FOREST WHITAKER is an acclaimed actor/director who has
showcased his talents in a multitude of demanding and diverse
roles. "Waiting to Exhale" marked his feature film directorial
debut. Whitaker earlier gained recognition for his first project
as a director, the HBO drama "Strapped," for which he
received Best New Director honors at the Toronto Film Festival.
Whitaker earned widespread recognition for his performance
as 'Jody,' the hostage British soldier, in Neil Jordan's Academy
Award-winning film, "The Crying Game." More recently,
he co-starred in "Jason's Lyric," Robert Altman's "Ready
to Wear," "Smoke," directed by Wayne Wang, the
science-fiction thriller "Species," and "Phenomenon"
with John Travolta and Robert Duvall.
In 1988, Whitaker was named Best Actor at the Cannes
Film Festival for his portrayal of jazz legend Charlie Parker
in Clint Eastwood's "Bird," a role for which he also
received a Golden Globe nomination. His other film credits include
"Blown Away," "Platoon," "Good Morning
Vietnam," "Consenting Adults," "Stakeout,"
"The Color of Money," "Johnny Handsome," "Downtown,"
"Diary of a Hitman," "Body Snatchers," "Vision
Quest," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," and "A
Rage in Harlem," on which he also served as co-producer.
On television, Whitaker garnered a CableACE nomination for his
performance in the Showtime original film "Last Light,"
directed by Keifer Sutherland. He also starred in HBO's "Criminal
Justice," for which he earned a CableACE nomination; "The
Enemy Within," for which he received a Screen Actor's Guild
nomination; and the cable film "Lush Life."
Whitaker was born in Longview, Texas and grew up
in Carson, California and South Central Los Angeles. While in
high school, Whitaker played competitive football and was an All
League defensive linesman. He attended California State University
at Pomona under a football scholarship studying opera and drama.
He also studied at the Drama School in London under a scholarship
created especially for him.
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