Don's theatrical credits include Blood Knot, Cymbeline, Hamlet, Bodies, Rest and Motion, The Dining Room, The Grapes of Wrath, Leon, Lena and Lenz, Liquid Skin, Oh Hell, Our Town, and 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore.
Don is 5' 8½" tall.
In 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2006, Don was nominated for SAG Awards. In 1996, he was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role" for Devil in a Blue Dress. In 1998, he was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast" for Boogie Night. In 2001, he was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture" for Traffic. In 2005, he was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role" and "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" for Hotel Rwanda. In 2006, Don was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role" and "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" for Crash. He won for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" for both Crash and Traffic.
Don, along with George Clooney, was honored with the 2008 Men of Peace Award at the 8th annual Nobel Peace summit in Rome for their contribution in raising awareness on the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region in Sudan.
Don graduated at the California Institute of the Arts.
In 1989, Don appeared in Angela Winbush's clip for her single "It's the real thing".
Don has two daughters, Imani and Ayana.
Don got his first big break starring as the hotel clerk on the short-lived Golden Girls spin-off The Golden Palace alongside Cheech Marin.
Don plays the saxophone, writes music and sings.
After acting in Hotel Rwanda (2004), a film about the early 1990s Rwandan genocide, he became an activist to raise awareness of the mid-2000s genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. In January 2005, he traveled to Sudan with five members of congress to see refugee camps and to meet survivors of the genocide. Upon his return, he reported on his trip for "ABC News Nightline" (1980).
He lives with Bridgid Coulter, who plays his wife in Rosewood (1997).
Don is the son of a child psychologist and teacher. He is the brother of Colin Cheadle. He also has a half-brother whose name is Andrew Kilbourne. His sister Cindy Cheadle is a teacher in Washington, D.C.
He got an Academy Award nomination for Hotel Rwanda.
Don is not credited for his role in Ocean's 11 or Rush Hour 2. No one knows why.
Don Cheadle: We cannot stand here in a free society, proclaiming that we care about human life, and do nothing in the face of this.
Don Cheadle : A lot of actors had reservations about the material and about Paul - not his personality or talent, but, with a first- time filmmaker, there was not a lot of margin for error. But I trusted his vision.
Don Cheadle: We believe that it really celebrates the definition of what an ensemble is all about. I mean there's 74 of us.
Don Cheadle: It's a film that doesn't end when the credits roll. It's a discussion that we've heard out in the world many, many times, and it's great that it's just started a dialogue about things that people, on the surface, seem not to want to talk about.
Don Cheadle: It's shocking to see the kind of devastation that occurred there and to know it's still going on, ... I am working with Timberland -- a company I respect and whose pursuit of social justice I admire -- to inspire others to help bring a halt to these atrocities.
Don Cheadle: What we are seeing are tsunamis of violence, ... and we will continue to see these unless people step up, unless people step forward and demand from their leadership, demand from the international community that this not stand.
Don Cheadle: The problems are very nuanced and complex and are things that we are in dire need of leadership from our government if we are going to see any change.
Don Cheadle: Don't talk to me unless you speak American. It's all the things you don't say that's below the surface and how it can bubble up.
Don Cheadle: Well I had said, 'Absolutely' before they said, 'We want you to play this guy' When I first met with Terry, he basically said, 'I would love for you to play this part. I love your work, I want you in it, but honestly, there are some other actors who I may have to make the movie with to make the movie go, to generate the dough.' He had been trying to make it for three to five years, something like that. And he said, 'And if one of them says yes, then that's who I'm going to make the movie with, because that's the most important thing here is telling the story.' I was in agreement. I said, 'I hope that it comes to me? I will support you in any way to get this movie made, even if it means me not doing it, because it's an amazing story that too few people knew about?' That's what I like about Terry. He's just a straight shooter. His passion for the piece was clear.
Don Cheadle: Just from him doing the things that he knew how to do, moment to moment -- it's not some mythic figure. It's just a common, everyday man. And I think that's what people are connecting to.
Don Cheadle: We knew if we could get Don, he'd attract a cast because he's the kind of actor all the directors want to work with. We asked him to produce the film as well, because we're not dumb. ... He's the reason we have this cast, he and the fabulous casting directors.
Don Cheadle: All of their experiences were the stuff of epic films — things they had to go through in those 100 days. It was amazing.
Don Cheadle: I've been doing this since I was 10 years old, inhabiting different people and playing different roles. Thirty years later, there's still the same sort of excitement I get from it. It's still fun to inhabit different characters and play different things, so it's all in that panoply of acting.
Don Cheadle: I don't like movies that are trying to preach and trying to tell you how to feel.
Don Cheadle: But most scripts are terrible. Most projects are bad, that's just kind of the way it is. And I'm not really attracted to those.
Don Cheadle: It's great to be in a film that's able to have people really want to become socially conscious, to walk out of the theatre and want to do something.
Don Cheadle: We're always trailing, as far as the amount of roles that are written for us and the films that are being made that have black characters in them. I don't know if that's going to change.