Forest Whitaker is a prominent American actor, producer, and director, known for his iconic performances in movies such as The Last King of Scotland and Star Wars: Rogue One. He has also made a name for himself in the television industry, having appeared in a variety of shows, including ER and The Shield. But what is Forest Whitaker’s net worth and how did he rise to fame? Read on to learn more about this accomplished actor and his life.
Forest Steven Whitaker was born on July 15th, 1961 in Longview, Texas. He was raised alongside three siblings in Carson, California, where his family had relocated. During his high school years, Whitaker played football and sang in the choir. He graduated in 1979 and attended California State Polytechnic University on a football scholarship. However, he changed his focus from football to choir singing and then to drama, ultimately graduating with a BFA in acting in 1982 from the University of Southern California.
Whitaker’s film career began with his role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High in the early 80s. He went on to appear in a number of critically acclaimed movies such as The Color of Money, Platoon, and Good Morning, Vietnam. He also starred in Clint Eastwood’s Bird, for which he received widespread praise. In the 90s, Whitaker continued to book major roles, appearing in films such as The Crying Game, Phenomenon, and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. However, it was his role in The Last King of Scotland in 2006 that won him an Academy Award for Best Actor and solidified his status as a Hollywood icon. He has also appeared in blockbuster hits such as Star Wars: Rogue One.
Whitaker’s television career began in the 80s with roles in shows like Diff’rent Strokes and Amazing Stories. He also acted as the host and narrator for the reboot of The Twilight Zone. In 2006, he landed a recurring role in the police drama The Shield and has made numerous appearances in shows like ER. Whitaker has also lent his voice to animated series like Star Wars Rebels.
Producing and Directing
Whitaker has also established himself as a director and producer, having directed movies such as A Rage in Harlem, Waiting to Exhale, and First Daughter. He gained further producing experience with various made-for-television movies. Whitaker has played a major role in the management of JuntoBox Films, a film production company that focused on small projects. Although the company eventually went out of business, Whitaker oversaw the successful approval of five different projects.
Whitaker is a passionate activist and philanthropist. He is a vegetarian and has partnered with PETA to promote the ethical and health benefits of the diet. He is also engaged with organizations that train and rehabilitate escaped child soldiers in Uganda. Whitaker founded the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, which focuses on creating peace within conflict-ridden nations around the world. He was also named as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011, where he focuses on helping youths avoid entering cycles of violence. Additionally, he founded the International Institute for Peace, which addresses issues such as female empowerment, climate change, community building, and fighting poverty.
Relationships and Personal Life
Whitaker married Keisha Nash in 1996, and the couple had two children together. They also raised two additional children from their respective previous marriages. However, after 22 years of marriage, Whitaker filed for divorce from Keisha Nash.