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The Best Black African-American Actors in Hollywood

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.



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.

















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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.









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James on August 05, 2014:

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.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on July 26, 2012:

Thanks, Denzel Washington is a great actor I agree.

Korsa.Ramesh Donald on July 26, 2012:

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

Daryln Cochrane from New York, NY on March 09, 2012:

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.

Paul Bisquera from Los Angeles on February 04, 2012:

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!

Arch on January 28, 2012:

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

amel s on November 24, 2011:

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

frank mike efe on July 25, 2011:

hahahaha i think this is great menn,hahaha

N E Wright from Dover, Delaware on April 20, 2011:

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.


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,


WrightAmb on January 30, 2011:

Just joined here, and totally agree with your choices.

Selassie on January 15, 2011:

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 .

Carolyn Gibson from Boston on October 05, 2010:

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

Maryanne Maguire from Santa Monica, CA on October 01, 2010:

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

xixi12 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. on September 29, 2010:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on May 19, 2010:

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

optimus grimlock on May 18, 2010:

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

Jose Nicken Okia on May 09, 2010:


prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 24, 2010:

You're welcome too, Maita

Phillyfreeze69 on April 23, 2010:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 22, 2010:

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

Phillyfreeze69 on April 21, 2010:

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 (author) from US on February 03, 2010:

hey Richie, thanks too for commenting here, Maita

Richieb799 from Cardiff, Wales UK on February 03, 2010:

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 (author) from US on February 03, 2010:

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

abchs_princess on February 03, 2010:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 22, 2009:

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

Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on December 21, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 11, 2009:

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

Holle Abee from Georgia on December 11, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 10, 2009:

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

mintinfo on December 10, 2009:

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 (author) from US on December 10, 2009:

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

ehern33 on December 10, 2009:

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 (author) from US on December 10, 2009:

get well soon, you drink lots of juice, Maita

tony0724 from san diego calif on December 10, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 10, 2009:

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

tony0724 from san diego calif on December 10, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 10, 2009:

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

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on December 09, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 09, 2009:

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

Micky Dee on December 09, 2009:

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 (author) from US on December 09, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 09, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 09, 2009:

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

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on December 09, 2009:

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 (author) from US on December 09, 2009:

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

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on December 09, 2009:

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!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on December 09, 2009:

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!

Truth From Truth from Michigan on December 09, 2009:

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

Gin G from Canada on December 09, 2009:

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

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on December 09, 2009:

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 ;)

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