Entertainment
11.0k voters

The Greatest Black Actors In Film History

Updated April 15, 2021 90.7k votes 11.0k voters 537.1k views178 items

List RulesBlack male actors only. Vote based on their entire body of work in film.

From any era and genre, these are the greatest Black actors in film history, ranked by the community to determine who is the best of all time. These Black actors are the top in the business, and many are also among the best living actors today. From those who have portrayed classic Black characters in film, to award-winning actors, only the most deserving actors are on this list.

Who are the greatest Black actors in film? How about the most famous Black actors? From Oscar winners like Denzel Washington, classic African American actors like Sidney Poitier, and newer names such as English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, each of the Black actors on this list has earned his place with an excellent body of work and memorable performances. Some Black comedians and rappers are also on this list, having found success in the world of film as well.

The actors that are featured on this list include some of the best actors of all time, including Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Ossie Davis, Forest Whitaker, Danny Glover, and Eddie Murphy. 

Scroll the list below, and vote up the Black actors that you think are best!

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    Ice Cube

    Los Angeles, California

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    John Amos

    Newark, New Jersey

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    Djimon Hounsou

    Cotonou, Benin

    Nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar for In America (2004) and Blood Diamond (2007)
    Nominated for Best Actor Golden Globe for Amistad (1998)

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    Keith David

    Harlem, New York City

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    Billy Dee Williams

    New York City, New York

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    Morris Chestnut

    Cerritos, California

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    Chris Tucker

    Atlanta, Georgia

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    Wesley Snipes

    Orlando, Florida

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    Louis Gossett, Jr.

    New York City, New York

    Won for Best Supporting Actor Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman (1983) 
    Won for Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for An Officer and a Gentleman (1983) 

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    Delroy Lindo

    Eltham, London

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    James Avery

    Suffolk, Virginia

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    Chris Rock

    Andrews, South Carolina

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    Omar Epps

    New York City, New York

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    Anthony Mackie

    New Orleans, Louisiana

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    Michael Ealy

    Washington, D.C.
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    Giancarlo Esposito

    Copenhagen, Denmark

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    Kevin Hart

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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    Shemar Moore

    Oakland, California

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    Blair Underwood

    Tacoma, Washington

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    Paul Winfield

    Los Angeles, California

    Nominated for Best Actor Oscar for Sounder (1973)

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    John Witherspoon

    Detroit, Michigan
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    Andre Braugher

    Chicago, Illinois

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    Bill Duke

    Poughkeepsie, New York
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    Ossie Davis

    Cogdell, Georgia

    Nominated for Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for The Scalphunters (1969)

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    Jeffrey Wright

    Washington, D.C.

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