Forest Whitaker initially earned a scholarship to play at California State Polytechnic University, but he switched to study opera and drama after being sidelined by injury. He was quite lucky to share screen with Nicolas Cage and Sean Penn in his film debut "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982). Starring in acclaimed features, like "Platoon" (1986), "Good Morning", "Vietnam" (1987) and "The Color of Money" (1986), he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for starring as musician Charlie Parker in "Bird" (1988).
Having established a solid name in the industry, Whitaker branched out to producing and directing films as well as music videos. TV movie "Strapped", Emmy-winning "Door to Door", films "Waiting to Exhale" and "First Daughter" were among the many projects he worked on. He, moreover, also directed the music video of Whitney Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)".
Whitaker's notable films to date included "Phenomenon", "Panic Room", also "American Gun". Though so, none of his film features was like the 2006 "The Last King of Scotland". His starring role in the film as Idi Amin won him numerous accolades, one most prestigious was the Best Actor Academy Award. His next film "The Great Debaters" was also a success and bagged him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. His forthcoming movies were of various genres, such as "Vantage Point", "Repo Men", "The Experiment", "A Dark Truth", "The Last Stand", "Zulu", "The Butler", and "Taken 3".
Whitaker married his actress wife Keisha Nash in 1996. They have two daughters; Sonnet and True. In addition to the two, he also has a son Ocean and she has a daughter Autumn from previous relationships. The actor was born in Longview, Texas on July 15, 1961 as Forest Steven Whitaker III.