Forest Steven Whitaker (born July 15, 1961) is an American actor. He is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Film Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Forest Steven Whitaker
July 15, 1961
Longview, Texas, U.S.
|Education||California State Polytechnic University, Pomona|
University of Southern California (BFA)
New York University
|Occupation(s)||Actor, producer, director|
(m. 1996; div. 2021)
After making his film debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Whitaker went on to earn a reputation for intensive character study work for films, such as Platoon (1986), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Bird (1988), The Crying Game (1992), Phenomenon (1996), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), The Great Debaters (2007), The Butler (2013), Arrival (2016), and Respect (2021). He has also appeared in blockbusters, such as Panic Room (2002), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) as Saw Gerrera, and Black Panther (2018) as Zuri. For his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the British historical drama film The Last King of Scotland (2006), Whitaker won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Whitaker made his directorial debut with the television film Strapped (1993), and directed the films Waiting to Exhale (1995), Hope Floats (1998), and First Daughter (2004). Since 2019, he has starred as Bumpy Johnson in the Epix crime drama series Godfather of Harlem.
Apart from his acting career, Whitaker is also known for his humanitarian work and activism. In 2011, he was inducted as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, later receiving a promotion to Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and serves as the CEO of Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI), a non-profit outreach program.