Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker

Jul. 15th, 1961
Born in
Longview, Texas, USA
6' 2"

Forest Whitaker's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Shield TV Show
The Shield
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior TV Show
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
The Twilight Zone TV Show
The Twilight Zone

Main Movie Roles

2010 - Our Family Wedding
2010 - Repo Men
2010 - The Experiment
2009 - Powder Blue
2009 - Where the Wild Things Are
2008 - Street Kings
2008 - Vantage Point
2008 - Winged Creatures
2007 - Ripple Effect
2007 - The Great Debaters
2006 - Before the Music Dies
2006 - The Last King of Scotland
2006 - Everyone's Hero
2006 - The Marsh
2005 - American Gun
2004 - First Daughter
2002 - Phone Booth
2002 - Panic Room
2001 - Green Dragon
2000 - Battlefield Earth
2000 - Four Dogs Playing Poker
1999 - Light It Up
1999 - Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
1998 - Body Count
1996 - Phenomenon
1995 - Species
1995 - Smoke
1994 - Blown Away
1994 - Prêt-à-porter
1994 - Jason's Lyric
1993 - Body Snatchers
1992 - Consenting Adults
1992 - Article 99
1992 - The Crying Game
1991 - A Rage in Harlem
1989 - Johnny Handsome
1988 - Bird
1988 - Bloodsport
1987 - Stakeout
1987 - Good Morning Vietnam
1986 - The Color of Money
1986 - Platoon
1985 - Vision Quest
1982 - Fast Times At Ridgemont High
1982 - Tag: The Assassination Game

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Curtis Ames
Himself - Narrator
Turlington (Voiced)
Sam Cooper
Lewis Jordan
Himself - Host
Floyd Green
[Complete List]


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 student pigskin player in his second film Vision Quest (1985). He gain experience on TV as well with featured spots on such varied shows as "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978) and "Cagney & Lacey" (1982), 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 The Color of Money (1986). His one big scene as a naive-looking pool player who out-hustles Paul Newman (I)'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 various 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 (I)'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 developed respect name behind the camera. 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 with 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. Whitaker works closely with a number of charitable organizations. He has also given back to his community, serving as an Honorary Board Member for Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers, the Human Rights Watch and The Hope North organization.

  • Spent a total of three and a half months in Uganda researching and filming _The Last King of Scotland (2006)_ (qv). Uganda was his ever first visit to Africa.
  • He directed 'Whitney Houston' (qv)'s "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" music video.
  • Met his wife actress 'Keisha Whitaker' (qv), nee Nash, on the set of _Blown Away (1994)_ (qv).
  • (April 2002) Was set to direct a live-action film version of _Fat Albert (2004)_ (qv) but disagreed with 'Bill Cosby' (qv) and has since left the production.
  • He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March 2004 in Austin, Texas.
  • Whitaker hosted _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv) on February 10, 2007, during which his singing talent was featured in several sketches.
  • He is the father of three children. He has two daughters, 'Sonnet Noel Whitaker' (qv) (b. October 3rd 1996) and 'True Whitaker' (qv) (b. July 2nd 1998), by his wife, 'Keisha Whitaker' (qv) and a son, 'Ocean Whitaker' (qv) (b. 1990), from a previous relationship. He also has Autumn (b. 1991), a stepdaughter through his marriage with Keisha.
  • He tried to be as bulky as possible to play Big Harold in _Platoon (1986)_ (qv), but the vigorous boot-camping training, bad food and rough shoot caused him to lose a lot of weight. When he noticed Whitaker was getting thinner, 'Oliver Stone (I)' (qv) said to him, "What are you doing? You're supposed to be 'Big' Harold".

Related sites for this celeb
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