famous black actors

Top 30 Famous Black Actors of All Time

Hollywood is a significant sector that employs several performers by appreciating their abilities. At first, the majority of the actors in this field were white. Black performers were typically cast in supporting roles, while white actors dominated the silver screen.

Famous Black Actors

1. Denzel Washington

The winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award is the well-known American actor, director, and producer Denzel Washington. 

He has appeared in more than 50 movies and won numerous accolades, including Tony Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Danzel appeared in well-known films like Fences, Glory, Training Day, The Hurricane, and Remember the Titans. He is probably currently working on a few films that will be released this year.

2. Morgan Freeman

Veteran American actor and filmmaker Morgan Freeman is renowned for his rich voice. 

Freeman performed a variety of characters in numerous films during the course of his 50-year career in the film business. 

He has received various honors, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the AFI Life Achievement Award, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the Academy Award, and the Golden Globe Award.

Poplar Movies: Shawshank Redemption, Glory, Million Dollar Baby, Driving Miss Daisy, Gone Baby Gone

3. Samuel L. Jackson

The next black actor on the list of the 20 most well-known black actors is Samuel L. Jackson.

The 72-year-old actor, who is one of the most well-liked actors in American cinema, doesn’t require an introduction. 

He is the highest-earning actor of all time thanks to the almost $27 billion in total revenue from the films he featured in (excluding the cameo appearances).

His Movies: Pulp Fiction, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Incredibles

4. Will Smith

Another well-known black actor in Hollywood is Will Smith, who was born in 1968 in Pennsylvania, United States. 

Will Smith has received numerous honors, including four Grammy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Award nominations. 

Will Smith is a producer, singer, and lyricist in addition to being an actor. His flawless acting abilities helped him win the hearts of millions of people.

Famous Movies: The Pursuit of Happyness, Aladdin, Gemini Man, Men in Black, I Am Legend, and more

5. Laurence Fishburne

Another well-known black actor who was born in Augusta, Georgia, is Laurence John Fishburne III. 

He is also a dramatist, producer, screenwriter, and director of motion pictures. He has received a lot of honors.

Laurence won a Tony Award in 1992 for “Best Featured Actor in a Play” for his work in Two Trains Running, and he won an Emmy for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series” for his work in TriBeCa. 

One of his well-known characters is the one he played as Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy.

Famous Movies: The Matrix, Man of Steel, Mystic River, Mission: Impossible 3, Ant-Man And The Wasp

6.  Forest Whitaker

Forest American actor, director, producer, and activist Steven Whitaker is well-known.

Numerous accolades, including as the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, British Academy Film Award, and a few Screen Actors Guild Awards, have been bestowed upon him.

Whitaker was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011 and later elevated to Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation. 

However, Whitaker is actively involved in humanitarian activities.

Whitaker was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011 and later elevated to Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation.

Famous Movies: The Butler, Black Panther, The Last King of Scotland, Taken 3, Rogue One.

7. Mekhi Phifer

Famous Movies: High School High, A Lesson Before Dying, 8 Mile, Honey, Dawn of the Dead, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

Dr. Greg Patt was portrayed by American actor Mekhi Phifer in the medical drama television series “ER.” 

He appeared in more than 40 films throughout the course of a career spanning more than two decades.

He was the fourth season’s Celebrity Poker Showdown Championship champion in 2004.

8. Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick The first black actor to feature in an MCU movie was an American actor named Aaron Boseman. 

Despite having a brief career, he left a tremendous legacy in Hollywood. At the age of 40, he received a colon cancer diagnosis in 2016. 

He kept working and contributed to cancer charity. Due to his sickness, he passed away in 2020.

Famous Movies: 42, Marshall, 21 Bridges, The Express, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

9. Eddie Murphy

In addition to being an American actor, Edward Regan Murphy also works as a comedian, writer, producer, and singer. 

He became well-known in his youth as a comedian. On Comedy Central’s list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time, he was ranked number ten.

With the commercially successful 1982 film 48 hrs, he made his debut on the silver screen. For his work in the movie, he was also nominated for a Golden Globe.

Famous Movies: Beverly Hills Cop, The Haunted Mansion, Tower Heist, Coming to America

10. Wesley Snipes

American actor, producer, and martial artist Wesley Trent Snipes is also known for his work in movies.

The Volpi Cup for Best Actor went to him as well for his performance in One Night Stand.

Famous Movies: Blade, Passenger 57, White Men Can’t Jump, Demolition Man

11. Ving Rhames

Ving Rhames rose to prominence by playing Luther Stickell, an IMF agent, in the Mission: Impossible movie series. 

He is renowned for his work as a supporting actor in the movie Pulp Fiction. Famous Movies: Pulp Fiction, Dawn of the Dead, Mission: Impossible

12. Cuba Gooding Jr.

He gained notoriety for playing Tre Styles in the 1991 movie Boyz n the Hood. 

Later, he had cameo appearances in a number of other well-known movies, including Jerry Maguire, Outbreak, A Few Good Men, and The Tuskegee Airmen.

13. Larenz Tate

Larenz Tate is a well-known American film and television actor best known for playing O-Dog in the teen drama movie Menace II Society. 

In his more than three decades-long professional career, he appeared in more than 20 films and 25 TV episodes.

Tate made his small-screen debut in an episode of the anthology television program “The New Twilight Zone.” He most recently appeared in the 2019 film Business Ethics.

Famous Movies: Dead Presidents, Love Jones, A Man Apart, Crash, Waist Deep, Ray

14. Michael Clarke Duncan

Another well-known American black actor is Michael Clarke Duncan. He became well-known for his outstanding work as John Coffey in the 1999 movie The Green Mile. 

In addition to other accolades, his performance in the movie earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Famous Movies: The Scorpion King, Planet of the Apes, Daredevil, The Green Mile, The Island


15. Idris Elba

Another well-known black actor was born in London, England, and his name is Idris Elba. 

He is widely recognized for his roles in the 2013 movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the HBO shows The Wire and Luther on BBC One.

However, Elba has received praise for his performance as Heimdall in the five MCU movies.

He is a fantastic DJ, rapper, singer, and songwriter. Famous Movies: The Wire, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War

16. Michael B. Jordan

An American actor named Michael Bakari Jordan became well-known for his outstanding work in the movies Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Black Panther.

In 2020, The New York Times selected him as the 15th greatest actor of the twenty-first century. 

Famous Movies: Black Panther, That Awkward Moment, Just Mercy, Fruitvale Station

17. Jamie Foxx

Eric Marlon Bishop’s official name is Jamie Foxx, a famous American actor. 

He became well-known for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 film Ray, for which he received multiple honors.

These awards includes; an Academy Award, a BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Critics’ Choice Movie Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Famous Movies: Django Unchained, Ray, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Project Power, Robin Hood

18.  Don Cheadle

American actor Donald Frank Cheadle Jr. is well-known. For his work in the historical drama movie Hotel Rwanda, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. 

Famous Movies: Hotel Rwanda, Reign Over Me, Brooklyn’s Finest, Traffic, The Family Man, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and more

19.  Sidney Poitier

American-Bahamian actor Sidney L. Poitier KBE is retired from acting.

In 1964, Poitier became the first actor from the Bahamas who was also a black man to receive the Academy Award for Best Actor.

However, after Kirk Douglas passed away in 2020, Poitier also became one of the last notable performers from Hollywood’s Golden Age still alive. 

He is an activist, a film maker, and an ambassador. Additionally, Poitier retains the distinction of being the earliest living Best Actor Oscar winner.

Famous Movies: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Duel at Diablo, In the Heat of the Night, A Warm December

20. Danny Glover

Another well-known black actor was born in the United States in San Francisco, California: Daniel Lebern Glover. 

For his role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon movie series, he received a lot of praise. Additionally, he actively backs several political initiatives.

Famous Movies: Lethal Weapon, Predator 2, Jumanji: The Next Level, The Color Purple, Beyond the Lights

21. Bill Cos

Legendary American stand-up comedian Bill Cosby is also an accomplished actor and writer. 

The Bill Cosby Show, an 8-season NBC sitcom, made Bill famous throughout the world (1984-1992). 

In 1965’s Spy Espionage, the 84-year-old star made his acting debut. Additionally, he dabbled in singing and released Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings. 

One of the most well-known older black performers in the business is Bill Cosby.

22. Dennis Haysbert 

One of Hollywood’s most gifted voice performers is Dennis Haysbert. Numerous theatrical performances, movies, and television shows have featured his talent and deep, powerful voice. 

In Absolute Power, he played secret service agent Tim Collin. In The Unit, he played Sergeant Major Jonas Blane. 

23. Samuel L. Jackson 

One of the most well-known black cinema performers, Samuel Jackson has been in the business for 50 years. 

He has acted in a number of well-known movies and television shows, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2003), S.W.A.T. (2014).

24. James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones, who was born on January 17, 1923, is one of the greatest performers in American history. 

In the 1952 television series Guiding Light, he made his film debut as Dr. Jim Frazier.

25. Andre Braugher 

Andre Braugher is most recognized for his current part on the Brooklyn Nine-Nine television series as the austere Captain Raymond Holt. 

In the 1989 motion picture Glory, he made his acting debut. Alongside A-list actors like Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick, Andre has performed.

26. Wesley Snipes 

Wesley is a martial artist, actor, and producer from the United States. His notable cinematic roles include those in The Expendables 3 (1996), White Men Can’t Jump (1992), and New Jack City (1991). (2014). 

He has made an overall 70 film and television appearances. 

27. Djimon Hounsou 

Actor and model Djimon Gaston Hounsou is of Beninese and American descent. He started out in the music video industry. 

He made his cinematic debut in 1990’s Without You I’m Nothing, and he gained notoriety for his portrayal as Cinqué in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad (1997).

28. Cuba Gooding, Jr.

In 1986’s Better Days television series, Cuba made his acting debut as Bully. 

The Bronx Zoo, Coming to America, and Hill Street Blues were among the numerous shows in which he later made appearances.

29. Bernie Mac 

An American actor and comedian by the name of Bernie Mac. He gained notoriety as a stand-up comedian and had appearances in a number of movies and TV shows, including Mo Money, Booty Call, Friday, and The Players Club. 

Mac Bernie passed away from complications from pneumonia on August 9th, 2008. He also had sarcoidosis, a disease that produces inflammation in the tissues but is unknown in its source.

30. Morris Chestnut 

Morris Chestnut, whose full name is Morris Lamont Chestnut, was born on January 1, 1969, in Cerritos, California, in the United States. 

He has appeared in a number of TV shows and motion pictures, including Being Mary Jane (2019), The Resident (2019), and Our Kind of People (2021). (2019)

Black people are gaining power and are known to be outstanding and strong. The world’s most well-known black actors are listed above.

To get to this point, however, where they are known around the world, they had to overcome certain obstacles in life. So keep pursuing your goals!

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