The Best African American Actors in Film

in Entertainment

Do you enjoy watching as much as you do eating, listening to music or whatever it is you like doing so much? To some individuals, this form of entertainment is one thing they could do all day long! Well, let’s find out why our interests here should never be in vain.

The entertainment industry has without a doubt experienced a lot of advancement and growth over the years. This is greatly attributed to the hard work, commitment and the dedication of the persons in the industry. We cannot, however, deny the great contribution that African Americans have made in the industry particularly in the areas of film, music and other forms of creative art. In the music industry, for instance, it is very evident that the majority of the rappers are African Americans. Apart from music, there is film where also some of the best actors and actresses of all time are African Americans. There is also the sector of comedy be it stand up or comedy movies and series where African Americans have yet again been seen to dominate. Aren’t these people just naturals!

Many are the times I personally have sat and watched movies and shows with African American characters and more often than not I have been left in awe, amazement, and disbelief. I mean how can a person be this good? How does he or she fit in so well into their character? These are just but some of the questions I ask myself whenever I am from watching a movie or TV show with an African American character that I admire. I dare say that I am not the only one who feels this way and this is especially so with love and support these African American film geniuses receive from all across the world. It is undeniable that these people are talented!

In the film industry, the work of African Americans has had a great impact on the growth of the industry. From comedians like Bill Cosby and Kevin Hart to drama queens like Taraji Henson and Regina Hall, don’t we just love these people! Forget them; their outstanding work is what to fall in love with! TV shows or movies or even series minus African Americans would without a single shred of doubt be nothing close to what they are today thanks to these amazing persons.

In this article, we have tried to put together some of the greatest African American actors of all time in the film industry. This is, of course, a reflection of how much love and support these actors receive from us their fans. After all, would they be where they are today if not for us! Just kidding! We all know that their achievements so far have been greatly due to their hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and commitment to what they do.

Among the established African American actors we have are:

  • Larenz Tate
  • Omar Epps
  • Richard T. Jones
  • Robert Townsend
  • Gary LeRoi Gray
  • Michael Jai White
  • Mekhi Phifer
  • Clarence Gilyard
  • Keenan Ivory Wayans
  • Taye Diggs
  • Billy Dee Williams
  • Leon Robinson
  • Michael Beach
  • Tom Lister Jr.
  • David Allan Grier
  • Bokeem Woodbine
  • Ernie Hudson

Still, under the category of established African American actors, there are those that are over forty years of age. Despite their advancement in age these actors have still been seen to be scaling the heights in the film making industry and making names for themselves while at it. The following is the list of these renowned African American actors that are over forty:

  • Morgan Freeman
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Wesley Snipes
  • Isaac Washington
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Danny Glover
  • Laurence Fishburne
  • Forest Whitaker
  • James Earl Jones
  • Sidney Poitier
  • Terrence Howard
  • Charles S. Dutton
  • Mike Epps
  • Bill Cosby
  • Ving Rhames
  • Chris Rock
  • Harry Belafonte
  • Carl Weathers

There is also another group of African American actors worth mentioning. These particular ones also excel in other sectors like sports, comedy and even music and in spite of that, they have still managed to make a name for themselves in the film industry. These actors include the likes of:

  • Ice Cube
  • Sinbad
  • Dave Chappelle
  • Michael Dorn
  • Kadeem Hardison
  • Fredro Starr
  • Chris Tucker
  • LL Cool J
  • DMX
  • Christopher Williams
  • Eddie Griffin
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • LeVar Burton

For years now African Americans have been the game changers in film due to the way they have allowed us all to embrace the aspect of diversity by showing us all the beauty of it. This they have done through the various roles they get to play in film and most importantly how well they play these roles. It is undeniable that without them the film industry would probably be so monotonous in this day and age. Some of the best actors in general terms as voted by fans all across the world are inclusive of African Americans. The following is a list of the top 100 African American actors of all time. Some may have already been mention in the lists above.

  1.    Denzel Washington
  2.    Forest Whitaker
  3.    Morgan Freeman
  4.    Cuba Gooding Jr.
  5.    Will Smith
  6.    Mekhi Phifer
  7.    Laurence Fishburne
  8.    Wesley Snipes
  9.    Danny Glover
  10.    Samuel L. Jackson
  11.    Jamie Foxx
  12.    Larenz Tate
  13.    Don Cheadle
  14.    Eddie Murphy
  15.    Sidney Poitier
  16.    Billy Dee Williams
  17.    Michael Clarke Duncan
  18.    Terrence Howard
  19.    Clifton Powell
  20.    Bill Cosby
  21.    Yasiin Bey
  22.    Djimon Hounsou
  23.    Blair Underwood
  24.    Ving Rhames
  25.    Martin Lawrence
  26.    Wood Harris
  27.    Charles S. Dutton
  28.    Harold Perrineau
  29.    Louis Gossett Jr.
  30.    Ron O’Neal
  31.    Idris Elba
  32.    Morris Chestnut
  33.    Ice Cube
  34.    Richard Pryor
  35.    Ice-T
  36.    Marlon Wayans
  37.    Taye Diggs
  38.    Omar Epps
  39.    Boris Kodjoe
  40.    Harry Belafonte
  41.    Tyrese Gibson
  42.    Shad Moss
  43.    Mike Epps
  44.    James Earl Jones
  45.    Keith David
  46.    Tupac Shakur
  47.    Mario Van Peebles
  48.    Fred Williamson
  49.    Kevin Hart
  50.    Spike Lee
  51.    Sammy Davis Jr.
  52.    Redd Foxx
  53.    Glenn Plummer
  54.    Leon
  55.    Chris Tucker
  56.    Carl Weathers
  57.    Gregory Hines
  58.    Duane Martin
  59.    Andre Benjamin
  60.    Chris Rock
  61.    Cedric the Entertainer
  62.    Thomas Mikal Ford
  63.    Malik Yoba
  64.    Damon Wayans
  65.    Orlando Jones
  66.    Delroy Lindo
  67.    Bill Nunn
  68.    Bokeem Woodbine
  69.    Allen Payne
  70.    Common
  71.    Tyler Perry
  72.    Tony Todd
  73.    Art Evans
  74.    Ben Vereen
  75.    Michael Wright
  76.    Max Julien
  77.    Tyrin Turner
  78.    LL Cool J
  79.    Shemar Moore
  80.    Bernie Mac
  81.    Steve Harvey
  82.    Keenen Ivory Wayans
  83.    Anthony Anderson
  84.    Clarence Williams III
  85.    John Witherspoon
  86.    Garret Morris
  87.    Katt Williams
  88.    Kadeem Hardison
  89.    Ossie Davis
  90.    John Amos
  91.    Ernie Hudson
  92.    Terry Crews
  93.    Jeffery Wright
  94.    Khalil Kain
  95.    Vincent Craig Dupree
  96.    Kevin Carroll
  97.    Arsenio Hall
  98.    Carl Anthony Payne II
  99.    Vondie Curtis-Hall
  100.   Darrin Dewitt Henson

The list above is not conclusive since there are so many other African American actors that are excelling in the film industry as of today. As fans all over the world have it, the above persons are the most popular and have been so for a long time now. The charisma, humor, and energy of the actors listed above are without a doubt some of the qualities that have led to their popularity and success in the industry as well.

I cannot even phantom how movies and shows would be today without the contribution that African Americans have given. I bet you cannot bring yourself to even imagine that as well. Hollywood would not be where it is today. Movies would not be as thrilling and fun as they are today. Diversity would be the essential ingredient missing in all works of film. Thanks to the determination and perseverance of these African American men and women; however, we have gotten to experience the best that the film industry has to offer.

A lot more is to be expected from the existing African Americans in the film industry as well as those who are up coming. I say this because there is already enough proof from movies and TV shows that have aired as of now. The likes of the famous Black Panther, Blackish, Grownish, The Jeffersons, lethal weapon and so many more. With the present so good and up to the mark the future sure is promising with these great entertainers taking the lead.

All that is left to be done by us now is to sit back and watch these African Americans work their magic in entertaining us! I am so sure that there is a lot more in store for us from them and I just can’t wait! Who wouldn’t want to be entertained in the best possible way? It is clear that these actors and actresses are up to the task and what better way is there for us to show our love than to support them in their journey of entertaining us? It is a symbiotic relationship after all; the kind of us scratching their backs and them scratching ours!

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