Hollywood is a huge industry that offers work to hundreds of actors. Earlier the industry was dominated by white actors while famous black actors now were given minor roles.
However, during the given time there has been a drastic change. The stereotyped dominating white culture changed over time. This created a way for black actors to enter Hollywood.
Today, we are listing the top 15 famous black actors of all time who were successful in their acting careers. They received immense love and appreciation from audiences and fans.
Here’s a list of the top 15 famous black actors 2023
These 15 black actors have contributed much to the film industry, television and theatre. Thanks to their spectacular acting skills, they have made it big in Hollywood.
Let us now take a look at the 15 most famous black actors of all time.
15. Idris Elba
Famous Movies: The Wire, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Thor and its sequels, Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Idris Elba is another famous black actor and alumnus of the National Youth Theatre in London. He is well known for his roles HBO series The Wires, Luther, and the 2013 Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Elba received nominations five times for Golden Globe Best Actor Awards while winning gone. He also gained worldwide recognition for his Heimdall role in five MCU films.
Apart from acting, he is also an amazing singer, songwriter, rapper, and DJ. People’s magazine named Elba The Sexiest Man Alive in 2018. Besides, he is one of the top 20 highest-grossing actors.
Also Read: Top 10 Most Handsome Black Actors In 2023
14. Michael B. Jordon
Famous Movies: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Just mercy, That Awkward Moment
Michael B Jordon is a multitalented American actor, producer, and director. He gained recognition for his stellar performance in the films such as Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Black Panther.
In 2020, Times magazine named him among the 100 most influential people in the world. He was also on People’s Sexiest Man Alive list. While at the same year, The New York Times ranked him at number 15 among the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century. Besides, he is all set to make his directorial debut with the film Creed iii IN 2023.
13. Don Cheadle
Famous Movies: Captain Marvel, The Family Man, Reign Over Me, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, and more.
Don Cheadle is an American actor and filmmaker who is also the recipient of multiple accolades. His portrayal in the historic drama film Hotel Rwanda earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. In 2022, Do Cheadle received his 2nd Grammy Award for Best Spoken World Album. Undoubtedly, he deserves to be on the list of famous Black Actors of all time.
Also Read: The Top 10 Black Actresses Under 25 in 2023
12. Jamie Foxx
Famous Movies: Ray, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Robin Hood, Project Power
American actor Jamie Foxx is another famous Black comedian and singer. He gained worldwide recognition for his role as Ray Charles in the 2004 film Ray. Throughout his career, he received several awards and honors including Academy Awards, BAFTA, Golden Globe, etc.
After the success of his first sketch comedy show In Living Colours, he was given his own sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show. He is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who produced four albums that charted in the top ten of the U.S Billboard 200.
Also Read: The Top 10 Famous Female Pop Singers
11. Danny Glover
Famous Movies: Predator 2, The Colour Purple, Beyond the Lights, To Sleep with Anger
Danny Glover is yet another famous Black actor, film director, and political activist born in California. He gained huge recognition worldwide for his lead role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences honored him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards in 2022. Besides acting, Glover supports several political causes.
10. Sidney Poitier
Famous Movies: In The Heat Of Night, A Warm December, Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner and many more.
Bahamian American Actor, director, and diplomat Sidney Poitier is next on the list. In 1964, he was the first famous black actor and the first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. After the death of Kirk Douglas, Poitier became one of the last surviving big actors from Hollywood cinema’s Golden Age. In 2009, he received the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of United States president Barack Obama. On January 6, 2022, he dies at the age of 94 due to several medical issues.
9. Mekhi Phifer
Famous Movies: A Lesson Before Dying, 8 Mile, Honey, I Still Know Last Summer, High School High
American actor Mekhi Phifer is best known for his role as Dr. Greg Patt on the medical drama TV Series ER. He also co-starred role opposite American actor and rapper Eminem in the 2008 feature film 8 Mile. In his career of two years, he acted in more than 40 films. Mekhi was the winner of the Celebrity Poker Showdown Championship in the fourth season in 2004. He has won several awards including NAACP Image Awards.
8. Forest Whitaker
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Famous Movies: The Butler, Black Panther, The Butler, Taken 3, The Last King of Scotland, and Rogue One.
Forest Steven Whitaker is a famous black American actor, director, producer, and activist born in Texas, U.S. He has won numerous awards including The Academy Award, Golden Globe, British Academy Film Awards, and so on. Whitaker is known for actively taking part in humanitarian work and became the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011. He later got promoted to Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation.
7. Lauren Fishburn
Famous Movies: Mission Impossible 3, Ant-Man And The Wasp, Mystic River, Man Of Steel, The Matrix,
Laurence John Fishburne III is another famous black actor on our list. He was born in Augusta, Georgia, and is also a playwright, producer, screenwriter, and film director. Fishburn is the recipient of several awards for his outstanding performances for years.
He bagged a Tony Award for his performance in Two Trains Running in 1992. While his role in Tribeca earned him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama series. One of his popular characters is the portrayal of The Matrix Trilogy.
6. Chadwick Boseman
Famous Movies: Black Panther, 42, Marshall, 21 Bridges, The Express
Next, we have Black Panther actor, Chadwick Aaeon Boseman. He is an American actor and is the famous and first black actor to appear in MCU films. Unfortunately, his career lasted for a short period of time, he left an incredible mark in Hollywood.
In 2016, he was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 40. Although, he still continued to work and helped cancer charities. This famous black actor died in 2020 doing what he loved the most.
5. Eddie Murphy
Famous Movies: Coming To America, The Haunted Mansion, Tower Heist, Beverly Hills Cop.
American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and singer Edward Regan Murphy is another famous black actor. He rose to stardom after the show Saturday Night Live and was a regular cast member from 1980 to 1984. He ranked number 10 on comedy central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand Ups Of All Time.
In 1982, he made his acting debut with the film 48 HRS and received a Golden Globe Award. Besides, he also worked as a voice artist in films such as Shrek, Mulan, The PJs, and so on.
4. Will Smith
Famous Movies: Men In Black, I am Legend, Happyness of Pursuit, and many more.
The list of most famous black male actors of all time is incomplete without Oscar 2022 winner Will Smith. He is known for his charismatic personality and powerful presence. He is a trendy actor, rap artist, and producer known for his films such as The Happiness of pursuit, Men in black, etc. Smith has also been married twice to Sheree (ex-wife) and Jada Pinket (present). He is the fifth black male actor to win the Academy Awards for Best Actor.
Besides acting, he got much media attention in the 2022 Oscar Awards for punching Host Chris Rock. This also led to a ban of 10 years from all Academy Awards for Will Smith.
3. Samuel L. Jackson
Famous Movies: The Avengers, The Iron Man 2, Pulp Fiction and many more.
Samuel L Jackson needs no introduction and definitely deserves to be on the list of top 15 famous black actors of all time. Easily the most productive actor on the list, 73-year-old Jacko has appeared in over 150 movies and is one of the top-earning actors of all time. Before he played Nick Fury for over 11 Marvel movies, Jacko was best known for his collaborations with director QT, including the movies Pulpy, Jackie Brown, Django, and The Hateful 8. His monologue in Pulp Fiction is one of the biggest reasons why he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
2. Denzel Washington
Famous Movies: Flight, Malcolm X, Glory, The Book Of Eli, Antwone Fisher, Flight
Denzel Washington is an American actor, director, and producer who began his career in theatre and later moved into film. His breakthrough role came in Norman Jewison’s A soldier’s Story. Since then, he has appeared in over 50 films, including Malcolm X, Antwone Fisher, Crimson Tide, Fight, etc. In addition to acting, Washington also directed several films, including Cry Freedom and The Great Debaters.
Besides, he is also a producer, having produced the movies Fences, The Equalizer, A Journal for Jordon, etc. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden. Washington is considered one of the most handsome black actors in history. He is the first black actor to win two Academy Awards. Indeed, he is one of the most famous black male actors on our list.
1. Morgan Freeman
Famous Movies: Driving Miss Daisy, Million Dollar Baby, Gone Baby Gone etc
Morgan Freeman was born in the year in 1937 and showed interest in acting from an early age. He made his first acting debut at the age of nine in a class play. However, he rose to stardom in the 1970’s children series The Electric Company. Freeman is well known for his heavy voice which resulted in his appearance in the Shakesperean plays Coriolanus and Julius Ceaser.
Freeman has perhaps the greatest voice in Hollywood, and has been nominated for five Oscars and won Best Supporting Actor in 2004. His voiceover work is second only to none, he has voiced God in multiple films and is the voice behind many of the best documentaries. His voice work is second to none along with his stellar acting career.
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