Famous Black Actors

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Will Smith

Will Smith
20
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

The charismatic, versatile and bankable American artist, Will Smith, tasted early success with rapping. A successful transition into films and television soon followed and made Smith a phenomenal success. With solid earnings, he has also frequently secured himself a place in the list of highest paid actors in world.

 2 Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman
12
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Prominent character actor, Morgan Freeman, has appeared in a range of film genres playing versatile roles. He is known for his distinctive deep voice. In a career spanning over half a century, he has received various accolades, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Besides acting, he is an advocate of environmental causes.

 3 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington
17
Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: December 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States

Actor, director, and producer, Denzel Washington, is famous for portraying strong real-life characters like anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko, and human rights activist, Malcolm X, in films. Well-built and ruggedly handsome, he became the first black star to be named the Sexiest Man Alive in 1996. 

 4 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Actor and producer, Samuel L. Jackson is widely regarded as one of the most popular actors of his generation. A highly prolific actor, he has appeared in over 150 films and is especially known for his roles in Quentin Tarantino films. Besides acting, he has voiced for several animated films, television series, and video games.

 5 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States

Actor, singer-songwriter, and comedian, Jamie Foxx became internationally famous for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, a role that earned him an Academy Award. He is also known for hosting his own television sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. Besides acting, he is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released four albums.

 6 Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier
7
Birthdate: February 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, U.S.

Sidney Poitier is a Bahamian-American actor who became the first Afro-Bahamian and Black male actor to receive an Oscar for Best Actor in 1964. In 2009, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His life and work inspired a couple of documentary films, including the 2008 film Sidney Poitier, an Outsider in Hollywood.

 7 Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 29, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Anderson, South Carolina, United States
Died: August 28, 2020

A versatile actor and an inspiration for a generation of black youths, Chadwick Boseman is best remembered for portraying notable real life black figures like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown in their biopics. His excellent performance in Black Panther, though, turned him into a household name.

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 8 Prince

Prince
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21, 2016

Singer-songwriter, dancer, and musician, Prince is is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was considered a guitar virtuoso and could also play several other instruments. With worldwide sales of over 150 million records, he is ranked among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was also well known for his flamboyant persona.

 9 Idris Elba

Idris Elba
16
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Idris Elba is a successful actor both on the small and the big screen and is mainly known for the television series The Wire and Luther and also for films, such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Beasts of No Nation. He has also acted in blockbuster films of Marvel Comics universe like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.

 10 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor and comedian, Eddie Murphy, is one of the highest-grossing actors in the United States. Beginning his career as a comedian on the TV show Saturday Night Live, he went on to become a bankable movie actor. Also a singer, he has released many studio albums. He has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 11 Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart
7
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

American comedian and actor, Kevin Hart attained fame as a stand-up comic and then established himself as a leading comedic actor on the big screen with films like Get Hard, About Last Night, Ride Along and The Wedding Ringer. He has also been part of two Jumanji films. He was critically acclaimed for the 2019 comedy-drama film The Upside.

 12 Terry Crews

Terry Crews
11
Famous As: Actor, American Football Player
Birthdate: July 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Flint

Terrence Crews is an actor, comedian, activist and a body-builder. He’s also a former professional football player. He has starred in sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Plus, he has acted in many movies including the Expendables series. In 2017, Crews talked about a sexual assault on him by a Hollywood executive. He fiercely advocates for women's rights.

 13 Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle
9
Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: August 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

American comedian, writer and actor, Dave Chappelle, is best known for the Chappelle’s Show, the acclaimed Comedy Central show which brought him much popularity before he decided to call it quits in its third season. He later released award winning comedy specials with Netflix. Dave has also featured in numerous films like Half Baked and A Star Is Born.

 14 James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States

A veteran actor with a career spanning more than seven decades, James Earl Jones has been described as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors. He initially aspired to be a doctor but fate had other plans for him. He began his career as a stage actor and soon joined films as well.

 15 Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 3, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan was one of the most popular actors best known for his portrayal of John Coffey in the fantasy drama film The Green Mile. Apart from acting in films and TV series, he was also featured in several video games, such as SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, and The Suffering: Ties That Bind.

 16 Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

The amazingly talented, Tyler Perry, is an American actor who topped Forbes list of highest-paid man in entertainment in 2011. Perry is most known as the creator of the boisterous, African-American grandmother character, Madea, which he himself performs with great skill and artistry. From a homeless playwriter to having his own studio, Perry has surely achieved the evasive American dream.

 17 Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith
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Famous As: Rapper, Actor
Birthdate: July 8, 1998
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Malibu, California, United States

Jaden Smith, son of the famous Hollywood actor Will Smith, made his big screen debut with his father in The Pursuit of Happyness at a young age. Later, The Karate Kid proved to be a big movie for him. The young star, since then, has continued his acting career and simultaneously released two albums and launched his own clothing line.

 18 Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 31, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Orlando, Florida, United States

The quintessential vampire-killer of Hollywood, Wesley Snipes is best known for his action-oriented films, such as the Blade film trilogy and The Expendables 3. Apart from being an actor, Wesley Snipes is also a martial artist, and hence often portray roles that require him to perform stunts. He is a black belt holder in Hapkido and Shotokan Karate.

 19 Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

A fashion model turned actor, Shemar Moore is known for his rugged good looks and raw sex appeal. He started modeling in college and soon moved to act in TV shows. After having a successful stint in the TV series The Young and the Restless, he became a popular name in the show business.

 20 Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

 21 Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 22 Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac
5
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 5, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 9, 2008
A well-known comedian and actor, Bernie Mac was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time list in 2017. In recognition of his contribution to arts, Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared November 14 as Bernie Mac Day in 2016. Bernie's alma mater Chicago Vocational High School renamed its CVS Auditorium as Bernie Mac Auditorium.

 23 Anthony Mackie

Anthony Mackie
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 23, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Anthony Mackie is an American actor who achieved international recognition after playing Sam Wilson / Falcon in a series of superhero films produced by Marvel Studios. A self-made man, Mackie graduated from the Juilliard School and worked hard to establish himself in the American film and TV industry.

 24 Chris Rock

Chris Rock
10
Famous As: Standup Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: February 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Andrews, South Carolina, United States

A high-school drop-out, Chris Rock worked at restaurants before stepping into stand-up comedy. He gained fame with SNL and earned his first role through Eddie Murphy. Known for voicing Marty in the Madagascar franchise, Chris also created the series Everybody Hates Chris and was voted Comedy Central’s fifth-greatest stand-up comedian.

 25 Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States

Known for his portrayal of domineering and aggressive characters in his films, Laurence Fishburne began his stint on screen as a child actor in projects such as Apocalypse Now. The play Two Trains Running won him multiple theater awards. However, fans remember him best as Morpheus from The Matrix.

 26 Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 8, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

Nicholas Cannon is a comedian, rapper and television host. The Nick Cannon Show, America's Got Talent and The Masked Singer are some of his popular TV shows. He has also acted in films like Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing and Roll Bounce. Cannon has been accused of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks. He has called White people ‘savages’.

 27 LL Cool J

LL Cool J
5
Famous As: Rapper, Actor
Birthdate: January 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bay Shore, New York, United States

LL Cool J is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and record producer. Such is his popularity that LL Cool J was named on VH1's list of 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time in 2010. In 2017, he became the first rapper to be awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. Over the years, Cool J has had a profound influence on hip-hop.

 28 Mr. T

Mr. T
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Mr. T is best known as A. Baracus from The A-Team and Clubber Lang from Rocky III. Fans love his signature hairstyle and his gold jewelry, which he stopped wearing after Hurricane Katrina. His catchphrase “I pity the fool!" inspired a reality show. He has previously been a celebrity bodyguard.

 29 Spike Lee

Spike Lee
5
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: March 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Spike Lee is a celebrated and one of the most decorated American filmmakers of his generation. Most of his critically acclaimed films explore political issues, such as urban crime and poverty, colorism in the African-American community, and race relations. Four of his films have been selected for conservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

 30 Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence
6
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: April 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Martin Lawrence is a German born-American actor and comedian. Despite being traumatized after witnessing his parents' divorce at the age of eight, Lawrence went on to succeed as a comedian and later as a leading Hollywood actor. After a problematic 1990s, which included episodes of arrests, lawsuits, and health problems, he bounced back with several hit films.

 31 Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 14, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Carl Weathers began his career as a football player, playing for the NFL team Oakland Raiders and the CFL team B.C. Lions. He stepped into acting with Arthur Marks’s blaxploitation films. He is best known as Apollo Creed from the Rocky films and as Greef Karga from The Mandalorian.

 32 Danny Glover

Danny Glover
6
Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, U.S.

Danny Glover is an American actor whose career has spanned more than four decades. Apart from being an actor, Danny Glover has had a major impact as an activist; he has made his presence felt as an activist in countries like Brazil, Iraq, Venezuela, Israel, and many African countries.

 33 Ludacris

Ludacris
4
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris soared to fame with his second album, Back for the First Time. Fans also loved him as Tej Parker in The Fast and the Furious franchise. He owns a label, a line of headphones, and a restaurant. His Ludacris Foundation is associated with many youth initiatives. 

 34 Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

An important member of the popular Wayans family, Damon Wayans is a stand-up comedian and actor. Over the years, Damon Wayans has been a prominent and influential member of popular sketch comedy series, such as In Living Color and Saturday Night Live.

 35 Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 5, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Sterling K. Brown is best known as Christopher Darden from The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Randall Pearson from This Is Us. Named to TIME 100, he also became the first Black actor to win the Golden Globe for the “Best Actor in a TV Drama.” 

 36 Karl Malone

Karl Malone
4
Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach, Actor
Birthdate: July 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Summerfield

 37 Bow Wow

Bow Wow
4
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Rapper Bow Wow, earlier known as "Lil Bow Wow,” was discovered by Snoop Dogg. He is best known for songs such as Bow Wow (That's My Name). He has also appeared in movies such as Like Mike and All About the Benjamins, and in series such as Entourage.

 38 Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 24, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cotonou

 39 Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey

Despite being born with conditions like microcephaly and dwarfism, Beetlejuice went on to become a popular film, radio, and TV personality. A prominent member of Wack Pack, which is part of The Howard Stern Show, Beetlejuice was named the greatest Wack Packer ever by Howard Stern in 2015.

 40 Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, United States

Emmy Award-winner improv comedian Wayne Brady of Whose Line Is It Anyway? has also mesmerized audiences with his acting skills in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots. If that wasn’t enough, the multitalented performer was also nominated for a Grammy for his rendition of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come.

 41 Alfonso Ribeiro

Alfonso Ribeiro
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States

Alfonso Ribeiro is an American actor, television personality, and dancer who got to dance alongside Michael Jackson for a Pepsi commercial when the former was just a kid. Since then, Ribeiro has not looked back and later used his dancing skills to become an actor. He currently hosts one of the most beloved TV shows ever, America's Funniest Home Videos.

 42 André 3000

André 3000
4
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 43 Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
Cuba Gooding Jr., son of soul singer Cuba Gooding Sr., shot to fame with his Academy Award-winning role of Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire. He has played real-life characters O.J Simpson and Ben Carson on TV. His other notable projects include Pearl Harbor and As Good As It Gets.

 44 Ving Rhames

Ving Rhames
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 12, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
Ving Rhames, mostly seen as the villain in films such as Con Air and Pulp Fiction, won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of real-life boxing promoter Don King in Don King: Only in America. He is also known as Luther Stickell from the Mission: Impossible franchise.

 45 Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Flatbush, New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 6, 2021

Known for his supporting roles in films such as The Road, 12 Years a Slave, and When They See Us, Michael K. Williams is a budding talent of Hollywood. Fans adored him as Albert "Chalky" White in Boardwalk Empire. He became a critics’ favorite with his Emmy-winning role in Bessie.

 46 Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Michael Jai White is an American martial artist and actor. When he portrayed Al Simmons in the film Spawn, White became one of the first black actors to play a major comic book superhero in the history of American film industry. Known for his martial arts skills, White has played leading roles in popular action films like Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

 47 Keith David

Keith David
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Three-time Emmy-winner Keith David is known for his voice roles in The War and Unforgivable Blackness. He has narrated several documentaries and audio books, apart from voicing iconic characters such as Arbiter in the Halo games. He played the title role in Greenleaf and supporting roles in many movies.

 48 Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 49 Keith Stanfield

Keith Stanfield
4
Famous As: Actor, Rapper
Birthdate: August 12, 1991
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Bernardino, California, USA

Keith Stanfield is an American actor best known for playing real-life personalities like Snoop Dogg and Jimmie Lee Jackson in biographical films. For playing rapper Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, Lakeith Stanfield won the Breakthrough Performer award at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

 50 John David Washington

John David Washington
10
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Son of famous actor, Denzel Washington, John David Washington is a former professional footballer who played in the NFL Europe and the United Football League (UFL). He co-produced a film, The Book of Eli, and rose to fame as an actor with HBO drama series, Ballers. He later starred in critically acclaimed films, such as BlacKkKlansman and Tenet.