Famous Black Directors

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 1 
Spike Lee
(Film director)
Spike Lee
8
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.

 2 
Tyler Perry
(Creator and Performer of 'Madea' Character & Developer of the Sitcom 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne')
Tyler Perry
5
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.

 3 
Sidney Poitier
(Director and the First African-American to Win an Academy Award for Best Actor)
Sidney Poitier
5
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.

 4 
Regina King
(Actress and Director Best Known for Her Film ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’)
Regina King
5
Birthdate: January 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Regina King was first noticed when she appeared in the series 227 and then gained fame with her role in Jerry Maguire. Her performance as Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk won her both the Academy and the Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress.

 5 
Forest Whitaker
(Best Known for His Role in 'The Last King of Scotland')
Forest Whitaker
5
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.
 6 
Kerry Washington
(Actress and Producer Famous for Her Portrayal of ‘Olivia Pope’ in the Drama Series ‘Scandal’)
Kerry Washington
5
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

American actress, Kerry Washington, attained fame when she starred in the television series, Scandal, which ran from 2012 to 2018. She was also commended for her role in the television film, Confirmation, and for the miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere. She has also acted in films like The Last King of Scotland, Django Unchained, Our Song, The Dead Girl and American Son.

 7 
Danny Glover
(Known for His Lead Role as Roger Murtaugh in the 'Lethal Weapon' Film Series)
Danny Glover
5
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

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.

 8 
Peter Fonda
(Known for His Role of 'Wyatt' in the Film 'Easy Rider')
Peter Fonda
4
Birthdate: February 23, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 16, 2019

Peter Fonda, son of Henry Fonda and brother of Jane Fonda, was an icon of the anti-establishment 1960s’ counterculture. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated screenplay of Easy Rider and his Golden Globe-winning performances in the TV film The Passion of Ayn Rand and the film Ulee's Gold.

 9 
Ryan Coogler
(Director)
Ryan Coogler
4
Birthdate: May 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA
 10 
John Singleton
(Director)
John Singleton
4
Birthdate: January 6, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: April 28, 2019
 11 
Ava DuVernay
(Filmmaker)
Ava DuVernay
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States
 12 
Mekhi Phifer
4
Birthdate: December 29, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
Mekhi Phifer is best known as Greg Pratt from the medical drama ER. He also starred with Eminem in the film 8 Mile. Fans also loved him in the series Lie to Me and Torchwood: Miracle Day, and as Tyrell Martin in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
 13 
Steve McQueen
(British Director Best Known for His Film '12 Years a Slave')
Steve McQueen
4
Birthdate: October 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

Steve McQueen is a British filmmaker and video artist best known for his film 12 Years a Slave. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, making him the first black filmmaker to win the award. He is also a prominent visual artist and a recipient of the Turner Prize, the highest award given to a British visual artist. 

 14 
Phill Lewis
(Actor, Director)
Phill Lewis
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Uganda
Phill Lewis is best known as Mr. Moseby from the series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck. Fans also loved him as Yes, Dear, Special Agent Oso, and Scrubs. He has also directed series such as Mike & Molly and 2 Broke Girls.
 15 
Yaphet Kotto
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
 16 
Lee Daniels
(Screenwriter)
Lee Daniels
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
 17 
Glynn Turman
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Glynn Turman is an American actor, filmmaker, and writer. In a career spanning over 60 years. Some of the notable characters that he has portrayed are: Lew Miles in the movie Peyton Place, Leroy Jackson in the film Cooley High, and Bradford Taylor in the sitcom A Different World. He has also won several awards like the NAACP Image Award.

 18 
Nate Parker
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, USA
 19 
Kevin Abstract
(Rapper Famous For His Debut Album 'MTV1987')
Kevin Abstract
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
 20 
John Kani
(Actor, Playwright, Director)
John Kani
3
Birthdate: August 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Brighton, Eastern Cape

John Kani is a South African actor, playwright, director, and author. He is best known for playing T'Chaka in American superhero films, such as Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War. One of the few South African actors to achieve international recognition, John Kani was included in the Top 100 Great South Africans list, which was published in 2004. 

 21 
Avery Brooks
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, United States
 22 
Colman Domingo
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
 23 
Kim Wayans
(Actress)
Kim Wayans
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 24 
Ossie Davis
(Former actor who appeared in films with wife Ruby Dee)
Ossie Davis
3
Birthdate: December 18, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cogdell, Georgia, United States
Died: February 4, 2005
 25 
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
(Literary Critic and Scholar Who Became Popular for His Pioneering Theories of African and African-American Literature)
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
3
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia, United States

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an American literary critic, historian, professor, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is currently serving as the director of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Over the years Gates has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National Humanities Medal. In 1997, he was named in Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans list.

 26 
Tasha Smith
(Actress)
Tasha Smith
3
Birthdate: February 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Camden, New Jersey, United States
 27 
Clarke Peters
3
Birthdate: April 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
 28 
David Ramsey
(Best Known for His Roles in the TV Series 'Arrow' and 'Dexter')
David Ramsey
3
Birthdate: November 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Best known for his roles in series such as Arrow and Dexter, David Ramsey is also a black belt in the martial art Jeet Kune Do and is well-versed in kickboxing and taekwondo, too. Apart from Arrow, he has played John Diggle/Spartan in three other series, including The Flash and Supergirl.

 29 
Fred Williamson
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, USA
 30 
Georg Stanford Brown
(Actor and Director Best Known for His ABC TV Series ‘The Rookies’)
Georg Stanford Brown
3
Birthdate: June 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba

Cuban-American actor Georg Stanford Brown of The Rookies fame had worked as a janitor to pay for his drama school. He incidentally met his wife at the same school. He won an Emmy for his direction in Cagney & Lacey and was nominated for two more for Hill Street Blues.

 31 
Bill Duke
(Actor)
Bill Duke
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
 32 
Ivan Dixon
(Actor)
Ivan Dixon
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: March 16, 2008
 33 
Adrian Lester
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Birmingham, England, UK
 34 
Sticky Fingaz
3
Birthdate: November 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
 35 
Nia DaCosta
(First African-American woman to have a film debut at number one upon opening weekend)
Nia DaCosta
0
Birthdate: November 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 36 
Lexington Steele
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, USA
 37 
Keesha Sharp
(Actress)
Keesha Sharp
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
 38 
Paula Jai Parker
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
 39 
Damien Dante Wayans
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York
 40 
Gordon Parks
(Photographer)
Gordon Parks
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fort Scott, Kansas, United States
Died: March 7, 2006

Gordon Parks was a writer, photographer, musician, and film director. He was the first Black American to direct and produce major motion pictures pertaining to the experience of slaves and African-Americans. He is credited with co-creating a new film genre called blaxploitation and his works have influenced filmmakers like Spike Lee. He is also credited with co-founding Essence magazine.

 41 
Damian Harris
(Film director, Screenwriter)
Damian Harris
3
Birthdate: August 2, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
 42 
Boots Riley
(Musician)
Boots Riley
3
Birthdate: April 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
 43 
Tim Russ
(Actor)
Tim Russ
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA
 44 
Shaka King
(For directing and co-writing the 2021 biopic Judas and the Black Messiah.)
Shaka King
0
Birthdate: March 7, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Stephen McKinley Henderson
2
Birthdate: August 31, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, USA

Best known for his work in the plays of August Wilson, actor Stephen McKinley Henderson has also impressed audiences with his roles in movies such as Lincoln and Dune. The Juilliard-educated actor has also been nominated for a Tony Award for his role in the play Fences.

 46 
Rick Famuyiwa
(Film Director)
Rick Famuyiwa
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laie, Hawaii, United States

Rick Famuyiwa is a Nigerian-American filmmaker and screenwriter. Some of his best-known works include the 1999 coming-of-age film, The Wood, 2002 romantic comedy movie, Brown Sugar, and 2015 coming-of-age film, Dope. Over the years, Famuyiwa has been vocal about the issues faced by African-Americans in the film industry and works hard to resolve such issues.

 47 
Chip Fields
(Actress)
Chip Fields
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S
 48 
Antwone Fisher
(Director)
Antwone Fisher
2
Birthdate: August 3, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
 49 
Ted Lange
(Actor)
Ted Lange
2
Birthdate: January 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oakland, California, U.S.
 50 
Terri J. Vaughn
2
Birthdate: October 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States