African-American television actors

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  1. Halle Berry

    Halle Berry


    Halle Maria Berry (born Maria Halle Berry; August 14, 1966) is an American actress and former fashion model. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002 for her performance in the romantic drama Monster's Ball (2001), becoming the first and, as of 2015, the only woman of color to win an Oscar for a leading role. She was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood during the 2000s and has been involved in the production of several of the films in which she performed. Berry is also a Revlon spokesmodel.

  2. Sanaa Lathan

    Sanaa Lathan


    Sanaa McCoy Lathan (born September 19, 1971) is an American actress and voice actress. She has starred in many films, including the box-office hit The Best Man and its 2013 sequel, Love & Basketball, Brown Sugar, Alien vs. Predator and The Family That Preys. Lathan was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun. In 2009, she voiced Donna Tubbs in The Cleveland Show. In 2010, she starred in the all-black performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London.

  3. Jamie Foxx

    Jamie Foxx


    Eric Marlon Bishop (born December 13, 1967), known professionally as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer, comedian, writer, and producer.

  4. Janet Jackson

    Janet Jackson


    Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 25 years. The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame.

  5. Nia Long

    Nia Long


    Nia Long (born October 30, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Third Watch, and the films In Too Deep, Boyz n the Hood, Friday, Boiler Room, Soul Food, Love Jones, The Best Man, Big Momma's House, and the sequels to the latter two films.

  6. 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.

  7. Ray J

    Ray J


    William Ray Norwood, Jr. (born January 17, 1981), known by his stage name Ray J, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, he is the brother of recording artist and actress Brandy Norwood and the first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg.

  8. Ludacris



    Christopher Brian "Chris" Bridges (born September 11, 1977), better known by his stage name Ludacris, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. Along with his manager, Chaka Zulu, Ludacris is the co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace, an imprint distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Ludacris has won Screen Actors Guild, Critic's Choice, MTV, and Grammy Award awards during his career. Along with fellow Atlanta based rappers Big Boi and André 3000 of OutKast, Ludacris was one of the first and most influential Dirty South artists to achieve mainstream success during the early 2000s.

  9. Gabrielle Union

    Gabrielle Union


    Gabrielle Monique Union Wade (born October 29, 1972) is an American actress. Among her notable roles is her performance as the cheerleader opposite Kirsten Dunst in the film Bring It On, (2000). In 2000, she played a medical doctor in the CBS drama series City of Angels. In 2003, Union starred opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the hit film Bad Boys II. Also in 2003, she starred with LL Cool J in Deliver Us from Eva. In 2008, she was featured in the film Cadillac Records with Adrien Brody, Beyoncé Knowles and Jeffrey Wright. In 2012, Union was featured in an ensemble cast of the film version of Think Like a Man.

  10. Brandy Norwood

    Brandy Norwood


    Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), better known mononymously as Brandy, is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, she enrolled in performing arts schools as a child and performed as a backing vocalist for teen groups. From 1993 to 1994, Norwood appeared in a supporting role on the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea and signed with Atlantic Records. The following year, she released her self-titled debut album. Norwood starred in the UPN sitcom Moesha as the title character, which lasted six seasons and resulted in numerous other roles. She resumed her music career in 1998 with the widely successful duet with Monica, "The Boy Is Mine", and her second album, Never Say Never.

  11. Nick Cannon

    Nick Cannon


    Nicholas Scott "Nick" Cannon (born October 8, 1980) is an American rapper, actor, comedian, television and radio host, and producer. On television, Cannon began as a teenager on All That before going on to host The Nick Cannon Show, Wild 'N Out, and America's Got Talent. He acted in the films Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing, and Roll Bounce. As a rapper he released his debut self-titled album in 2003 with the hit single "Gigolo", a collaboration with singer R. Kelly. In 2007 he played the role of the fictional footballer TJ Harper in the film Goal II: Living the Dream. In 2006, Cannon recorded the singles "Dime Piece" and "My Wife" for the planned album Stages, which was never released. Cannon married American R&B/pop singer Mariah Carey in 2008. He filed for divorce in December 2014 after six years of marriage, which was finalized in April 2015.

  12. Kerry Washington

    Kerry Washington


    Kerry Marisa Washington (born January 31, 1977) is an American actress. Since 2012, Washington has gained wide public recognition for starring in the ABC drama Scandal, a Shonda Rhimes series in which she plays Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert to politicians and power brokers in Washington DC. For her role, she has been nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series.

  13. Jessica Szohr

    Jessica Szohr


    Jessica Karen Szohr (surname pronounced /ˈzɔr/; born March 31, 1985) is an American actress. She started her screen career appearing on television shows such as CSI: Miami and What About Brian. She gained recognition in 2007 with her breakthrough role as Vanessa Abrams on The CW's teen drama series Gossip Girl (2007–12). She has also appeared in feature films including the 2010 horror film Piranha 3D, the 2011 comedy I Don't Know How She Does It, and the 2013 film The Internship. In 2014, Jessica was on the Hallmark movie, Lucky in Love.

  14. Willow Smith

    Willow Smith


    Willow Camille Reign Smith (born October 31, 2000), known professionally as Willow is an American singer, actress and dancer. She is the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and the younger sister of Jaden Smith and half-sister of Willard Carroll "Trey" Smith III. Smith made her acting debut in 2007 in the film I Am Legend and later appeared in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl alongside Abigail Breslin. She received a Young Artist Award for her performance.

  15. Paula Patton

    Paula Patton


    Paula Maxine Patton (born December 5, 1975) is an American actress. She made her film debut with supporting role in the 2005 comedy film Hitch, and the following year appeared in musical film Idlewild.

  16. Jada Pinkett Smith

    Jada Pinkett Smith


    Jada Koren Pinkett Smith (/ˌdə ˌpɪŋkɨt ˈsmɪθ/; born Jada Koren Pinkett; September 18, 1971) is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman. She began her career in 1990, when she made a guest appearance in the short-lived sitcom True Colors. She starred in A Different World, produced by Bill Cosby, and she featured opposite Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor (1996). She starred in dramatic films such as Menace II Society (1993) and Set It Off (1996). She has appeared in more than 20 films in a variety of genres, including Scream 2, Ali, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.

  17. Vanessa Williams

    Vanessa Williams


    Vanessa Lynn Williams (born March 18, 1963) is an American actress and singer who is particularly well known for her roles as Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, Renee Perry in Desperate Housewives, and Teri Joseph in the 1997 feature film Soul Food. She initially gained recognition as the first African American woman to win the title of Miss America (during the Miss America 1984 pageant on September 17, 1983). Seven weeks before the end of her reign, however, a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published unauthorized nude photographs of Williams. She relinquished her title and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Miss New Jersey 1983, Suzette Charles. Williams rebounded by launching a career as an entertainer, earning multiple Grammy and Emmy nominations and a Tony Award nomination. She is also the recipient of 7 NAACP Image Award and 3 Satellite Awards. In September, 2015 at the Miss America 2016 pageant, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell apologized to Williams (who was serving as head judge) for what was said to her by the Miss America Organization during the events of 1984.

  18. Rashida Jones

    Rashida Jones


    Rashida Leah Jones (born February 25, 1976) is an American actress, comic book author, film producer, and screenwriter. She is known for playing Ann Perkins on NBC's comedy Parks and Recreation, Louisa Fenn on Fox's Boston Public, and Karen Filippelli on The Office. She has had film roles in Our Idiot Brother, The Social Network, The Muppets, I Love You, Man, and Celeste and Jesse Forever (for which she wrote the screenplay).

  19. Eddie Murphy

    Eddie Murphy


    Edward Regan "Eddie" Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an American comedian, actor, writer, singer, and director.

  20. John Legend

    John Legend


    John Roger Stephens (born December 28, 1978), better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He has won nine Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe, and one Academy Award. In 2007, Legend received the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

  21. Lisa Bonet

    Lisa Bonet


    Lisa Michelle Bonet (born November 16, 1967) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Denise Huxtable–Kendall on the NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show (1984–92) and originally starring in its spinoff comedy, A Different World for its first season (1987–88).

  22. Mary J. Blige

    Mary J. Blige


    Mary Jane Blige (/ˈblʒ/; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, model, record producer and actress. Starting her career as a background singer on Uptown Records in 1989, Blige released her first album, What's the 411?, in 1992, and has released 11 studio albums since and made over 150 guest appearances on other albums and soundtracks.

  23. Jennifer Beals

    Jennifer Beals


    Jennifer Beals (born December 19, 1963) is an American actress and a former teen model. She played the role of Alexandra "Alex" Owens in the 1983 film Flashdance, and starred as Bette Porter on the Showtime drama series The L Word. She earned an NAACP Image Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for the former. She has appeared in more than 50 films.

  24. Salli Richardson-Whitfield

    Salli Richardson-Whitfield


    Salli Elise Richardson (born November 23, 1967) is an American television and film actress. Richardson is best known for her role as Dr. Allison Blake on the Syfy comedy-drama series Eureka (2006–2012).

  25. 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).

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