Forest Whitaker Biography

Birthday: 1961-07-15
Place of Birth: Longview, Texas USA
Height: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
Wiki Biography: Forest Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. The athletically-inclined Whitaker initially found his way into college via a football scholarship. Later, however, he transferred to USC where he set his concentration on music and earned two more scholarships training as an operatic tenor. This, in turn, led to another scholarship at Berkeley with a renewed focus on acting and the performing stage. Whitaker made his film debut at the age of 21 in the raucous comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) wherein he played, quite naturally, a footballer. He went on to play another sports-oriented student, a wrestler, in his second film Vision Quest (1985). He gained experience on TV as well with featured spots on such varied shows as "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978) and "Cagney & Lacey" (1981), not to mention the TV-movie Civil War epic "North and South" (1985) and its sequel. The movie that truly put him on the map was The Color of Money (1986). His one big scene as a naive-looking pool player who out-hustles Paul Newman's Fast Eddie Felson was pure electricity. This led to more visible roles in the "A" class films Platoon (1986), Stakeout (1987), and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), which culminated in his breakout lead portrayal of the tortured jazz icon 'Charlie "Bird" Parker' in Clint Eastwood's passion project Bird (1988), for which Whitaker won the Cannes Film Festival award for "best actor" and a Golden Globe nomination. While his "gentle giant" characters typically display innocence, indecision, and timidity along with a strong underlying humanity, he has certainly not shied away from the edgier, darker corners of life as his occasional hitmen and other menacing streetwise types can attest. Although in only the first section of the film, he was memorable as the IRA-captured British soldier whose bizarre relationship with a mysterious femme fatale serves as the catalyst for the critically-lauded drama The Crying Game (1992). Always a willing participant to push the envelope, he's gone on to enhance a number of lesser films. Among those was his plastic surgeon in Johnny Handsome (1989), gay clothing designer in Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter (1994), alien hunter in Species (1995), absentee father confronted by his estranged son in Smoke (1995), and Mafia hitman who models himself after the samurai warrior in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), among many others. As would be expected, he's also had his share of epic-sized bombs, notoriously the L. Ron Hubbard sci-fi disaster Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000). On the TV front, he was the consulting producer and host of a revamped Rod Serling's cult series classic "The Twilight Zone" (2002), which lasted a disappointing one season. In the early 1990s, Whitaker widened his horizons to include producing/directing and has since gained respect behind the camera as well. He started things off co-producing the violent gangster film A Rage in Harlem (1991), in which he co-starred with Gregory Hines and Robin Givens, and then made his successful directorial debut with the soulful Waiting to Exhale (1995), showcasing a legion of distaff black stars. He also directed co-star Whitney Houston's music video of the movie's theme song ("Shoop Shoop"). Most recently, he scored with audiences helming the fluffy romantic comedy First Daughter (2004) with Katie Holmes and Michael Keaton. He is married to former model Keisha Whitaker and has three children by her. His younger brothers Kenn Whitaker and Damon Whitaker are both actors as well. Whitaker's multimedia company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, includes film, television and music production. He works closely with a number of charitable organizations, giving back to his community by serving as an Honorary Board Members for Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers, the Human Rights Watch and The Hope North organization.

Forest WhitakerPhotos & Pictures

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Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Lush Life 1996 - 1996 Drama
The Twilight Zone (2002) Himself - Host / ... 2002 - 2003
Phenomenon Nate Pope 2007 - 2007 Drama
Our Family Wedding Brad Boyd 2010 Comedy
Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior Sam Cooper 2011 Crime
Africa Himself - Narrarator 2013
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Mary 1931
Fast Times at Ridgemont High 1982 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Vision Quest 1985 0
North and South Cuffey 1985 Drama, History, Romance
Platoon Big Harold 1986 0, Romance
Good Morning, Vietnam Edward Garlick 1987 0, 0
Stakeout 1987 Action, Comedy, Crime
Bloodsport 1988 Action, Sport
Bird Charlie 'Bird' Parker 1988 Biography, Drama, Music
Downtown Dennis Curren 1989
Johnny Handsome Dr. Steven Fisher 1989 Crime, Drama, Thriller
A Rage in Harlem 1991 Comedy
Diary of a Hitman Dekker 1991 Comedy, 0
The Crying Game Jody 1992 Biography, Comedy, 0
Article 99 1992 Drama, Comedy
Consenting Adults 1992 Crime, Drama, Mystery
Body Snatchers Major Collins 1993
Bank Robber Officer Battle 1993 Comedy, Crime, Romance
Blown Away 1994 0, 0, Game Show
Prêt-à-Porter Cy Bianco 1994 Comedy, Drama
Species 1995 Reality Tv, 0, Sport
Smoke Cyrus Cole 1995 Comedy, Drama
Phenomenon Nate Pope 1996 Drama, Fantasy
Body Count Crane 1998 Comedy, Crime, Drama
Light It Up 1999 Game Show
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Ghost Dog 1999 Action, Crime, Drama
Witness Protection 1999 Crime, Drama
Battlefield Earth Ker 2000 0, Sport
American Gun Carl Carter 2002
Panic Room Burnham 2002 Game Show, Comedy
The Fourth Angel Agent Jules Bernard 2002 Thriller, Drama, Action
Phone Booth Captain Ed Ramey 2003 Mystery, Thriller
Green Dragon 2004 Drama
A Little Trip to Heaven 2005 0
Ripple Effect Philip 2007 0
The Last King of Scotland Idi Amin 2007 Drama, History
The Marsh Geoffrey Hunt 2007 Horror, Thriller
The Air I Breathe Happiness 2007 Crime, Drama, Thriller
The Great Debaters 2007 Drama
Vantage Point Howard Lewis 2008 Comedy, 0, 0
Chasseurs de dragons Lian-Chu 2008 Animation, Adventure, Family
Street Kings Captain Jack Wander 2008 Crime, Drama, Thriller
Even Money 2008 Crime, Drama
Powder Blue Charlie 2009
Fragments Charlie Archenault 2009 Crime, Drama
Toys in the Attic Teddy 2009 Animation, Family, Fantasy
Hurricane Season Al Collins 2009 Drama, Sport
Repo Men Jake 2010 Comedy, 0, Sport
Our Family Wedding Brad Boyd 2010 Comedy, Romance
My Own Love Song Joey 2010 Comedy, Drama
The Experiment Barris 2010 Drama, Thriller
Lullaby for Pi George 2010 Drama
Catch .44 Ronny 2011
Freelancers LaRue 2012 Action, Crime, Drama
The Butler Cecil Gaines 2013
A Dark Truth Francisco Francis 2013 Action, Thriller
The Last Stand Agent John Bannister 2013 Action, Crime, Thriller
Pawn Will 2013 Crime, Thriller
Zulu Ali Sokhela 2013 Crime, Drama, Thriller
Black Nativity Reverend Cornell 2013 Drama, Musical
Out of the Furnace Wesley Barnes 2013 Thriller
A Fall from Grace Source 2014 Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Two Men in Town William Garnett 2014 Drama
Southpaw Titus 'Tick' Wills 2015 Drama