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40 Actors & Actresses That We Love

With ESSENCE's Black Women In Hollywood event going on this afternoon and the Academy Awards on this Sunday night, all eyes are fixed on Hollywood. In honor of the 40th anniversary of ESSENCE magazine, we present 40 actresses and actors we love. Their work has made us laugh, made us cry, allowed us to step away from the pressures of our day-to-day lives, and taught us more about ourselves and our culture. Check out who made our list. Who would you add? Read more: 40 Things We Love About Michelle Obama 40 Of Our Favorite Female Grammy Winners

40 Actors And Actresses We Love

Jennifer Hudson

Halle Berry

Jamie Foxx

Nia Long


Cuba Gooding Jr.

Denzel Washington

Samuel L. Jackson

Joy Bryant

Morgan Freeman

Zoe Salanda

Kerry Washington

Don Cheadle

Lynn Whitfield

Eddie Murphy

Queen Latifah

Ruby Dee

Tyler Perry

Cicely Tyson

Regina King

Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith

Raven Symone

Paula Patton

Angela Bassett

Anika Noni Rose

Idris Elba

Anthony Mackie

Taraji P. Henson

Sidney Poitier

Sanna Lathan

Alfre Woodard

Forest Whitaker

Morris Chestnut

Gabrielle Union

Jenifer Lewis

Omar Epps

Laurence Fishburn

Tisha Campbell-Martin

Gabrielle Union