Famous Black Film & Theater Personalities

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

Vote for Your Favourite Film & Theater Personalities

 1 
Halle Berry
(Only African-American Woman To Win Oscar for Best Actress)

Halle Berry
21
Birthdate: August 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Halle Berry is one of the most popular actresses of the current generation. During the 2000s, she was one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses. Halle is also known for her activism for which she was honored with the 2006 Woman of The Year award by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. She also gets featured in several Sexiest Women lists.

 2 
James Earl Jones
(One of the Greatest Actors in American History)

James Earl Jones
9
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.

 3 
Chris Rock
(Ranked No. 5 on Rolling Stone's List of the 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time)

Chris Rock
12
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 

Sidney Poitier
7
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.

 5 
Spike Lee
(Film director)

Spike Lee
5
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.

 6 
Chris Tucker
(Actor and Comedian, Best Known for His Roles in the 'Rush Hour' Triology)

Chris Tucker
7
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.

 7 
Zoë Kravitz
(Actress)

Zoë Kravitz
11
Birthdate: December 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venice, Los Angeles, California, United States

Actress, singer, and model Zoë Kravitz first gained prominence for her role in the superhero film X-Men: First Class in the early 2010s. She is the daughter of actor parents and her entry into Hollywood is hardly surprising. Besides acting, she also works as a fashion model and musician. As a singer, she is involved with the band Lolawolf.

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 8 

Keith David
8
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.

 9 

Tracy Morgan
7
Birthdate: November 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 10 

Lupita Nyong'o
9
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Lupita Nyong'o is one of the most popular black actresses of all time. The first Kenyan-Mexican actress to receive the prestigious Academy Award, Lupita Nyong'o has often been named in lists, such as the world's most beautiful woman. In 2020, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women.

 11 
Laverne Cox
(First Transgender Person To Appear on Cover of 'Time' Magazine)

Laverne Cox
8
Birthdate: May 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States

 12 
Mahershala Ali
(First Muslim Actor to Win an Oscar)

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

 13 
Hannibal Buress
(Comedian)

Hannibal Buress
8
Birthdate: February 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 14 

Wesley Snipes
5
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.

 15 

Shemar Moore
4
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.

 16 

Laurence Fishburne
4
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.

 17 

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

 18 
Redd Foxx
(Comedian)

Redd Foxx
6
Birthdate: December 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 11, 1991

 19 

Anthony Mackie
5
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.

 20 
Kerry Washington
(Know for Her Crisis Management Expert Olivia Pope in The ABC Drama Series 'Scandal')

Kerry Washington
4
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.

 21 

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.

 22 
Mr. T
(Actor)

Mr. T
4
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.

 23 

Naomi Campbell
12
Birthdate: May 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Streatham
Naomi Campbell is one of the “Big Six” supermodels of the 1980s and the 1990s, who has graced both the ramp and print. She has also released a music album, been part of a fashion reality show, started a web series, and founded charitable organizations such as Fashion for Relief.

 24 
Lena Horne
(Singer, Dancer, Actress)

Lena Horne
4
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, United States
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

 25 
Janelle Monae
(Singer-songwriter)

Janelle Monae
4
Birthdate: December 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Artist Janelle Monae initially sang with rapper Big Boi and is known for albums such as Dirty Computer. She has been nominated for the Grammys multiple times. Monae also appeared in films such as Hidden Figures and the Academy Award-winning drama Moonlight. She is both bisexual and pansexual.

 26 

Chiwetel Ejiofor
5
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.

 27 
Tyron Woodley
(Mixed martial artist)

Tyron Woodley
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ferguson, Missouri, United States

 28 
Ludacris
(Rapper)

Ludacris
4
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. 

 29 

Octavia Spencer
4
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

 30 
Charlie Murphy
(Best Known as a Writer & Cast Member of the Sketch-Comedy Series 'Chappelle's Show')

Charlie Murphy
5
Birthdate: July 12, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, 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.

 31 
Aisha Tyler
(Actress, TV Host)

Aisha Tyler
4
Birthdate: September 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Francisco

Aisha Tyler is credited with co-founding an all-female a cappella group called Dartmouth Rockapellas, which aimed at spreading social awareness through music. She later became a prominent actress, playing important roles in popular TV series like Criminal Minds and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Aisha Tyler is also an ardent advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ rights.

 32 
Damon Wayans
(Actor, Comedian and Member of the 'Wayans' Family of Entertainers)

Damon Wayans
4
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.

 33 

John Boyega
5
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.

 34 
Patrice O'Neal
(Stand-up Comedian)

Patrice O'Neal
4
Birthdate: December 7, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 2011

 35 
Shonda Rhimes
(Television Producer)

Shonda Rhimes
4
Birthdate: January 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, author, and television producer. She is credited with creating, writing, and executive producing one of the most popular American medical drama TV series ever, Grey's Anatomy. She is also credited with creating series like Private Practice and Scandal. In 2007, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 People Who Help Shape the World.

 36 

Beetlejuice
16
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.

 37 
Jordan Peele
(Actor, Comedian, Director)

Jordan Peele
3
Birthdate: February 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

 38 

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

 39 

Keith Stanfield
4
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.

 40 
Manute Bol
(Basketball player)

Manute Bol
4
Birthdate: October 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gogrial, Sudan
Died: June 19, 2010

Known for his 7’ 7” frame, Manute Bol made headlines as one of the tallest NBA players ever. Born in Sudan, he was initially a soccer player but quit it because of his height. He later moved to the US to represent basketball teams such as the Golden State Warriors.

 41 
Donna Summer
(Singer-Songwriter)

Donna Summer
5
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012

 42 

Ving Rhames
4
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.

 43 
Leslie Jones
(Comedian)

Leslie Jones
6
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

 44 
André 3000
(Rapper)

André 3000
5
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 45 

Vanessa Williams
5
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

 46 

Wayne Brady
5
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.

 47 

Michael Jai White
4
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.

 48 
Dionne Warwick
(Singer & Actress)

Dionne Warwick
4
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

Dionne Warwick is an American singer, TV host, actress, and former FAO Goodwill Ambassador. Warwick was one of the most successful singers between 1955 and 1999, ranking among the 40 biggest hitmakers according to the Billboard Hot 100. 80 of her singles have been featured on Billboard's music charts, making Warwick one of the most-charted female singers in history. 

 49 
Teyana Taylor
(Singer-Songwriter Who Appeared on MTV's 'My Super Sweet 16')

Teyana Taylor
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

R&B and hip-hop singer Teyana Taylor gained fame with MTV's My Super Sweet 16. She signed with Kanye West’s label and also appeared on the reality show Teyana and Iman, with her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. In December 2020, she announced her retirement from music through Instagram.

 50 
Robin Givens
(Actress)

Robin Givens
4
Birthdate: November 27, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Robin Givens is an American model and actress whose professional life during the late-1980s was overshadowed by her violent marriage to Mike Tyson. Subsequently, their acrimonious divorce drew considerable media attention as Givens claimed physical abuse, with Tyson admitting to punching her in the face.