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Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker young

Birth Date

July 15, 1961


United States

Sun Sign


Natural hair color


Eye color

Dark Brown


6 ft 2 in | 188 cm

Forest Whitaker young photos


92 kg | 203 pounds


46 in | 117 cm

Shoe size

11 US | 44 EU


40 in | 102 cm

Early acting career First film Breakthrough

Forest Steven Whitaker III was born in Longview, Texas, United States, on July 15, 1961, is an American actor and director.

Young Forest Whitaker first started his career as a singer, he toured England with the Cal Poly Chamber Singers in 1980.

He made his acting debut in Dylan Thomas' play "Under Milk Wood".

He made his big screen debut in action thriller movie Tag: The Assassination Game (1982) in roleas Gowdy's Bodyguard, at the age of 21.

He got his television debut in CBS sitcom Making the Grade (1982) in episode "Marriage David Style".

Forest's breakthrough performance came as Edward Garlick in comedy drama war film Good Morning Vietnam (1987) opposite Robin Williams.

He landed his Broadway debut in a play "Hughie" (2016) in role as Erie Smith, at the Booth Theatre.

He made his theatrical feature film directorial debut with comedy romance Waiting to Exhale (1995).

New Movies

Jingle Jangle (2020) musical in role as Jeronicus Jangle

Respect (2020) drama in role as C. L. Franklin

Finding Steve McQueen (2019) heist thriller in role as Howard Lambert

Best Movies

He won the Academy Award, a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role as Idi Amin in historical drama film The Last King of Scotland (2006).

He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role as Charlie "Bird" Parker in biographical film Bird (1988) directed by Clint Eastwood.

Platoon (1986) drama action opposite Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe and Johnny Depp

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) epic space opera in role as Saw Gerrera

Johnny Handsome (1989) crime drama with Mickey Rourke and Morgan Freeman

Arrival (2016) science fiction drama with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner

Phenomenon (1996) romantic fantasy drama with John Travolta

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) crime action directed by Jim Jarmusch

Bloodsport (1988) martial arts with Jean-Claude Van Damme

Panic Room (2002) thriller with Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart and Jared Leto

The Great Debaters (2007) biographical drama opposite Denzel Washington

Street Kings (2008) crime thriller with Keanu Reeves and Chris Evans

Repo Men (2010) science fiction action thriller with Jude Law

The Butler (2013) historical drama with Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda and Robin Williams

Taken 3 (2014) action thriller with Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace

Southpaw (2015) sports drama opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams

City of Lies (2018) drama thriller with Johnny Depp

Sorry to Bother You (2018) science-fiction dark comedy opposite Tessa Thompson

Black Panther (2018) superhero in role as Zuri

TV Shows

He was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Curtis Ames in NBC medical drama television series ER (2006-2007).

He was nominated for the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh in FX crime drama television The Shield (2006-2007).

The Twilight Zone (2002–2003) anthology television series in role as narrator and on-screen host

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2011) CBS police procedural drama series in role as Sam Cooper

Roots (2016) miniseries in role as Henry (Fiddler)

He voiced Saw Gerrera in animated television series Star Wars Rebels (2017).

Empire (2017) Fox musical drama television series in role as Eddie Barker

Godfather of Harlem (2019) crime drama television series in role as Bumpy Johnson


Graduated from Palisades Charter High School in 1979.

Graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting in 1982.

Studied acting at Drama Studio London.

Has two younger brothers, Kenn and Damon and an older sister, Deborah.

He studies yoga and has a black belt in kenpō.

He suffers from a hereditary condition known as Ptosis, also known as lazy eye.

He received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, in 2007.

He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2004.

He is a vegetarian.

Featured in music video for T.I. "Live in the Sky" (2006).

Received honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from University of Southern California in 2018.

Lives in Los Angeles, California.


He married actress Keisha Nash in 1996, they have four children.


(on his role in The Last King of Scotland ) I did a massive amount to prepare for this. First of all I started learning Swahili, learning the accent, then I had to do study all the recording as well as all the books, tapes, documentaries. When I went to Uganda I met with his [Idi Amin's] brother, sister, his ministers his generals and even to the Ugandan king. I did more research for this role than any other character I've probably ever played.

I can play a man who's despicable. But I'll still look inside him to find a point of connection. If I can find that kernel, audiences will relate to me.

I'm an actor. And I guess I've done so many movies I've achieved some high visibility. But a star? I guess I still think of myself as kind of a worker ant.

I really wasn't even sure if I should continue acting. I would like try and figure out if I could be good enough to do it. It was like 10 or 12 years into my career before I felt like maybe I can do it. It was such a different time than now.

I care about people. In the end, I think they feel it. It comes across, regardless of the character I'm portraying.

When I was a kid, the only way I saw movies was from the back seat of my family's car at the drive-in.