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DON CHEADLE (Montel Gordon) reteams on Traffic with Steven Soderbergh, for whom he previously starred (with George Clooney) in "Out of Sight," the director's 1998 film version of Elmore Leonard's novel.

Cheadle has consistently turned in powerful performances in several mediums. He was named Best Supporting Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association in 1995 for his breakout film performance opposite Denzel Washington in Carl Franklin's "Devil in a Blue Dress." He subsequently received NAACP Image Award nominations for his roles in John Singleton's "Rosewood" and Warren Beatty's "Bulworth."

Among his other films are Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights," Mick Jackson's "Volcano," Robert Townsend's "The Meteor Man," Dennis Hopper's "Colors," and John Irvin's "Hamburger Hill."

Cheadle's more recent screen work includes Brian De Palma's "Mission to Mars," Brett Ratner's "The Family Man" (opposite Nicolas Cage), and Dominic Sena's forthcoming "Swordfish" (starring with John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, and Halle Berry).

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Cheadle later relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, and Denver, eventually settling in Los Angeles. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the prestigious Cal Arts in Valencia, California. With the encouragement of his college friends, Cheadle auditioned for film and television roles while attending school, and landed a recurring role on the hit syndicated series "Fame."

Cheadle's other television credits include a recurring role on NBC's "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"; a series regular role on CBS' "The Golden Palace"; and a two-year stint as District Attorney John Littleton on CBS' "Picket Fences." He starred in Eriq La Salle's HBO telefilm "Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault."

For his portrayal of Sammy Davis, Jr. in Rob Cohen's HBO telefilm "The Rat Pack," Cheadle received a Golden Globe Award as well as an Emmy Award nomination. He was also simultaneously Emmy Award-nominated for his starring role in a second HBO telefilm, Joseph Sargent's "A Lesson Before Dying" (based on the acclaimed novel by Ernest J. Gaines). His most recent television work was in CBS' live black-and-white broadcast of "Fail Safe," directed by Stephen Frears and starring and executive-produced by George Clooney.

Cheadle remains active in live theater, having starred in, most recently, "Leon, Lena and Lenz" at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; as well as "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Liquid Skin" at The Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis, The New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Cymbeline," "'Tis a Pity She's a Whore" at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, and Athol Fugard's "Blood Knot" at The Complex Theater in Hollywood.

As stage director, he has productions of "Cincinnati Man," at The Attic Theater and "The Trip" at Friends and Artists Theater, in Hollywood, to his credit. His current stage project, "Groomed," made its Los Angeles debut at the 1998 New Works Festival at the Mark Taper Forum.

Cheadle is also a screenwriter; and a talented musician who plays saxophone, writes music, and sings.

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