Forest Whitaker Net Worth

From capturing our hearts with his emotional performance in the 1995 movie “Smoke” to giving us the bad guy creeps in the 2002 thriller “Panic Room,” Forest Whitaker has done it all. This versatile actor has touched all the genres he possibly could, and recently his portrayal of Zuri in the 2018 movie “Black Panther” was much lauded.

Early life

Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker was born on the 15th of July, 1961 to Forest Steven Jr., an insurance salesman, and Laura Francis, a special education teacher. He has an older sister and two younger brothers. His biography tells us that even as a child, he was an all-rounder. From sports to music and drama, he learned all this while growing up. He played in the football team and sang in the choir while attending Palisades Charity High School.

He got into California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, on a football scholarship, but had to change his major to music after a football injury. Later, he changed his major again to drama while at Cal Poly. In college, he did drama as well as music and was also accepted in the respective universities for each.

He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor of fine arts degree in Acting in 1982 and also earned a scholarship to the Berkeley, California branch of the Drama Studio London. He married actress Keisha Nash in 1996, whom he met on the set of “Blown Away.” They have four children together.


Forest Whitaker made his film debut at the age of 21 in the 1982 comedy movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” in a supporting role, but it was only in 1988 that he bagged his first lead role starring as musician Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker in the movie “Bird.”

He worked with well-known directors during the 1990s and released films like “Downtown,” “The Crying Game” and “Phenomenon.” His role in the 1999 movie “Ghost Dog: The way of the Samurai” is considered “definitive” of him. Even the best ones make bad choices, and for Whitaker, “Battlefield Earth” (2000) was his bad choice. The movie was branded as the worst film ever made, but Whitaker’s performance was applauded.

2002 was the year of thrillers for Whitaker, as his two thriller movies, “Phonebooth” and “Panic Room,” were released during that year. Perhaps, his career-best performance to date was in the movie “The King of Scotland” (2006) in which he portrayed Idi Amin, the former President of Uganda.

The role demanded a lot of work and efforts on Forest’s part, and he invested all his time in the movie, gained weight for the role, learned the language and accent, read books on Idi Amin, met his relatives and friends, watched documentaries and did his research thoroughly.

His work didn’t go in vain, as it was applauded by critics and audiences alike. His other movies include “The Great Debaters,” “The Air I Breathe,” “Street Kings,” “Vantage Point,” and “The Butler.” He has also been a part of many documentaries, television, and independent movies. Forest Whitaker has produced and directed movies as well.

Awards and Achievements

Forest Whitaker has been a part of around 82 movies and has won many awards during his career. He won a series of prestigious awards for his remarkable performance in “The Last King of Scotland,” including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen stars Guild award. He also received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film festival and the Golden Globes for his movie “Bird.”

His supporting role in the movie “Phenomenon” won him awards as well. He won the Best Actor Award for “The Butler” as well as “The Last King of Scotland” by the African-American Film Critics Association. In the 10th Annual Hollywood Film Festival, he received Hollywood actor of the Year Award.

Net Worth & Salary of Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker’s net worth is $45 million. He has earned all this and more with his work and blockbuster movies. He also founded the Whitaker Peace and Development initiative in 2012. He has endorsed brands, like GAP and JuntoBox Films.

Forest Whitaker has said time and again that he has never based any of his decisions on his race, but he has also stressed the importance of understanding who you are and where you come from. He has raised the bar high for the next generation to follow. He still has a lot to give to the industry.

We look forward to seeing him glorify the silver screen for the years to come!


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