Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker


7/15/1961, Longview, Texas, USA

Birth Name

Forest Steven Whitaker


  • Forest Whitaker, Matt Ryan and Michael K...
  • Forest Whitaker on Criminal Minds: Suspe...
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes



His parents are Forest Whitaker Jr and Laura Francis Smith.Whitaker has an eye condition called strabismus, often incorrectly referred to as 'lazy eye'.Initially Forest was a football player at Cal State Fullerton. There the coach continued to play him despite a painful back injury. Whitaker transferred to University…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • The nominations for the 2008 Academy Awards were announced by Forest Whitaker on Thursday, January 22 2009.

    • In 1995, 2004 and 2007, Forest was nominated for SAG Awards. In 1995, he was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries" for The Enemy Within. In 2004, Forest was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries" for Deacons for Defense. In 2007, he won the SAG Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role" for his movie The Last King of Scotland.

    • In preparation for his role as the ruthless Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland Forest visited Uganda.

    • On April 17, 2007, Forest was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    • In 2007, Forest won the 'Best Actor' award at the British film awards for his portrayal of the Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, in The Last King of Scotland.

    • Forest has been nominated for a Golden Globe twice in the category of Best Actor in a Drama in a Motion Picture; in 1989 for Bird, and in 2006 for The Last King of Scotland which he won.

    • Forest received a 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Last King of Scotland.

    • Forest has three children; Ocean, Sonnet and True.

    • Forest studied opera at the University of Southern California (U.S.C), where he graduated from in 1982.

    • Forest turned down the role of "Cameron Thayer" in the film Crash, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 2006 ceremony.

    • On December 27, 2006 TheMagazine named Forest as its "Actor of the Year" in their 2006 "Year in Review" issue.

    • In 2006, Forest appeared in "T.I.'s" music video "Live in The Sky" along with Jamie Foxx.

    • Since 1996, Whitaker has been married to fellow actress Keisha Whitaker.

    • Forest directed Whitney Houston's music video Shoop Shoop, which was the soundtrack for the movie "Waiting to Exhale" , which Forest directed.

    • Forest was originally considered for the role of "Sawyer" in the hit ABC show Lost. He opted out of the role to shoot his directorial debut First Daughetr and the producers eventually settled for Josh Holloway who isn't African-American and speaks with a Southern American accent.

    • Forest's feature directorial debut was in the 1995 movie Waiting to Exhale.

    • Forest is a vegetarian.

    • Forest attended California State Polytechnic University in Pomona on a football scholarship, but he left due to a very serious back injury.

    • Forest is fond of martial arts and he is a 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate.

    • Forest mastered the East African accent and learned Swahili to prepare for his role in The Last King of Scotland.

    • Forest Whitaker and his wife Keisha appeared at the London Film Festival (Oct 06) to promote "The Last King of Scotland", where he plays the lead role, Idi Amin.

  • Quotes

    • Forest: It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in south central LA and Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them and to have them happen.

    • Forest (on accepting his 2007 Best Actor Oscar): When I was a kid, the only way I saw movies was from the back seat of my family's car at the drive-in. It wasn't my reality to think I would be acting in movies, so receiving this honour tonight tells me that it's possible.

    • Forest: My eye? It's a genetic thing. My dad had it and now I have it. You know, I just found out that it may be correctable a little bit, because it does impair my vision. When I look up, I lose sight in this eye. I think maybe for other people, it informs the way they see me. But I don't really think about this eye, other than the times people talk about it, or when people take photographs of me sometimes they might say stuff about it. I don't think it makes me look bad or anything. It just is.

    • Forest (On his role in The Last King of Scotland): It was an experience that changed my life and my thoughts. I went there with the purpose of understanding what it was like to be Ugandan, and I wanted to understand the food, the life, the way they deal with children and wives and with authority figures. I sat with Idi Amin's brother underneath a big mango tree and he told me stories about what Idi was like and how he used to come to town and pull together soccer or rugby games. It all helped me with figuring out the way he behaved and the way he thought, so that 24 hours a day, even in my dreams, I was totally consumed by the character of Idi Amin. It wasn't until the movie was over that I decided I could let go of the character, so the first thing I did was take a shower because I figured I could wash him off by scrubbing myself. I was in a room by myself, so I started yelling to get his voice out of me and get my own voice back.

    • Forest (On choosing studio or independent films): I go back and forth between indie and studio because I feel like it, not because I feel obligated to do one or the other. The only reason to make a decision like that is financial, you know, you can't live. That doesn't make my decision for me, I do what feels right for me. I'm not going to do a bad movie just because it's a studio movie or an indie film, and there are hordes of bad independent movies. People tend to think that indie movies are always good, but I've seen horrific ones, just as well as I've seen horrific studio films. So I just go by how I feel, it's the only way you can figure it out. Otherwise you get lost in the maze of trying to second guess the people, the studio, how you can make your career long or short. It's easy to get lost in this maze, called life, really, you know what I mean?

    • Forest (On his career): As an actor, I've always wanted to do characters that would help me find my connection with others and connect all of us together. You always want the energy of the character, the spirit of the person, to enter you. I've been doing this for 26 years and some of the things I've done are always with me. Maybe it's a word; maybe it's a gesture; maybe the sound; maybe it's a new understanding about something. I look at it like a past life because I keep going over and over what I have done.

    • Forest (On his best work): If I were to mark three, I'd mark Bird, because I grew immensely as an artist, I learned a lot, and also, I think, it was when people started to take me more seriously. I'd also mark Ghost Dog, because I started to understand something about myself in silence, how I'm capable of communicating certain things without doing much. And then I'd probably mark The Last King of Scotland, which marries the internal and the external in a strong way and brings together all of the things I've learned about my work into one character.

    • Forest (On his children's names, True and Ocean, and his name): I want those names to be their destiny, for my daughter to be honest and my son to be expansive. I try to be like a forest, revitalizing and constantly growing.

    • Forest: My parents moved to Los Angeles when I was really young, but I spent every summer with my grandparents, and I'd stay with my grandfather on the farm in Longview. He was retired from the railroad, and he had a small farm with some cows and some pigs. I remember part of my youth was feeding hogs and plowing fields and stuff, so that's apart of me. And my parents raised me to say 'sir' and 'ma'am,' to open doors, things like that. That's the way I was brought up. Also, unfortunately, I was taught not to question too much. I didn't really question my mom and dad. That's usually what they told me to do.

    • Forest: I can play a man who's despicable. But I'll still look inside him to find a point of connection. If I can find that kernel, audiences will relate to me.

    • Forest (on how powerful he though his method acting was in "The Last King of Scotland): I used to take showers, just trying to get the guy to leave me. I needed to wash those darker passions away.

    • Forest: I'm an actor. And I guess I've done so many movies I've achieved some high visibility. But a star? I guess I still think of myself as kind of a worker ant.

    • Forest (on accusations he had made Ugandan dictator Amin appear too sympathethic): I'm not trying to defend him, the Amin I found was not a good man

  • Forest Whitaker is a talented actor who puts other actors of his culture to shame.

    Now for something completely different. To go from Eddie Murphy to Forest Whitaker is like going from a giant F to a proud A. Forest has done it all, he has taking a lot of chances, has put up really strong performances and has come to be known as a respectable actor.

    This actor has the complete resume. He knows how to play soft characters, tough characters, comics, you know name it. His performance of Lt. Jon Kavanaugh on repetitive and ailing "The Shield" was my major motivation for watching that show but even before that in movies like "Panic Room", "Last King of Scotland", "Species", "American Gun" Forest has shown his skill as a actor.

    He is up there with Denzel Washington and Cuba Gooding Jr. as capable actors but sadly doesn't quite get the same attention as they do but make no mistake that's he's a great actor.

    Things can only get better for him and by the time his acting career is over unlike other actors (white or black) he can look back and say that his had a strong career in the business.moreless
  • empty

    I think that Forest Whitaker is a very, very good actor. You can see him acting and you can really believe that the role he is doing is fantastic. I like his style and I think that he is one of the best actors around to stay. I like him in the film The Last King of Scotland, he was awesome.