The Most Famous African American Actor: Celebrating Iconic Performers

Choose the actor you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 11, 2024 07:00
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate showdown of "Who is the most famous African American actor?" - a star-studded ranking that celebrates the immense talent and impact of these phenomenal artists! We've gathered a captivating list of iconic actors who've graced our screens and left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. Now it's your turn to help us crown the most famous African American actor by casting your vote or even suggesting a missing name to make this ranking even more epic. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating world of these trailblazers, as you join us on this exciting journey to discover the legendary actor who truly deserves the top spot. Let the voting begin!

Who Is the Most Famous African American Actor?

  1. 1

    Denzel Washington

    Denzel Washington
    He is one of the most respected and successful actors in Hollywood, having won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Tony Award. He has been a leading man in many critically acclaimed films, including "Malcolm X," "Training Day," and "Fences."
    Denzel Washington is a highly acclaimed and successful American actor known for his powerful performances and versatility. He has excelled in a wide range of roles, including drama, action, and historical characters. With his impressive acting skills, charisma, and dedication to his craft, Denzel Washington has become one of the most respected and influential actors in the industry.
    • Birthdate: December 28, 1954
    • Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, USA
    • Academy Awards: 2 (Best Actor for 'Training Day' in 2002, Best Supporting Actor for 'Glory' in 1990)
    • Golden Globe Awards: 3 (Best Actor for 'The Hurricane' in 2000, Best Actor for 'Training Day' in 2002, Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2016)
    • Total Filmography: Approximately 60 films
    Denzel Washington in other rankings
  2. 2
    Samuel L. Jackson
    Philip Romano · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Samuel L. Jackson

    Samuel L. Jackson
    With over 150 film credits to his name, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most prolific actors of all time. He is known for his iconic roles in films like "Pulp Fiction," "The Avengers," and "Django Unchained."
    Samuel L. Jackson is a distinctive and highly recognizable voice used in movies, commercials, and various entertainment media. It is known for its deep, powerful, and authoritative tone, as well as a unique delivery style that is often intense and expressive.
    • Tone: Deep and powerful
    • Delivery: Intense and expressive
    • Recognizability: Highly distinctive
    • Authority: Commanding and authoritative
    • Versatility: Capable of portraying a wide range of emotions and characters
    Samuel L. Jackson in other rankings
  3. 3
    Morgan Freeman
    DoD News Features · Public domain

    Morgan Freeman

    Morgan Freeman
    Morgan Freeman has been a staple in Hollywood for decades, with his deep, resonant voice and commanding presence. He has won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and been nominated for five others. Some of his most famous films include "The Shawshank Redemption," "Million Dollar Baby," and "Driving Miss Daisy."
    The 'Morgan Freeman' voice is a distinctive and resonant voice known for its deep and rich tones, often described as velvety smooth. It has a calming and authoritative quality that captivates listeners.
    • Tone: Deep and rich
    • Texture: Velvety smooth
    • Calming: Yes
    • Authoritative: Yes
    • Captivating: Yes
    Morgan Freeman in other rankings
  4. 4
    Will Smith
    Gage Skidmore · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Will Smith first gained fame as a rapper before transitioning to acting. He has become one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, starring in blockbuster films like "Independence Day," "Men in Black," and "The Pursuit of Happyness."
    The 'Will Smith' smile refers to a bright and dazzling Hollywood smile that is considered one of the most gorgeous in the entertainment industry. The teeth are perfectly straight, white, and proportionately aligned, which creates a stunning effect that accentuates the actor's charm.
    • Tooth color: White
    • Tooth alignment: Perfectly straight
    • Tooth proportion: Proportionately aligned
    • Tooth size: Proportionate to the face
    • Gum line: Even and flushed with teeth
    Will Smith in other rankings
  5. 5
    Jamie Foxx is a multi-talented performer who has won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe Award. He is known for his work in films like "Ray," "Django Unchained," and "Collateral."
    Jamie Foxx in other rankings
  6. 6
    Eddie Murphy first gained fame as a comedian before transitioning to acting. He has starred in many successful films, including "Beverly Hills Cop," "Coming to America," and "Dreamgirls."
    Eddie Murphy in other rankings
  7. 7
    Forest Whitaker
    Gage Skidmore · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Forest Whitaker is a versatile actor who has won an Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award. He is known for his work in films like "The Last King of Scotland," "Black Panther," and "The Butler."
  8. 8
    Sidney Poitier
    Unknown photographer · Public domain
    Sidney Poitier was a groundbreaking actor who was the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. He starred in many classic films, including "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "In the Heat of the Night," and "To Sir, with Love."
    Sidney Poitier in other rankings
  9. 9

    Chadwick Boseman

    Chadwick Boseman
    Chadwick Boseman was a rising star in Hollywood before his tragic death in 2020. He is best known for his portrayal of T'Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as his work in films like "42" and "Get on Up."
    Chadwick Boseman was an American actor, best known for his portrayal of the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He gained widespread recognition for his talent and versatility, appearing in various critically acclaimed films.
    • Date of Birth: November 29, 1976
    • Date of Death: August 28, 2020
    • Nationality: American
    • Famous Roles: Black Panther, James Brown, Jackie Robinson
    • Awards: Screen Actors Guild Award, MTV Movie Award, NAACP Image Award
    Chadwick Boseman in other rankings
  10. 10
    Laurence Fishburne
    Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy · Public domain
    Laurence Fishburne is a highly respected actor who has won a Tony Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and been nominated for two Academy Awards. He is known for his work in films like "The Matrix," "Boyz n the Hood," and "John Wick: Chapter 2."
    Laurence Fishburne in other rankings

Missing your favorite actor?


Ranking factors for famous actor

  1. Box office success
    The amount of revenue generated by the movies an actor has appeared in can be an indication of their popularity and success.
  2. Awards and recognitions
    Wins and nominations for major awards such as Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, and Screen Actors Guild Awards can be a measure of the critical acclaim an actor has received.
  3. Impact on the entertainment industry
    An actor's contributions to the industry and their impact on the success of other actors can also be considered.
  4. Popularity and recognizability
    Public recognition and popularity, both in the United States and internationally, can be a key factor when measuring an actor's fame.
  5. Longevity of career
    The length and consistency of an actor's career could be also considered, as well as their ability to maintain relevancy over time.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous African American actor. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or actor is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 196 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each actor once every 24 hours. The rank of each actor is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous african american actor

The entertainment industry has seen numerous talented African American actors over the years who have captivated audiences with their exceptional skills and performances. From the iconic roles played by Sidney Poitier in the 1960s to the modern-day portrayals by Denzel Washington and Will Smith, African American actors have made significant contributions to the film and television industry. The list of famous African American actors is extensive, and each one has a unique style and charisma that sets them apart from the rest. The likes of Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, and Forest Whitaker have earned critical acclaim and numerous accolades for their outstanding performances. The influence of African American actors in the entertainment industry cannot be overstated, as they have paved the way for other actors of color to shine. Their contributions have not only entertained audiences but have also helped to break down barriers and stereotypes. So, who is the most famous African American actor? With so many talented individuals to choose from, the answer is subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, one thing is for sure - every actor on this list has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry and will be remembered for years to come.

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