Forest Whitaker is an American movie actor, producer and director. Whitaker first started as a footballer before branching into the movie industry. He joined his high school football team and later switched to singing.
A star quarterback while in high school, he enrolled in California State Polytechnic University on a football scholarship and later transferred to the University of Southern California to train as an opera singer. However, he switched to their drama conservatory and graduated with a BFA in acting in 1982.
His career in the movie industry started with Fast Times at Ridgemont High and then he went on to appear in the critically acclaimed Scorsese movie The Color of Money, which starred Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. Also, he appeared in the classic Vietnam War film Platoon and later Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam.
Arguably his breakthrough came when he booked the lead role in Clint Eastwood’s film Bird, earning praise from many.
Since then, he has booked major roles in movies like The Crying Game in 1992, Smoke, Phenomenon, and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Of all the movies he booked, Whitaker earned perhaps the most praise for his role in The Last King of Scotland in 2006, which led to an Academy Award for Best Actor. The following year, Whitaker appeared in The Great Debaters.
He is also known for his roles in television shows like Diff’rent Strokes, Amazing Stories, and North and South. Whitaker acted as the host and narrator for the reboot of The Twilight Zone in 2002 and 2003. He also booked a recurring role in the police drama The Shield and has also worked as a voice actor on the animated series Star Wars Rebels.
His career trajectory has seen him also grow to become a director and a producer. He first directed movies in the 90s with films like A Rage in Harlem and Strapped. He also directed the feature film Waiting to Exhale as well as the romantic comedy First Daughter.
Whitaker’s growth in Hollywood has seen him accumulate a decent fortune. Based on speculative estimates from various sources, he has a net worth of $25 million. Face2Face Africa cannot independently verify this claim or the methodology used to arrive at his net worth.
Born on July 15, 1961, in Longview, Texas, Whitaker married Keisha Nash. Although they divorced, they have two children together and raised two additional children from their respective previous marriages. Nash, who was married to Whitaker from 1996 until their divorce in 2018, died last week at the age of 51.
Whitaker was recognized in 2017 for his work in countries such as South Sudan and Uganda with a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos.