African-American film directors

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  1. Prince



    Prince Roger Nelson (born June 7, 1958), known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor, a major figure in popular music for over three decades. Prince is renowned as an innovator and is widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He is widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combines rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

  2. Usher Raymond

    Usher Raymond


    Usher Terry Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. He rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way, which spawned his first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, "Nice & Slow". The album has been certified 6-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His follow-up album, 8701, produced the Billboard Hot 100 number one hits "U Remind Me" and "U Got It Bad".

  3. Tyler Perry

    Tyler Perry


    Tyler Perry (born Emmitt Perry Jr.; September 13, 1969) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author, and songwriter, specializing in the gospel genre. Perry wrote and produced many stage plays during the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2011, Forbes named him the highest paid man in entertainment; he earned US$130 million between May 2010 and 2011.

  4. Ice Cube

    Ice Cube


    O'Shea Jackson, Sr. (born June 15, 1969), better known by his stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and filmmaker. He began his career as a member of the hip-hop group C.I.A. and later joined the seminal gangster rap group N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes). After leaving N.W.A in December 1989, he built a successful solo career in music and films. Additionally, he has served as one of the producers of the Showtime television series Barbershop and the TBS series Are We There Yet?, both of which are based upon the films in which he portrayed the main character.

  5. Denzel Washington

    Denzel Washington


    Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received two Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical drama-war film Glory (1989) and Best Actor for his role as a corrupt cop in the crime thriller Training Day (2001).

  6. Debbie Allen

    Debbie Allen


    Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen (born January 16, 1950) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is perhaps best known for her work on the 1982 musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series' principal choreographer. She plays Catherine Avery on Grey's Anatomy. She is the younger sister of actress/director/singer Phylicia Rashād.

  7. Morgan Freeman

    Morgan Freeman


    Morgan Freeman (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor and narrator. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Invictus (2009), and won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby (2004). He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Glory (1989), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Seven (1995), Deep Impact (1998), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Bruce Almighty (2003), The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Lego Movie (2014), and Lucy (2014). He is known for his distinctively smooth, deep voice. He got his break as part of the cast of the 1970s children's program The Electric Company.

  8. Martin Lawrence

    Martin Lawrence


    Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence (born April 16, 1965) is an American comedian, actor, and filmmaker. He came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor, most notably in the films House Party, Boomerang, Bad Boys, Nothing to Lose, Blue Streak, Life, Big Momma's House, and A Thin Line Between Love & Hate.

  9. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock


    Christopher Julius "Chris" Rock III (born February 7, 1965) is an American actor, comedian, voice artist and producer.

  10. Damon Dash

    Damon Dash


    Damon Dash (born May 3, 1971), also known as Dame Dash, is an American entrepreneur. Dash is Jay-Z's former manager and business partner at Roc-a-Fella Records, and in 1999, he organized a tour for Jay-Z which made $19 million. However, their relationship soured as a result of two subsequent events. The first was when Roc-A-Fella Records was purchased by Def Jam Recordings (which had previously only owned half of the company) in 2004, after which Jay-Z agreed to take a job as Def Jam's president. Then, in the fall of 2005, Jay-Z bought Dash out of his stake in Rocawear. In April 2014, it was announced that Dash is also involved with Blind Debit, a fingerprint payment application being developed by Dez White.

  11. Keenen Ivory Wayans

    Keenen Ivory Wayans


    Keenen Ivory Wayans, Sr. (born June 8, 1958) is an American actor, comedian, producer, director and writer, and a member of the Wayans Family of entertainers. He first came to prominence as the host and co-creator of the 1990-1994 Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color. He has produced, directed and/or written a large number of films, starting with Hollywood Shuffle, which he co-wrote, in 1987. A majority of these films have included him and one or more of his brothers and sisters in the cast. One of these films, Scary Movie (2000), which Wayans directed, was the highest-grossing movie ever directed by an African American until it was surpassed by Tim Story's Fantastic Four in 2005. From 1997 to 1998, he hosted the talk show The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show. Most recently, he was a judge for the eighth season of Last Comic Standing.

  12. Mekhi Phifer

    Mekhi Phifer


    Mekhi Phifer (/mɛˌk ˈffər/; born December 29, 1974) is an American actor. He portrayed Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC's long-running medical drama ER and had a co-starring role opposite Eminem in the feature film 8 Mile. He was a regular on the Fox crime show Lie to Me in the role of Ben Reynolds, before season three, and also starred as CIA agent Rex Matheson in Torchwood: Miracle Day.

  13. Shonda Rhimes

    Shonda Rhimes


    Shonda Lynn Rhimes (born January 13, 1970) is a television producer and writer. Rhimes is best known as the creator, head writer, executive producer and showrunner of the medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy, its spin-off Private Practice and the political thriller series Scandal.

  14. Danny Glover

    Danny Glover


    Daniel Lebern "Danny" Glover (born July 22, 1946) is an American actor, film director and political activist. Glover is well known for his roles as Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series, Mr. Albert Johnson in The Color Purple, cowboy Mal Johnson in Silverado, Michael Harrigan in Predator 2, corrupt cop James McFee in Witness, Colonel Isaac Johnson in Shooter, Detective David Tapp in Saw, and George Knox in Angels in the Outfield. He has also appeared in many other movies, television shows, and theatrical productions. He is an active supporter of various humanitarian and political causes.

  15. John Singleton

    John Singleton


    John Daniel Singleton (born January 6, 1968) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for directing Boyz n the Hood in 1991. For the film, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for the award. Singleton is a native of South Los Angeles and many of his early films, such as Poetic Justice (1993), Higher Learning (1995), and Baby Boy (2001), consider the implications of inner-city violence. Some of his other films include dramas such as Rosewood (1997) in addition to action films such as Shaft (2000), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), and Four Brothers (2005).

  16. Mario Van Peebles

    Mario Van Peebles


    Mario Van Peebles (born January 15, 1957) is an American film director and actor best known for directing New Jack City in 1991. He is the son of actor and filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, whom he portrayed in the 2003 biopic Baadasssss! that he also co-wrote and directed.

  17. Bill Duke

    Bill Duke


    William Henry "Bill" Duke, Jr. (born February 26, 1943) is an American actor and film director. Known for his physically imposing frame, Duke's work frequently dwells within the action film genre as well as crime and drama genres but also includes comedy. He often plays characters related to law-enforcement.

  18. Troy Byer

    Troy Byer


    Troy Byer (born Troy Yvette Beyer, November 7, 1964) is an American film director, screenwriter and actress.

  19. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton


    Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr. (born February 16, 1957), professionally known as LeVar Burton, is an American actor, presenter, director, producer, and author. He is best known for his roles as the young Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries Roots, Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and as the host and executive producer of the long-running PBS children's series Reading Rainbow. He has also directed a number of television episodes.

  20. Forest Whitaker

    Forest Whitaker


    Forest Steven Whitaker III (born July 15, 1961) is an American actor, producer, and director.

  21. Hype Williams

    Hype Williams


    Harold "Hype" Williams is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter, and music video director.

  22. Eric Laneuville

    Eric Laneuville


    Eric Gerard Laneuville (born July 14, 1952) is an American television director and actor. His first acting roles were in the science-fiction film The Omega Man (1971) with Charlton Heston, the ABC television series Room 222 (1970–1973), and a brief appearance as one of the subway station muggers in Death Wish opposite Charles Bronson. His role as Luther Hawkins in the television series St. Elsewhere is his best known role. He also starred in A Force of One playing Charlie, the stepson of Chuck Norris. In more recent years, he frequently directs such one-hour dramas as Ghost Whisperer and Lost. He directed Body of Proof episode "Missing".

  23. Christopher Scott Cherot

    Christopher Scott Cherot


    Christopher Scott Cherot is an American film director best known for Hav Plenty (1998), a true story that he wrote, edited, produced, acted in and directed.

  24. Damien Dante Wayans

    Damien Dante Wayans


    Damien Dante Wayans (born April 15, 1980) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer and director. He is a member of the Wayans family.

  25. Fred Williamson

    Fred Williamson


    Frederick Robert "Fred" Williamson, nicknamed "The Hammer" (born March 5, 1938) is an American actor and former professional American football defensive back who played mainly in the American Football League during the 1960s. He has black belts in Kenpo, Shotokan Karate, and Tae-Kwon-Do. Since 1997 Williamson has had a home in Palm Springs, California.

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