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FOREST WHITAKER (Jake) is one of Hollywood's most accomplished actors, directors and producers who has showcased his talents in a multitude of demanding and diverse roles.

After winning almost every critics' award in 2007, he received an Academy Award® for Best Actor, a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture—Drama, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor and a BAFTA for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. That same year, his independent film American Gun, in which he starred and produced, was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award.

Whitaker garnered more critical attention for his performance on FX's The Shield, opposite Michael Chiklis, and for his performance on ER, for which he garnered an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He was recently seen in the suspense thriller Vantage Point, opposite Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox; lent his voice to Where the Wild Things Are, for director Spike Jonze; and was seen in The Air I Breathe, with Kevin Bacon and Andy Garcia. Whitaker was also seen in Winged Creatures, which tells the story of a diverse group of strangers who form a unique relationship with each other after surviving a shooting at a Los Angeles diner. The film also starred Dakota Fanning, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Hudson and Kate Beckinsale.

At the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, Whitaker wowed audiences with three outstanding films. He starred in a compelling, dark thriller titled A Little Trip to Heaven, opposite Julia Stiles. Whitaker delivered a shuddering performance and proved that he is one of the best actors of his generation in the fundamentally subversive and religiously complex film Mary, opposite Matthew Modine. Finally, he executive produced and starred opposite Donald Sutherland in the film American Gun.

With three college scholarships already under his belt, Whitaker received a fourth scholarship, set up by Sir John Gielgud, upon his entrance to the drama program at the University of California, Berkeley. A seasoned stage veteran at 21, baby-faced Whitaker made his film debut in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. From that point on, Whitaker has been making history. In 1988, Whitaker was named Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for his brilliant portrayal of jazz legend Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood's Bird, and earned widespread recognition for his performance as Jody, the hostage British soldier in Neil Jordan's Academy Award®-winning film The Crying Game.

He garnered a CableACE Award nomination for his performance in the Showtime original film Last Light, directed by Kiefer Sutherland. He also starred in the HBO film Criminal Justice, for which he earned a CableACE Award nomination, and The Enemy Within, for which Whitaker received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.

In 1999, Whitaker played the title role of a spiritual gangster in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, directed by Jim Jarmusch. The film premiered at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and screened at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim. Ghost Dog was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature. The film's soundtrack was a co-venture with Whitaker's own company, Spirit Dance.

In 2001, Whitaker appeared in The Fourth Angel, an action-thriller set in London, opposite Jeremy Irons. Whitaker starred in and executive produced the television miniseries Feast of All Saints, which won an Emmy and was nominated in two other categories. Prior to that, he starred in and executive produced Green Dragon, the first feature film production of this entity, which won the Humanitas Prize in addition to the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. He also produced Door to Door, starring William H. Macy, for TNT under the Spirit Dance banner. This telefilm was nominated for two Golden Globes, one Emmy and was also honored by the American Film Institute.

In 2002, Whitaker starred in the ASCAP award-winning film Panic Room and was nominated for a Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor. Whitaker starred in Joel Schumacher's Phone Booth, opposite Colin Farrell, for which he received Black Reel and Image Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.

In 2003, Whitaker appeared to critical acclaim, opposite Ossie Davis, in the Showtime movie Deacons for Defense, for which he received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. Whitaker produced Chasing Papi and directed First Daughter, starring Katie Holmes.

Whitaker made his feature film directing debut with the critically acclaimed, box-office hit Waiting to Exhale. He first gained recognition as a director for his debut film, the 1993 HBO original film Strapped, and went on to direct Hope Floats, starring Sandra Bullock. He also executive produced each of these films' multiplatinum soundtracks, which earned a combined total of 14 Grammy nominations. His short film, John Henry, was released in February 2002 for Black History Month. Whitaker's other credits include Witness Protection, for HBO, and the feature films Light It Up; Phenomenon; Species; Smoke; Prêt-à-Porter; Jason's Lyric; Platoon; Good Morning Vietnam; Consenting Adults; Stakeout; The Color of Money; Johnny Handsome; Downtown; Diary of a Hitman; Body Snatchers; and Vision Quest.


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