Twenty-five years after becoming a professional actor, Forest Whitaker found the role of a lifetime playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland.” The transformative part earned Whitaker every major film acting honor that year including Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards.
Previously, Whitaker enjoyed a busy, respected career in lead and supporting character roles in such features as “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Platoon,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “The Crying Game,” “Phenomenon,” “Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai” and “Panic Room,” as well as in the telefilms “Last Light” and “Lush Life.”
He also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of troubled jazz musician Charlie Parker in 1988’s “Bird,” directed by Clint Eastwood.
Since “The Last King of Scotland,” Whitaker has acted nonstop, with big-screen appearances in “The Great Debaters,” “Vantage Point” and “Street Kings” among others. He also had recurring roles on the TV series “ER” (Emmy nomination) and “The Shield.”
Whitaker has also directed several features including the 1995 ensemble hit “Waiting to Exhale” and “Hope Floats.” He has served as producer or executive producer on a number of features and telefilms as well.
The actor, who married actress Keisha Nash in 1996, has four children (two from Nash and two from previous relationships).
— Gary Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times
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