young black actors

30 Best Young Black Actors Under 40

And while the issue of diversity might have been a problem decades ago, recent social movements have shown us that Hollywood is changing, and with this, more and more young Black actors are becoming stars each day.

Some of these names are truly amazing performers and in this article, we have decided to honor the legacy of Hollywood’s young Black actors.

This list is going to be a list of the 30 best young Black actors under the age of 40. You’ll receive some basic biographical information about them, their age at the time of writing this article and their most famous roles so far, as well as some of the accolades they have received.

Note: the list was made in random order.

Lupita Nyong’o

Full Name: Lupita Amondi Nyong’o
Birth: March 1, 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico
Age: 38

Lupita Amondi Nyong’o (born 1 March 1983) is a Kenyan-Mexican actress. The daughter of Kenyan politician Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and Dorothy Ogada Buyu, Nyong’o was born in Mexico City, where her father was teaching, and was raised in Kenya from age one. She attended college in the United States, earning a bachelor’s degree in film and theatre studies from Hampshire College.

Nyong’o began her career in Hollywood as a production assistant. In 2008, she made her acting debut with the short film East River and subsequently returned to Kenya to star in the television series Shuga (2009–2012). Also in 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary In My Genes.

She then pursued a master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama. Soon after her graduation, she had her first feature film role as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s biographical period drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which she received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

She became the first Kenyan and Mexican actress to win an Academy Award.

Famous Roles: 12 Years a Slave (Patsey), Star Wars films (Maz Katana, voice), Black Panther (Nakia), Us (Adelaide Wilson / Red)

Accolades: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (12 Years a Slave),

John David Washington

Full Name: John David Washington
Birth: July 28, 1984 in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Age: 36

John David Washington (born July 28, 1984) is an American actor, producer, and former American football running back. He played college football at Morehouse College and signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2006. Professionally, Washington spent four years as the running back for the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions.

Washington shifted to an acting career like his father, Denzel Washington, and mother, Pauletta. He was part of the main cast of the HBO comedy series Ballers (2015–2019).

His breakthrough came playing Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s 2018 crime film BlacKkKlansman, for which he received both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. In 2020, he starred in Christopher Nolan’s science fiction action-thriller film Tenet.

Famous Roles: BlacKkKlansman (Ron Stallworth), Tenet (The Protagonist)

Accolades: None

Zendaya

Full Name: Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman
Birth: September 1, 1996 in Oakland, CA, USA
Age: 24

Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman (born September 1, 1996) is an American actress, singer, and producer. She began her career as a child model and backup dancer before gaining prominence for her role as Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up (2010–2013).

In 2013, Zendaya was a contestant on the sixteenth season of the competition series Dancing with the Stars. From 2015 to 2018, she produced and starred as the titular spy, K.C. Cooper, in the sitcom K.C. Undercover.

Her performance as a teenager struggling with drug addiction in the HBO drama series Euphoria (2019–present) led her to become the youngest winner of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Her film roles include supporting parts in the musical drama The Greatest Showman (2017) and the superhero film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and its sequel, Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019).

Famous Roles: Spider-Man films (Michelle), The Greatest Showman (Anne Wheeler), Euphoria (Rue Bennett)

Accolades: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Euphoria)

Michael B. Jordan

Full Name: Michael Bakari Jordan
Birth: February 9, 1987 in Santa Ana, CA, USA
Age: 34

Michael Bakari Jordan (born February 9, 1987) is an American actor and producer. He is known for his film roles as shooting victim Oscar Grant in the drama Fruitvale Station (2013), boxer Donnie Creed in Creed (2015), and Erik Killmonger in Black Panther (2018), all three of which were directed by Ryan Coogler.

Jordan reprised the role of Creed in Creed II (2018), and is set to star, and make his directorial debut, in Creed III (2022).

Jordan’s initially broke out in television roles; including Wallace in the first season of the HBO crime drama series The Wire (2002); Reggie Montgomery on the ABC soap opera All My Children (2003-2006) and Vince Howard in the NBC sports drama series Friday Night Lights (2009–2011).

His other film performances include Red Tails (2012), Chronicle (2012), That Awkward Moment (2014), Fantastic Four (2015) and Just Mercy (2019), where he portrayed Bryan Stevenson.

Famous Roles: Creed and Creed II (Adonis Creed), Black Panther (Killmonger), Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson)

Accolades: SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (Black Panther), Teen Choice Award for Choice Villain (Black Panther), MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Villain (Black Panther), NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Creed)

Zoë Kravitz

Full Name: Zoë Isabella Kravitz
Birth: December 1, 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Age: 32

Zoë Isabella Kravitz (born December 1, 1988) is an American actress, singer and model. The daughter of actor-musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, Kravitz made her acting debut in the romantic comedy film No Reservations (2007), and had her breakthrough portraying Angel Salvadore in the superhero film X-Men: First Class (2011), which earned her nominations for a Teen Choice Award and a Scream Award.

Kravitz rose to prominence playing Christina in The Divergent series (2014–2016) and Leta Lestrange in the Fantastic Beasts film series (2016–2018), and appeared as Toast the Knowing in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and voiced Catwoman in The Lego Batman Movie (2017) and Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).

She has had starring roles in numerous independent films, including Dope (2015), Adam Green’s Aladdin (2016), and Gemini (2017). She earned praise for her lead roles in the HBO drama series Big Little Lies (2017–2019), which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, and the Hulu romantic comedy series High Fidelity (2020).

Kravitz will star as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ DC film The Batman (2022).

Famous Roles: Fantastic Beasts series (Leta Lestrange), Big Little Lies (Bonnie Carlson), The Lego Batman Movie (Catwoman, voice), X-Men: First Class (Angel Salvadore), The Divergent series (Christina)

Accolades: None

Daniel Kaluuya

Full Name: Daniel Kaluuya
Birth: February 24, 1989 in London, United Kingdom
Age: 32

Daniel Kaluuya (London, February 24, 1989) is an English actor, writer and model with a great career in the United States. He is the winner, among others, of the Oscar, SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for best supporting actor for his performance in Judas and The Black Messiah (2021).

He is known for having participated in the second episode of the first season of the television series Black Mirror and in the Jordan Peele film Get Out, for which he received critical acclaim and his first Academy Award nomination. as best actor.

He has also appeared in the first and second seasons of the series Skins, in addition to the movie Black Panther from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Famous Roles: Get Out (Chris Washington), Black Panther (W’Kabi), Judas and the Black Messiah (Fred Hampton)

Accolades: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Judas and the Black Messiah), BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Judas and the Black Messiah), BAFTA Rising Star Award, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture (Judas and the Black Messiah)

Alexandra Shipp

Full Name: Alexandra Ruth Shipp
Birth: July 16, 1991 in Phoenix, AZ, USA
Age: 29

Alexandra Ruth Shipp (born July 16, 1991) is an American actress and singer who rose to prominence for portraying singer Aaliyah in the Lifetime television film Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (2014) and Kimberly Woodruff in the Oscar-nominated film Straight Outta Compton (2015).

Shipp is best known for playing Storm in the X-Men franchise, starting with X-Men: Apocalypse, and Abby Suso in the 2018 romantic comedy Love, Simon.

Famous Roles: X-Men films (Storm), Straight Outta Compton (Kimberly Woodruff)

Accolades: None

LaKeith Stanfield

Full Name: LaKeith Lee Stanfield
Birth: August 12, 1991 in San Bernardino, CA, USA
Age: 29

LaKeith Lee Stanfield (born August 12, 1991), sometimes credited as Keith Stanfield, is an American actor and musician. He made his feature film debut in the independent drama Short Term 12 (2013), an adaptation of the 2008 short film in which he had also appeared, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

He received further recognition for his roles in numerous biopics such as civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson in Selma (2014), Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton (2015), Patrick Haynes in Snowden (2016), and William O’Neal in Judas and the Black Messiah (2021), for which he garnered an Academy Award nomination.

Stanfield also played leading and supporting roles in the critically acclaimed films Dope (2015), Get Out (2017), Sorry to Bother You (2018), Someone Great (2019), Uncut Gems (2019), Knives Out (2019), and The Photograph (2020). Since 2016, he has starred in the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta.

Famous Roles: Get Out (Andre Hayworth / Logan King), The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Edwin Needham), Uncut Gems (Demany), Knives Out (Detective Lieutenant Elliot), Judas and the Black Messiah (William O’Neal), Atlanta (Darius Epps), Straight Outta Compton (Snoop Dogg)

Accolades: None

Jurnee Smollett

Full Name: Jurnee Diana Smollett
Birth: October 1, 1986 in New York, NY, USA
Age: 34

Jurnee Diana Smollett (born October 1, 1986) is an American actress. Smollett began her career as a child actress appearing on television sitcoms, including On Our Own (1994–1995) and Full House (1992–1994). She received critical acclaim and Critic’s Choice Award for playing Eve in the 1997 independent drama film Eve’s Bayou.

As an adult, Smollett has starred in the films The Great Debaters (2007), Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013), and Birds of Prey (2020). Her television roles include the NBC sports drama Friday Night Lights (2009–2011), and the HBO vampire drama True Blood (2013–2014), the WGN America period drama Underground, and the HBO supernatural horror drama Lovecraft Country as Letitia Lewis.

Famous Roles: Eve’s Bayou (Eve Batiste), Birds of Prey (Dinah Lance / Black Canary), Lovecraft Country (Letitia “Leti” Lewis)

Accolades: Critics’ Choice Award for Best Young Performer (Eve’s Bayou), Critics’ Choice Super Award Best Actress in a Horror Series (Lovecraft Country)

Jonathan Majors

Full Name: Jonathan Majors
Birth: September 7, 1989 in Lompoc, CA, USA
Age: 31

Jonathan Majors (born September 7, 1989) is an American actor. He rose to prominence after starring in the independent feature film The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019). In 2020, he garnered wider notice for portraying Atticus Freeman in the HBO television series Lovecraft Country.

Jonathan Majors was born in 1989 and graduated from Yale School of Drama with an MFA in acting. In 2015 he was recognized by the National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) in the National Drama Competition.

Majors has appeared as an actor since 2011. He got his first role in a television series in When We Rise. In 2017 he got a role in the western Enemies – Hostiles. In 2018 Majors appeared in a supporting role in the drama White Boy Rick. Captive State hit theaters in 2019.

For his role as Montgomery Allen in Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco from the same year, Majors received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2019.

Famous Roles: Lovecraft Country (Atticus Freeman), The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Montgomery Allen)

Accolades: None

Andra Day

Full Name: Cassandra Monique Batie
Birth: December 30, 1984 in Edmonds, WA, USA
Age: 36

Cassandra Monique Batie (born December 30, 1984), known professionally as Andra Day, is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. In 2015, she released her debut album, Cheers to the Fall. At the 2016 Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best R&B Album and the single, “Rise Up”, was nominated for Best R&B Performance.

To promote “Rise Up”, she performed the song on The View, the performance earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. Day also appeared alongside Stevie Wonder, who is partially credited for her discovery, in an ad for Apple TV in late 2015.

In 2021, she portrayed Billie Holiday in the biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her stage name was inspired by Holiday’s nickname “Lady Day”.

Famous Roles: The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Billie Holiday)

Accolades: Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)

Trevante Rhodes

Full Name: Trevante Nemour Rhodes
Birth: February 10, 1990 in Ponchatoula, LA, USA
Age: 31

Trevante Nemour Rhodes (born February 10, 1990 in Ponchatoula) is an American actor and former sprinter. Born in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, he moved with his family to Dallas, Texas when he was ten. He graduated from Little Elm High School and later studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where he distinguished himself as an athlete.

He competed as a sprinter in the 100 and 200 meters races. In 2009 he participated in the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, where he helped his team win the gold medal in the 4 × 100 meters relay.

After his studies Rhodes moved to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming an actor, taking his first steps between short films and small film roles. He gains international limelight thanks to the starring role in Barry Jenkins’ award-winning Moonlight.

Famous Roles: Moonlight (Chiron / Black), The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Jimmy Fletcher)

Accolades: Black Reel Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male (Moonlight)

Janelle Monáe

Full Name: Janelle Monáe Robinson
Birth: December 1, 1985 in Kansas City, KS, USA
Age:

Janelle Monáe Robinson (born December 1, 1985) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, record producer, and model. Monáe is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as to her own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society.

Monáe has received eight Grammy Award nominations. Monáe won an MTV Video Music Award and the ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2010. Monáe was also honored with the Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award in 2015 and the Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2018.

In 2016, Monáe made her theatrical film debut in two high-profile productions; Monáe starred in Hidden Figures as NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson, and also starred in Moonlight.

Monáe’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, also described as a concept album, was released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim; it was chosen as the best album of the year by several publications and earned Monáe two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.

The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and was further promoted by Monáe’s Dirty Computer Tour, which lasted from June to August 2018.

Famous Roles: Moonlight (Teresa), Hidden Figures (Mary Jackson), Antebellum (Veronica Henley/Eden)

Accolades: Critics’ Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble (Moonlight)

Jaden Smith

Full Name: Jaden Christopher Syre Smith
Birth: July 8, 1998 in Malibu, CA, USA
Age: 22

Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born July 8, 1998) sometimes known by just the mononym Jaden is an American actor, rapper, singer, and songwriter. Smith’s first role was with his father Will Smith in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness and would again appear with his father in the 2013 film After Earth.

He also starred in the remake films The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) and The Karate Kid (2010).

He released CTV2, his second mixtape, in November 2014. Following a three-year work effort, he released his debut studio album, Syre, on November 17, 2017. His second studio album, Erys, was released on July 5, 2019.

His third studio album, CTV3: Cool Tape Vol. 3, was released on August 28, 2020. Smith has returned to acting as of 2017, acting in the two part Netflix original The Get Down and a voice acting role in the Netflix original anime Neo Yokio.

Famous Roles: The Pursuit of Happyness (Christopher Gardner Jr.), The Karate Kid (Dre Parker)

Accolades: Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Chemistry (The Pursuit of Happyness, with Will Smith), MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance (The Pursuit of Happyness)

Zazie Beetz

Full Name: Zazie Olivia Beetz
Birth: May 25, 1991 in Berlin, Germany
Age: 29

Zazie Olivia Beetz is a German-American actress. She stars in the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta (2016–present), for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

She also appeared in the Netflix anthology series Easy (2016–19) and voices Amber Bennett in Amazon’s animated superhero action series Invincible.

In film, Beetz has appeared in the disaster film Geostorm (2017), and has played the Marvel Comics character Domino in the superhero film Deadpool 2 (2018) and Arthur Fleck/Joker’s neighbor Sophie in the psychological thriller Joker (2019).

Famous Roles: Atlanta (Vanessa “Van” Keefer), Deadpool 2 (Domino), Joker (Sophie)

Accolades: None

Donald Glover

Full Name: Donald McKinley Glover Jr.
Birth: September 25, 1983 in Edwards, California
Age: 37

Donald Glover is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, director, singer and rapper, also known under the stage name Childish Gambino.

In 2016, Glover received widespread acclaim from critics for the comedy-drama television series Atlanta created by and starring him, for which he won two Golden Globe Awards, including Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

For the first two seasons of the show, he received eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations that resulted in two wins, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, becoming the first African American to win in the latter category.

His appearance on Saturday Night Live earned him a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.

As of 2018, he won five Writers Guild of America Awards for his contribution to the satirical television sitcom 30 Rock and for the first season of Atlanta.

Famous Roles: The Martian (Rich Purnell), Spirer-Man: Homecoming (Aaron Davis), Solo: A Star Wars Story (Lando Calrissian), The Lion King (Simba, voice), Atlanta (Earnest “Earn” Marks)

Accolades: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (Atlanta), Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Atlanta), Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy (Atlanta)

Letitia Wright

Full Name: Letitia Michelle Wright
Birth: October 31, 1993 in Georgetown, Guyana
Age: 27

Letitia Michelle Wright (born 31 October 1993) is a Guyanese-British actress. She began her career with guest roles in the television series Top Boy, Coming Up, Chasing Shadows, Humans, Doctor Who and Black Mirror; for the latter, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

She then had her breakthrough for her role in the 2015 film Urban Hymn, for which the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) named Wright among the 2015 group of BAFTA Breakthrough Brits.

In 2018, she attained global recognition for her portrayal of Shuri in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Panther, for which she won an NAACP Image Award and a SAG Award.

She reprised the role in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), the latter of which became the highest-grossing film of all time. In 2019, she received the BAFTA Rising Star Award. She also appeared in the 2020 anthology series Small Axe, which earned her a Satellite Award nomination.

Famous Roles: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame (Shuri), Small Axe (Altheia Jones)

Accolades: Teen Choice Award for Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actress (Black Panther), BAFTA Rising Star Award

Winston Duke

Full Name: Winston Duke
Birth: November 15, 1986 in Argyle, Trinidad and Tobago
Age: 34

Winston Duke (born November 15, 1986) is a Tobagonian actor. He is best known for his role as M’Baku in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). He also starred in Jordan Peele’s horror film Us (2019).

Duke started acting in theater productions for Portland Stage Company and Yale Repertory Theatre before being cast in Person of Interest. While at Yale, he befriended fellow actor Lupita Nyong’o, with whom he later starred in Black Panther and Us.

In 2012 Duke returned to his native Trinidad and Tobago to appear in the theatre production of An Echo in the Bone starring alongside actress Taromi Lourdes Joseph and directed by fellow Yale alumna Timmia Hearn Feldman.

Famous Roles: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame (M’Baku), Us (Gabe Wilson / Abraham)

Accolades: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (Black Panther)

Tessa Thompson

Full Name: Tessa Lynne Thompson
Birth: October 3, 1983 in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Age: 37

Tessa Lynne Thompson (born October 3, 1983) is an American actress. She began her professional acting career with the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company while studying at Santa Monica College.

Her breakthrough came with leading roles in Tina Mabry’s independent drama film Mississippi Damned (2009) and Tyler Perry’s drama film For Colored Girls (2010).

Thompson gained favorable critical notice for her performances in the comedy-drama Dear White People, as civil rights activist Diane Nash in the historical drama Selma (both in 2014), and as Bianca Taylor in the sport drama films Creed (2015) and Creed II (2018).

She gained mainstream recognition for her starring role as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

She also had roles in films such as the dark comedy Sorry to Bother You (2018), the crime thriller Little Woods (2018), the science-fiction horror film Annihilation (2018), the science fiction action film Men in Black: International (2019), the musical romance Lady and the Tramp (2019), and the romantic drama Sylvie’s Love (2020).

On television, she starred in the noir drama series Veronica Mars (2005–2006), the drama series Copper (2012–2013), and the science fiction series Westworld (2016–present).

Famous Roles: Selma (Diane Nash), Creed and Creed II (Bianca Taylor), Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame (Vaklyrie), Westworld (Charlotte Hale)

Accolades: Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress (Creed), Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance (For Colored Girls)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Full Name: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Birth: July 15, 1986 in New Orleans, LA, USA
Age: 34

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (born July 15, 1986) is an American actor. He is best known for portraying David Kane/Black Manta in the DC Extended Universe superhero film Aquaman (2018), Bobby Seale in the Netflix historical legal drama The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) and Cal Abar in the HBO limited series Watchmen (2019).

For the latter, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He also starred in an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale and Black Mirror.

After starring in the Netflix musical drama series The Get Down (2016–2017), Abdul-Mateen appeared in numerous films, including Baywatch (2017), The Greatest Showman (2017), and Us (2019).

Famous Roles: Aquaman (David Kane / Black Manta), Us (Russel Thomas / Weyland), The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Bobby Seale), Watchmen (Cal Abar / Dr. Manhattan)

Accolades: Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Satellite Award for Best Ensemble – Motion Picture (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Watchmen)

Jennifer Hudson

Full Name: Jennifer Kate Hudson
Birth: September 12, 1981 in Chicago, IL, USA
Age: 39

Jennifer Kate Hudson (born September 12, 1981), also known by her nickname J.Hud, is an American singer, actress, and philanthropist.

Throughout her music and acting careers, Hudson has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including; an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and two Grammy Awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020.

Hudson rose to fame in 2004 as a finalist on the third season of American Idol, placing seventh. She made her film debut as Effie White in the musical Dreamgirls (2006), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the youngest African-American to win in a competitive acting category.

Following these successes, Hudson was signed to Arista Records and released her self-titled debut studio album in 2008, which was certified gold in the United States, sold over a million copies worldwide, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.

Her subsequent studio albums, I Remember Me (2011) and JHUD (2014), saw continued commercial success with the former also being certified gold in the United States.

Hudson’s other acting roles include, in films; Sex and the City (2008), The Secret Life of Bees (2008), Winnie Mandela (2011), Black Nativity (2013), Sing (2016), Cats (2019), television shows; Smash (2012), Empire (2015), Confirmation (2016), and her Broadway debut with the musical The Color Purple.

Famous Roles: Dreamgirls (Effie White), Cats (Grizabella)

Accolades: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Dreamgirls), BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dreamgirls), Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (Dreamgirls)

John Boyega

Full Name: John Adedayo Bamidele Adegboyega
Birth: 17 March 1992 in London, United Kingdom
Age: 29

John Adedayo Bamidele Adegboyega (born 17 March 1992), known professionally as John Boyega, is a British-Nigerian actor and producer.

He first rose to prominence in his native Britain for his role as Moses in the sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block (2011), and his international breakthrough came with his role as Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

His other credits include the drama film Imperial Dreams (2014), the historical drama film Detroit (2017), the science fiction film Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), and four episodes of the television series 24: Live Another Day.

He received the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2016, and was awarded the Trophée Chopard at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Boyega was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2020.

Boyega portrayed Leroy Logan in the 3rd episode of Steve McQueen’s anthology series Small Axe (2020), for his performance he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film and the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries.

Famous Roles: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker (FN-2187 / Finn), Attack the Block (Moses), Detroit (Melvin Dismukes), Small Axe (Leroy Logan)

Accolades: Black Reel Award for Best Actor (Attack the Block), BAFTA Rising Star Award, Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie (Small Axe), Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television (Small Axe)

Amandla Stenberg

Full Name: Amandla Stenberg
Birth: October 23, 1998 in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Age: 22

Amandla Stenberg (born October 23, 1998) is an American actress and singer. She is known for her acting and public image, Stenberg has received several accolades, and was included in Time’s list of Most Influential Teens in both 2015 and 2016.

Stenberg made her acting debut with the film Colombiana (2011), and had her breakthrough playing Rue in the film The Hunger Games (2012), for which she won a Teen Choice Award.

They received critical acclaim for their roles as Maddy Whittier in Everything, Everything (2017) and as Starr Carter in the film The Hate U Give (2018), the latter of which earned her an NAACP Image Award and a nomination for a Critics’ Choice Award.

Their other film roles include voicing Bia in Rio 2 (2014), and her starring roles as Ruby in The Darkest Minds (2018) and Leyna in Where Hands Touch (2018).

In television, Stenberg had the recurring role of Macey Irving in the series Sleepy Hollow (2013–2014), and starred as Halle Foster in the sitcom Mr. Robinson (2015) and as Julie in the Netflix miniseries The Eddy (2020).

In 2015, she made her musical debut as part of the folk-rock duo Honeywater. Their single, “Let My Baby Stay” was featured in the film Everything, Everything (2018).

Famous Roles: Colombiana (Young Cataleya), The Hunger Games (Rue), The Hate U Give (Starr Carter),

Accolades: NCAAP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (The Hate U Give), Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry (The Hunger Games, with Jennifer Lawrence)

Caleb McLaughlin

Full Name: Caleb Reginald McLaughlin
Birth: October 13, 2001 in Carmel, NY, USA
Age: 19

Caleb McLaughlin (born October 13, 2001, in Carmel, New York) is an American actor. He began his career on Broadway as a young Simba in The Lion King. McLaughlin attended the Harlem School of Arts.

He achieved international fame as Lucas Sinclair in the US science fiction mystery series Stranger Things, which is broadcast on Netflix. He played in all three seasons. In 2017 he and his fellow actors in the series received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Famous Roles: Stranger Things (Lucas Sinclair)

Accolades: SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (Strange Things), NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series) (Stranger Things)

Kiersey Clemons

Full Name: Kiersey Nicole Clemons
Birth: December 17, 1993 in Pensacola, FL, USA
Age: 27

Kiersey Clemons was born in December 1993 in Pensacola, Florida. Clemons began her career in 2010 in two episodes of the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up as Danielle. This was followed in 2011 by a guest appearance in Good Luck Charlie and Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures.

Clemons became known for the role of Kira Starr in the television series Austin & Ally, also produced by the Disney Channel. She has been on the sitcom since 2013.

At the same time, she received her first leading role. In the Disney Channel original movie Cloud 9, Clemons played the role of Skye Sailor. In May 2014, she starred in Trey Songz’s music video for “SmartPhones”. She can be seen in a supporting role in the Amazon series Transparent.

In September 2014, she was given a leading role alongside Victoria Justice in the MTV thriller series Eye Candy, in which she starred in the role of Sophia from January to March 2015.

Famous Roles: Dope (Cassandra “Diggy” Andrews), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Iris West), Antebellum (Julia)

Accolades: Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, Female (Dope)

Brian Tyree Henry

Full Name: Brian Tyree Henry
Birth: March 31, 1982 in Fayetteville, NC, USA
Age: 39

Brian Tyree Henry (born March 31, 1982) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as “Paper Boi” in the FX drama series Atlanta (2016-present), for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy. Henry made his cinematic breakthrough in 2018, starring in the heist film Widows, the romantic drama film If Beale Street Could Talk, and the animated superhero film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

In 2019, he starred in the thriller Don’t Let Go and the horror film Child’s Play. Henry has also appeared on stage, with lead roles in Romeo and Juliet (2007), The Book of Mormon (2011) and The Fortress of Solitude (2014). For his performance in Lobby Hero, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Famous Roles: Widows (Jamal Manning), If Beale Street Could Talk (Daniel Carty), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Jefferson Davis, voice), Joker (Carl), Godzilla vs. Kong (Bernie Hayes), Atlanta (Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles)

Accolades: None

Quvenzhané Wallis

Full Name: Quvenzhané Wallis
Birth: August 28, 2003 in Houma, LA, USA
Age: 17

Wallis became famous for her leading role in Benh Zeitlin’s feature film Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). Wallis ’portrayal of the imaginative and nature-loving” Hushpuppy” earned her not only several awards but also an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

At nine, she is the youngest nominee in this category in Academy Awards history, beating the previous record set by New Zealander Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), who was nominated for Best Actress in 2004 at the age of 13.

After her successful screen debut, Wallis received a role again alongside Dwight Henry in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave, which was released in US cinemas in October 2013.

In 2013, filming began on the remake of the classic American musical Annie, in which she played the title role of Annie and played alongside Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her acting performance in Annie. Quvenzhané Wallis played the recurring role of Kyra in the ABC sitcom Black-ish in 2019.

Famous Roles: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Hushpuppy), 12 Years a Slave (Margaret Northup), Annie (Annie Bennett Stacks), Black-ish (Kyra)

Accolades: Satellite Award for Best Breakthrough Actress (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Chosen Jacobs

Full Name: Chosen Jacobs
Birth: July 1, 2001 in Springfield, MA, USA
Age: 19

Chosen Jacobs (born July 1, 2001) is an American actor and singer best known for his recurring role as Will Grover on the CBS television series Hawaii Five-0 and his role as Mike Hanlon in the 2017 film adaptation of the Stephen King novel It, and its follow-up It: Chapter Two.

Jacobs was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and moved at a young age to Atlanta, where he was raised. He got his name from when his father heard a baby say something that sounded like “chosen.” Jacobs started off as a musician, singing and playing the guitar and piano.

He started acting when his mother enrolled him in theater classes. His first acting role was in a commercial for Hot Wheels. In 2015, he moved to Hollywood to further his music and acting career.

Famous Roles: It and It: Chapter Two (Mike Hanlon), When the Streetlights Go On (Charlie Chambers)

Accolades: MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team (It)

Jessica Lucas

Full Name: Jessica Lucas
Birth: September 24, 1985 in Vancouver, Canada
Age: 35

Born in Vancouver, Canada, to an African-Canadian father and a Canadian mother of European descent, she began acting at the age of seven. During her career, she has participated in many television series such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The L Word, 90210, Psych, and Romeo!.

She gets her first major role in 2001 in the series Edgemont, playing the role of Bekka Lawrence, while in 2002 she takes part in the 2030 CE series where she plays Jakki Kaan. In 2006 she gets a role in the film The Covenant, by Renny Harlin.

From 2004 to 2005 she starred in the television series Life as We Know It playing the part of Sue Miller, while in 2009 she becomes one of the protagonists of the Melrose Place series where she plays the role of Riley Richmond until 2010. In 2014, she played a role in the Paul W. S. Anderson film, Pompeii.

In 2013 she takes part in the Cult series playing the role of Skye Yarrow, but the series is canceled after the first season. Starting in 2015, she joined the cast of the series Gotham, playing the part of the ruthless criminal Tabitha Galavan.

Famous Roles: Cloverfield (Lily Ford), Edgemont (Bekka Lawrence), Gotham (Tabitha Galavan)

Accolades: None

Tyler James Williams

Full Name: Tyler James Williams
Birth: October 9, 1992 in Westchester, NY, USA
Age: 28

Tyler James Williams or Tyler Williams is an American actor, born October 9, 1992, in Westchester County, New York. He became known to the general public for playing the main character in the comedy television series Everyone Hates Chris (2005-2009), which saw him become the youngest actor to receive an NAACP Image Awards.

He then became part of the main cast of three ephemeral series: first, the sitcom Go On (2012-2013), then, the police series Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (2016-2017). In the meantime, he landed a recurring role in the horror series The Walking Dead (2014-2015).

Finally, he joins the main cast of the action series Whiskey Cavalier (2019). He took advantage of this notoriety to appear in feature films such as Unaccompanied Children (2006), Dear White People (2014) and Detroit (2017).

Famous Roles: Detroit (Leon), The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Lester ‘Prez’ Young), Everybody Hates Chris (Chris), Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (Russ “Monty” Montgomery), The Walking Dead (Noah)

Accolades: NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series (Everybody Hates Chris)

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