Forest Steven Whitaker is his birth name but fondly called Forest Whitaker. He is a famous American Nigerian born actor, producer and director known for movie, ‘The Last King of Scotland’ where he played the role of dictator Idi Amin of Uganda.
He is also reputed for films like ‘Bird’, ‘Ghost Dog’ and ‘The Butler’.
Forest Whitaker was born on July 15, 1961, in Longview, Texas, USA to a Nigerian father of an Igbo decent. He later relocated with his family to Southern California.
Whitaker was a star quarterback in High school and won a scholarship to play at California State Polytechnic University.
He later transferred to the University of Southern California to study Opera and Drama after sustaining an injury.
Forest Whitaker made his first debut movie in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
He has subsequently starred in several Hollywood movies, with brilliant roles in films like:
• Ready to Wear
• Ghost Dog
• The Butler among numerous others.
The highly creative, talented and prolific Whitaker is also a producer and director. He has produced and directed a number of movies including the 1995’s Waiting to Exhale, an adaptation of the Terry McMillan novel that starred Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett, as well as 2004’s First Daughter, a romantic comedy starring Katie Holmes.
Whitaker has also directed a number of music videos including Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop).”
In 2013, Whitaker starred as the lead character in the biopic The Butler, a movie directed by Lee Daniels and co-starring Oprah Winfrey. The movie tells the story of Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House with eight consecutive U.S. presidents.
In 2015, Whitaker also featured in a movie, Southpaw alongside Jake Gyllenhaal where he played the role of a rebel fighter, Saw Gerrera in Rogue One and A Star Wars Story in 2016.
Whitaker was a partaker of the wildly successful Black Panther in 2018 as Wakandan elder Zuri. He has successfully made a comeback to television, enjoying a recurring role on the hit series Empire, before starring as drug kingpin Bumpy Johnson on Godfather of Harlem.
Whitaker in an interview, revealed that he was very interested in working with Nigerian filmmakers and producers. What a great news for Nollywood!
The American Nigerian superstar has won several prestigious awards notably as:
• Won an Oscar for portraying Idi Amin in 2006’s The Last King of Scotland.
• Won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988 as musician Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood’s Dark Biopic Bird.
• Won the Cinema for Peace Award 2007.
• In 2015 received an honorary doctorate from California State University, Dominguez Hills among many others.
His Personal Life
Forest Whitaker married former model Keisha Nash in 1996 and the marriage produced two daughters.
He also had a son and a daughter from previous relationship which crashed the rock in 2018 as a result of their irreconcilable differences.
His Net Worth
Forest Whitaker is indeed a veteran, a living legend in the entertainment world with an estimated net worth of about $1 million dollars.