Color Purple) 2) Gloria Gaines (The Butler) 3) Annie Lee Cooper (Selma)
80. Morris Chestnut
Actor | Kick-Ass 2
A tall, handsome, and versatile American actor, Morris Chestnut was born in Cerritos, California, to Shirley (Wynn) and Morris Chestnut, Sr. He first came to be recognized by moviegoers starring as Ricky in Boyz n the Hood (1991), a role where he played a high school running back using his football...
Top 3 Roles 1) Ricky Baker (Boyz n the Hood) 2) Gordon Mitchell (Anaconda 2) 3) Lance Sullivan (The Best Man)
Actor | Black Dynamite
Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White ...
Top 3 Roles 1) George Chambers (Undisputed 2) 2) Isaiah Bone (Blood and Bone) 3) Black Dynamite (Black Dynamite)
82. Delroy Lindo
Actor | Get Shorty
On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992) is what first attracted attention to Lindo's ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Woody Carmichael (Crooklyn) 2) Rodney Little (Clockers) 3) West Indian Archie (Malcolm X)
Actress | The Matrix Revolutions
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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Lida "Stony" Newsom (Set it off) 2) Ronnie (Menace II Society) 3) Annie (Collateral)
84. Colman Domingo
Actor | Lincoln
Mr. Domingo has been honored by the Newport Beach Film Festival as a 2018 Artist of Distinction. He has starred in the films Lincoln, The Butler, Selma, The Birth of a Nation and If Beale Street Could Talk. He has been nominated for a Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk and Drama League Award. An actor, ...
Top 5 Roles 1) Ralph Abernathy (Selma) 2) Joseph Rivers (Beale Street) 3) Hark (Birth of a Nation) 4) Freddie Fallows (The Butler) 5) Harold Green (Lincoln)
85. Stephan James
Actor | Race
Top Roles 1) Jesse Owens (Race) 2) Alonzo Hunt (Beale Street) 3) John Lewis (Selma) 4) Preston Terry (Shots Fired)
86. Zoe Saldana
Actress | Avatar
Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic, where they would live for ...
Top Roles 1) Neytiri (Avatar) 2) Uhura (Star Trek) 3) Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy) 4) Nina Simone (Nina) 5) Dollores Torres (Terminal)
87. Ashton Sanders
Actor | Moonlight
Top Roles 1) Chiron (Moonlight) 2) Bigger Thomas (Native Son) 3) Miles Whittaker (Equalizer 2)
88. Donald Glover
Actor | Solo: A Star Wars Story
The multi-talented Donald Glover is a writer, actor, musician, comedian, producer and director, who performs under the stage names Childish Gambino and mcDJ. He was born Donald McKinley Glover at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His mother, Beverly (...
Top Roles 1) Earn (Atlanta) 2) Rich Purnell (Martian) 3) Lando (Solo)
89. Corey Hawkins
Actor | Straight Outta Compton
Corey Hawkins was born on October 22, 1988 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Corey Antonio Hawkins. He is an actor, known for Straight Outta Compton (2015), Kong: Skull Island (2017) and BlacKkKlansman (2018).
Top Roles 1) Dr. Dre (Straight Outa Compton) 2) Kwame Ture (BlackKklansman)
Jurnee Smollett-Bell was born on October 1, 1986 in New York City, New York, USA as Jurnee Diana Smollett. She is an actress, known for her role as "Jess Merriweather" on the Emmy Award-winning TV series, Friday Night Lights (2006). She is also known for her roles in The Great Debaters (2007), ...
Top Roles 1) Rosalee (Underground) 2) Samantha Booke (Great Debaters) 3) Eve Batiste (Eve's Bayou)
91. Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Actress | Belle
Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor, and her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Prema Mutiso (Concussion) 2) Kelly Booth (Black Mirror) 3) Rachel (Free State of Jones) 4) Dido Elizabeth Belle (Belle)
92. 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 ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Effie White (Dreamgirls) 2) Rosaleen Daise (The Secret Life of Bees) 3) Winnie Mandela (Winnie)
93. Pam Grier
Actress | Jackie Brown
Pam Grier was born in Winston-Salem, NC, one of four children of Gwendolyn Sylvia (Samuels), a nurse, and Clarence Ransom Grier Jr., an Air Force mechanic. Pam has been a major African-American star from the early 1970s. Her career started in 1971, when Roger Corman of New World Pictures launched ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Jackie Brown (Jackie Brown) 2) Foxy Brown (Foxy Brown) 3) Coffy (Coffy)
94. Tyrese Gibson
Actor | Baby Boy
Tyrese Darnell Gibson was born December 30, 1978 in Watts, Los Angeles, California, where he was raised. He is an R&B singer, songwriter, actor, author, television producer and model. He is well known for his actor role as Roman Pearce in the The Fast and Furious movie franchise. Other popular ...
Top 3 Roles 1) Roman Pearce (Fast & Furious) 2) Jody (Baby Boy) 3) O2 (Waist Deep) 4) Angel Mercer (Four Brothers)
95. Mekhi Phifer
Actor | ER
Mekhi Phifer was born in Harlem, Manhattan, and was raised by his mother, Rhoda, a high school teacher. Phifer's acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for director Spike Lee's Clockers (1995) and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel and Delroy ...
Top Roles 1) Strike (Clockers) 2) Odin James (O) 3) Mitch (Paid in Full) 4) David "Future" Porter (8 Mile)
96. Wood Harris
Actor | Remember the Titans
Harris was born Sherwin David Harris in Chicago, Illinois, to John and Mattie Harris. However, he works under his nickname, "Wood". Attended New York University Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School. Has performed in many films and various stage productions including plays by August Wilson, ...
Top 4 Roles 1) Avon Barksdale (The Wire) 2) Julius Campbell (Remember the Titans) 3) Ace (Paid in Full) 4) Little Duke (Creed)
97. John Boyega
John Boyega is a British actor, known for playing Finn in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015). Boyega rose to prominence in his native United Kingdom for his role of Moses in the 2011 sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block (2011), before attaining international recognition for his work ...
Top Roles 1) Finn (Star Wars: Force Awaken) 2) Dismukes (Detroit)
98. 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), ...
Top Roles 1) Mama Lucas (American Gangster) 2) Lucinda Purify (Jungle Fever) 3) Ruth Younger (Raisin in the Sun) 4) Mother Sister (Do the Right Thing)
99. Nonso Anozie
Actor | Cinderella
Top Roles 1) Cass (Cass) 2) Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Game of Thrones) 3) Tank (Rocknrolla) 4) Idi Amin (Entebbe)
100. Margaret Avery
Actress | The Color Purple
Slender, attractive actress Margaret Avery, spellbinding in her role of Shug in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985), is certainly no "one-hit wonder". Although filmgoers may be able to trace her back only to that once-in-a-lifetime part, Margaret has been a talented player on the large and ...
Top Role Shug Avery (Color Purple)