1. 21 Years in Hollywood and Still Making an Impact
At the tender age of 21, Forest Whitaker made his big screen debut in the iconic comedy classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” in 1982. His performance in the film was a memorable one, and it marked the start of a long and successful career in Hollywood. Whitaker has since gone on to star in a variety of films, including The Butler, The Last King of Scotland, and Bird.
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2. Ptosis Doesn't Hold Him Back
Forest Whitaker was born with ptosis, a hereditary condition that prevents him from fully opening his right eye. This condition, which is caused by a defect in the levator muscle of the eyelid, has been with him since birth and is something he has had to live with his entire life. Despite this, Whitaker has gone on to become an Academy Award-winning actor, director, and producer, proving that even with a physical limitation, anything is possible.
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3. Forest Whitaker Dropped Out of "Fat Albert"
In 2002, Forest Whitaker was hired to direct the film "Fat Albert", but his involvement in the project was short-lived. After getting into a disagreement with Bill Cosby about the direction of the film, Whitaker decided to drop out of the project. This disagreement was a major setback for the film, as Whitaker had been chosen for his extensive experience in directing and producing films, and his unique vision for the project.
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4. From "Lost" to Academy Award-Winning Actor
Forest Whitaker was originally cast in the Emmy award winning television show “Lost”, in the role of Sawyer. Unfortunately, he had to drop out of the project when a film he was attempting to make got the green light to go ahead and the dates clashed. Despite this, Forest Whitaker still managed to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry, winning an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA for his performance in The Last King of Scotland.
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5. Forest Whitaker as Ugandan Dictator in "The Last King of Scotland"
In 2006, Forest Whitaker took on the role of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the film "The Last King of Scotland". To ensure he was fully prepared for the role, Whitaker spent an impressive four months in Uganda, immersing himself in the culture and learning about the country's history. He also met with people who had known Amin personally, gaining a deeper understanding of the character he was to portray.
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6. Forest Whitaker wins Academy Award for Best Actor
Forest Whitaker won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2007 for his powerful portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the critically acclaimed film "The Last King of Scotland". Whitaker's performance was praised for its depth and complexity, and he was lauded for his ability to capture the nuances of Amin's character. His win marked the first time a black actor had won the award since Denzel Washington in 2002.
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7. Advocate for Animal Rights
Forest Whitaker is an outspoken advocate for animal rights. As a staunch vegetarian, he has been a long-time supporter of PETA, and has even served as a spokesman for the organization. His commitment to animal welfare is unwavering, and he has been vocal about the need to protect animals from cruelty and exploitation. Whitaker has also been involved in numerous campaigns to raise awareness about animal rights, and has even been honored by PETA for his work.
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8. From Football Star to Award-Winning Actor
As a high school student, Forest Whitaker was a talented football player, but he had a greater passion for acting. He decided to forgo a college sports scholarship and instead enrolled in an acting school, where he could pursue his dream of becoming an actor. His hard work and dedication paid off, and he has since become one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation, winning an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA for his performance in The Last King of Scotland.
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9. Forest Whitaker Teaches Self-Defense
Forest Whitaker is an avid karate fan, having achieved a black belt in the sport. He has been practicing karate for many years, and is passionate about the martial art. He has even been known to give karate lessons to his friends and family. Whitaker is a firm believer in the power of karate to help people stay fit and healthy, and to develop discipline and focus.
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10. Whitakers: 20 Years of Love and Marriage
Forest Whitaker and Keisha Whitaker first met on the set of the 1994 movie "Blown Away", in which Keisha had a role as an actress. After a whirlwind romance, the two married in 1996 and have been together ever since. They have two children together, a son and a daughter, and are still happily married today.
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