Morris Chestnut Biography
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: Morris Lamont Chestnut Jr.
Born in: Cerritos, California
Famous as: Actor
Spouse/Ex-: Pam Byse (m. 1995)
father: Morris Lamont Chestnut Sr.
mother: Shirley Chestnut
children: Grant Chestnut, Paige Chestnut
U.S. State: California
Morris Chestnut is an American actor. Spanning over 25 years, his career consists of both TV and film projects. Morris played a starring role in his debut film and eventually appeared in several prominent roles. The actor bagged his first main character in his third project. Morris is best known for playing characters with a range of shades. Some of his prominent roles were in the projects 'Boyz n the Hood,' 'V,' 'The Brothers,' 'The Perfect Holiday,' 'Nurse Jackie,' 'Think Like a Man,' 'Rosewood,' 'The Best Man,' 'The Best Man Holiday,' and 'The Ernest Green Story.' Morris has won an 'NAACP Image Award' and has been nominated for three more. He has recently published his first book, which is dedicated to fitness and nutrition. Initially, the actor was not interested in fitness. At a point in his life, Morris was in bad shape and would run away from working out. A celebrity fitness and nutrition expert helped Morris get into a healthy routine and later helped him write a book on fitness. Morris is married and has two children.
- Morris was born Morris Lamont Chestnut Jr., on January 1, 1969, in Cerritos, California, to Morris Lamont Chestnut Sr. and Shirley Chestnut. He attended 'Richard Gahr High School' and graduated in 1986. Morris later majored in finance and drama from 'California State University,' Northridge.
- Morris began his acting career in 1990, with the brief role of ‘Jason Woodman’ in an episode of the horror anthology 'Freddy's Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series,' titled 'A Family Affair.' Aired in syndication, the series was a spin-off of the 1984 supernatural slasher film of the same name.
- Morris made his big-screen debut the following year. He was cast in the starring role of ‘Ricky Baker’ in the teen drama 'Boyz n the Hood.' The same year, he appeared in a cameo in the action–comedy 'The Last Boy Scout.'
- After featuring as ‘Prince Franklin’ in the 1992 action TV movie 'In the Line of Duty: Street War,' Morris began his stint in the 'NBC' sitcom 'Out All Night.' He was one of the main cast members in the series. He played a 'New York University' graduate named ‘Jeff Carswell’ in 20 episodes.
- His next prominent project was the 1993 TV movie 'The Ernest Green Story.' This was the first time Morris was seen in a titular role. The plot of the film dates back to 1957, when Morris’s character, real-life African–American student Ernest Green, narrates the story of a group of eight students, including him, called the "Little Rock Nine," and their historic journey to get into 'Little Rock Central High School,' Arkansas.
- Morris was next seen in the 1994 romantic comedy 'The Inkwell.' The film featured him as ‘Harold Lee,’ the lousy husband of ‘Heather,’ played by Adrienne-Joi Johnson. The same year, he appeared as ‘Hamilton Brown’ in two episodes of the ‘Fox’ sitcom 'Living Single.' Morris was cast as the leading character ‘Special Agent Mal Robinson’ in the 'ABC' crime drama 'C-16: FBI.'
- Morris received his first award nomination for his remarkable performance in the 1999 romantic comedy/drama 'The Best Man.' The wedding-themed film was the prequel to the Christmas-themed sequel, 'The Best Man Holiday,' that released in 2013 with the same cast. In the prequel, Morris played the groom, ‘Lance Sullivan,’ a running back in the 'New York Giants.' His performance in the prequel earned him an 'NAACP Image Award' nomination for ‘Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.’ The sequel, however, earned him more accolades. He shared the 'Acapulco Black Film Festival Award' for the ‘Best Acting Ensemble’ with the cast. He also earned two nominations, one each for the 'Acapulco Black Film Festival Award' for the ‘Best Actor’ and the 'NAACP Image Award' for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.’
- As a stage actor, Morris is credited for theater productions such as 'Theatre Love in the Nick of Tyme' (2007), 'What My Husband Doesn't Know' (2011), and 'The Nutcracker' (2013).
- Some of his other notable roles are those of ‘Dave Johnson’ in the 2009 romantic comedy 'Not Easily Broken'; ‘Ryan Nichols,’ a “Visitor” sleeper agent, in the 'ABC' science fiction 'V'; and ‘Dr. Ike Prentiss, MD,’ a trauma surgeon and the chief of emergency medicine, in the 'Showtime' medical comedy–drama 'Nurse Jackie.' Morris earned the 'NAACP Image Award' for the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for the last series.
- In 2014, Morris joined the cast of the 'TNT' crime-drama series 'Legends.' Based on the book 'Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation' by Robert Littell, the film featured Morris as a leading character, FBI agent ‘Tony Rice.’ Morris was paired opposite Regina Hall in the 2016 erotic psychological thriller film 'When the Bough Breaks.' They portrayed ‘John’ and ‘Laura Taylor,’ a married couple in their 40s eager to have a baby but ending up facing multiple miscarriages.
- From 2015 to 2017, Morris played the lead role of ‘Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr.,’ a private pathologist working in Miami, Florida, in the 'Fox' police-procedural drama 'Rosewood.' His role earned him an 'NAACP Image Award' nomination for ‘Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.’
- In 2019, Morris appeared as FBI agent ‘Will Keaton,’ a lead character, in the 'NBC' drama 'The Enemy Within.'
- He has produced the movies ‘When the Bough Breaks,’ ‘Takers,’ and ‘Not Easily Broken.’ He has also produced the series ‘Stage Black.’ He directed the 2014 short film ‘Brakedown.’
- Morris is married to Pam Chestnut and has a son, Grant Chestnut, and a daughter, Paige Chestnut. The two first met in a club in Atlanta while he was there for a TV movie shoot. Morris was with his friends at the club when he saw Pam and asked one of his friends about her. The friend told Morris to stay away from her, as he thought she was not suitable for Morris. However, Morris knew she was “the one” for him. He eventually befriended her. The two got married in 1995. Morris even penned a rap for Pam as part of the viral 'For The P…' challenge.
- Morris has won the 1998 'Madden Bowl,' a video game tournament. Additionally, he is an excellent 'Texas Hold 'Em' poker player. In 2005, he competed against six professional pokers in a TV tournament.
- In 2017, Morris published his first book, 'The Cut: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days and Sculpt Your Best Body.' As the title suggests, the book was about fitness. He had written it with the help of fitness and nutrition expert Obi Obadike.
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