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 James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones
13
Famous As: One of the Greatest Actors in American History
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.

 2 Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Died: January 6, 2022

Sidney Poitier was 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.

 3 Chris Rock

Chris Rock
11
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.

 4 Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali
6
Famous As: First Muslim Actor to Win an Oscar
Birthdate: February 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

 5 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.

 6 Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore
5
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.

 7 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.

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 8 Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 9 Anthony Mackie

Anthony Mackie
5
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.

 10 Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Longview, Texas, United States
Forest Whitaker is best known for his Academy Award-winning performance as real-life dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Fans also loved him in Rogue One and Ghost Dog. He is an advocate of the UN’s Global Goals and supports peace-building initiatives and programs that help war victims.

 11 Mr. T

Mr. T
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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.

 12 Spike Lee

Spike Lee
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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.

 13 Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Forest Gate, London, England

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor received scars on his forehead when he was just 11 as a result of an accident in which he lost his father. Although the scars might bring back terrible memories, they might have played a crucial role in Steven Spielberg selecting him for a role in Amistad, a film based on the events aboard a slave ship.

 14 Charlie Murphy

Charlie Murphy
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: July 12, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: BrBrooklyn, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 2017
Charlie Murphy, older brother of Eddie Murphy, is best remembered for his sketch-comedy series Chappelle's Show and for his performance as Vic in Black Jesus. He also voiced Big Kid on the children’s show Thugaboo. He also starred in movies such as CB4 and co-wrote Vampire in Brooklyn.

 15 Ludacris

Ludacris
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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. 

 16 John Boyega

John Boyega
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 17, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Peckham, London, England

John Boyega is a British-Nigerian actor known for his portrayal of Finn in the Star Wars films, such as The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker. He has also voiced Finn in a couple of video games and theme park attractions. Also known for his political activism, Boyega has participated in social movements like the Black Lives Matter rally.

 17 Djimon Hounsou

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

 18 Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker
5
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: August 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Chris Tucker is an American stand-up comedian and actor best known for playing Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series alongside Jackie Chan. Also a humanitarian, Tucker joined the likes of Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Kevin Spacey, and Ghislaine Maxwell on a trip to Africa in an attempt to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

 19 Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice
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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.

 20 Keith Stanfield

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

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.

 21 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.

 22 Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady
5
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.

 23 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.

 24 André 3000

André 3000
6
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 25 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.

 26 Tracy Morgan

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

 27 Master P

Master P
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 28 Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States

 29 LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 16, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Best known for his performances as Kunta Kinte in Roots and Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, LeVar Burton is also known for his 23-year stint as the award-winning host of Reading Rainbow. Though he initially aspired to be a Catholic priest, he doesn’t believe in any religion anymore.

 30 Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee Williams
5
Famous As: Actor, Novelist
Birthdate: April 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Actor, voice actor, and artist Billy Dee Williams first rose to fame for his role in the Star Wars franchise in the early 1980s. Making his Broadway theater debut as a child actor, he went on to pursue a career as an artist. Eventually, he started acting again and achieved success as both an actor and an artist.

 31 Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Andre Braugher is best known for his Emmy-winning performances as Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street and as Nick Atwater in Thief. Fans also loved him as Raymond Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz in BoJack Horseman, and in the movies City of Angels and Poseidon

 32 Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 33 Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte
4
Famous As: Singer, Actor
Birthdate: March 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, United States

 34 Mike Colter

Mike Colter
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 26, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Columbia, South Carolina, United States

Mike Colter is an American actor known for portraying the eponymous character in the popular streaming television series Luke Cage. Thanks to his association with Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2015, Mike Colter is often credited with playing an important role in improving Marvel Television's business over the last few years.

 35 Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 36 Damon Wayans Jr.

Damon Wayans Jr.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Huntington, Vermont, United States

The son of popular actor and comedian Damon Wayans, Damon Wayans Jr. followed in his father's footsteps to become a famous actor and comedian in his own right. He played a major role in helping the ABC comedy series Happy Endings become a critically acclaimed series and a cult classic.

 37 John Amos

John Amos
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

 38 Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Covington, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 10, 2008

 39 Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 31, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Lance Reddick is an American musician and actor. Over the years, Reddick has contributed immensely to the success of several TV series, such as Oz, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Wire, Fringe, and Bosch. He has also been entertaining children and adults alike by providing his likeness and voice for video games like Quantum Break and Destiny series.

 40 Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Jeffrey Wright is a popular American actor. A self-made man, Jeffrey Wright overcame many childhood problems, including the demise of his father, to become an award-winning actor. Jeffrey Wright serves as an inspiration to many black Americans. In 2011, he established a gold exploration company called Taia Lion Resources, which provided employment to several Americans.

 41 Redd Foxx

Redd Foxx
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 11, 1991

 42 Brian Tyree Henry

Brian Tyree Henry
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 31, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fayetteville, North Carolina Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.

 43 Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 15, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is an American actor best known for playing Black Manta in the 2018 superhero film Aquaman. He is also renowned for portraying Doctor Manhattan in the superhero drama limited series Watchmen for which he was honored with the prestigious Primetime Emmy Award in September 2020.

 44 Keenen Ivory Wayans

Keenen Ivory Wayans
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Keenen Ivory Wayans, part of the Wayans family of comedians, is best known as the host of the show In Living Color. He has also directed and written several movies, including the horror spoof Scary Movie and its first sequel. He has also hosted The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show.

 45 Winston Duke

Winston Duke
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 15, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

 46 Dennis Haysbert

Dennis Haysbert
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Mateo, California, United States
Dennis Haysbert is best known as Pedro Cerrano from the Major League films and Tim Collin from Absolute Power. He also played a fictional American president in the series 24, a role that earned him several award nominations. Some of his other notable projects are Far from Heaven and Incorporated.

 47 Isaiah Washington

Isaiah Washington
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Isaiah Washington is an American actor who achieved popularity after playing Dr. Preston Burke in the popular medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy. After learning about his African roots with the help of a genealogical DNA test, Isaiah Washington traveled to Sierra Leone where he touched the lives of many by building a school and donating supplies to a hospital.

 48 Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor
5
Famous As: Former American football Outside linebacker
Birthdate: February 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Williamsburg, Virginia, United States

 49 John Singleton

John Singleton
5
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: January 6, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: April 28, 2019

 50 Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose
5
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: January 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States