Forest Whitaker (born July 15, 1961 in Longview, Texas) played jazz musician Charlie Parker in Bird (1988) directed by Clint Eastwood, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland (2006). He acted in Platoon (1986) by Oliver Stone, Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) by Barry Levinson, The Crying Game (1992) by Neil Jordan, Ready to Wear (1994) by Robert Altman, Phenomenon (1996) with John Travolta, Panic Room (2002) by David Fincher, Phone Booth (2003) by Joel Schumacher, The Great Debaters (2007) directed by Denzel Washington, White House butler Eugene Allen in The Butler (2013) by Lee Daniels, Southpaw (2015) by Antoine Fuqua, Arrival (2016) by Denis Villeneuve, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Black Panther (2018), City of Lies (2018) with Johnny Depp, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020). He played Aretha Franklin's father in Respect (2021) with Jennifer Hudson.
Whitaker directed Waiting to Exhale (1995) from the 1992 novel by Terry McMillan, Hope Floats (1998) with Sandra Bullock, First Daughter (2004) with Katie Holmes.
On television, Whitaker played Bumpy Johnson in Godfather of Harlem (2019-2021).