Photo of Forest Whitaker Forest Whitaker

With a gentle manner that contradicts his imposing physique, Forest Whitaker has a special ability to elicit audience empathy and to play a variety of roles. Born in Longview, Texas, on July 15, 1961, high school football star Whitaker studied to become a classical tenor before shifting his focus to acting.

He made his screen debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), then received critical recognition for his role in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money (1986). In 1988, Whitaker played his first leading role in Clint Eastwood's Bird, earning him the Cannes Best Actor Award and a Golden Globe nod.

Other notable films include Good Morning, Vietnam, The Crying Game, Jason's Lyric and Panic Room. In 1995, Whitaker made his feature directing debut with Waiting to Exhale. His turn in The Last King of Scotland (2006) garnered him high praise with his first Oscar win, along with Golden Globe and BAFTA wins.

Forest Whitaker in Arrival

Arrival

2016 PG-13

Confronted by a mass landing of alien vessels around the globe, military leaders seek the help of brilliant linguist Louise Banks in an effort to communicate with the extraterrestrials and determine their intentions.

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  • Forest Whitaker in Out of the Furnace Out of the Furnace
  • Forest Whitaker in The Last Stand The Last Stand
  • Forest Whitaker in Platoon Platoon
  • Forest Whitaker in The Great Debaters The Great Debaters
  • Forest Whitaker in Freelancers Freelancers
  • Forest Whitaker in Fast Times at Ridgemont High Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Forest Whitaker in Good Morning, Vietnam Good Morning, Vietnam
  • Forest Whitaker in Where the Wild Things Are Where the Wild Things Are
  • Forest Whitaker in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
  • Forest Whitaker in A Dark Truth A Dark Truth
  • Forest Whitaker in Bloodsport Bloodsport
  • Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland The Last King of Scotland
  • Forest Whitaker in The Color of Money The Color of Money
  • Forest Whitaker in Bird Bird
  • Forest Whitaker in Waiting to Exhale Waiting to Exhale
  • Forest Whitaker in Phenomenon Phenomenon
  • Forest Whitaker in Hope Floats Hope Floats
  • Forest Whitaker in Panic Room Panic Room
  • Forest Whitaker in Repo Men Repo Men
  • Forest Whitaker in Vision Quest Vision Quest
  • Forest Whitaker in The Crying Game The Crying Game
  • Forest Whitaker in Battlefield Earth Battlefield Earth
  • Forest Whitaker in Vantage Point Vantage Point
  • Forest Whitaker in Street Kings Street Kings
  • Forest Whitaker in Pawn Pawn
  • Forest Whitaker in Two Men in Town Two Men in Town
  • Forest Whitaker in Stakeout Stakeout
  • Forest Whitaker in The Air I Breathe The Air I Breathe
  • Forest Whitaker in Powder Blue Powder Blue
  • Forest Whitaker in Our Family Wedding Our Family Wedding
  • Forest Whitaker in Catch .44 Catch .44
  • Forest Whitaker in Ernest & Celestine Ernest & Celestine
  • Forest Whitaker in Roots Roots
  • Forest Whitaker in Johnny Handsome Johnny Handsome
  • Forest Whitaker in Blown Away Blown Away
  • Forest Whitaker in Phone Booth Phone Booth
  • Forest Whitaker in American Gun American Gun
  • Forest Whitaker in Crips and Bloods: Made in America Crips and Bloods: Made in America
  • Forest Whitaker in Hurricane Season Hurricane Season
  • Forest Whitaker in The Experiment The Experiment
  • Forest Whitaker in Repentance Repentance
  • Forest Whitaker in Body Snatchers Body Snatchers
  • Forest Whitaker in Jason's Lyric Jason's Lyric
  • Forest Whitaker in First Daughter First Daughter
  • Forest Whitaker in A Little Trip to Heaven A Little Trip to Heaven
  • Forest Whitaker in Even Money Even Money
  • Forest Whitaker in Dragon Hunters Dragon Hunters
  • Forest Whitaker in Serving Life Serving Life
  • Forest Whitaker in My Own Love Song My Own Love Song
  • Forest Whitaker in Rising from Ashes Rising from Ashes
  • Forest Whitaker in Black Nativity Black Nativity
  • Forest Whitaker in Food Chains Food Chains
  • Forest Whitaker in North and South: The Complete Collection North and South: The Complete Collection
  • Forest Whitaker in A Rage in Harlem A Rage in Harlem
  • Forest Whitaker in Last Light Last Light
  • Forest Whitaker in Ready to Wear Ready to Wear
  • Forest Whitaker in Light It Up Light It Up
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  • Forest Whitaker in The Feast of All Saints The Feast of All Saints
  • Forest Whitaker in Green Dragon Green Dragon
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  • Forest Whitaker in Deacons for Defense Deacons for Defense
  • Forest Whitaker in American Storytellers American Storytellers
  • Forest Whitaker in The Marsh The Marsh
  • Forest Whitaker in Ripple Effect Ripple Effect
  • Forest Whitaker in Fragments Fragments
  • Forest Whitaker in Special Thanks to Roy London Special Thanks to Roy London
  • Forest Whitaker in Toys in the Attic Toys in the Attic
  • Forest Whitaker in Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior