40 Actors And Actresses We Love

40 Actors and Actresses We Love

With the Academy Awards announced this morning, all eyes are fixed on Hollywood. Even though no Black actors and actresses were nominated this year, we take a moment to honor 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?

Jennifer Hudson

Favorite role: Effie White in “Dreamgirls.” Won Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2007.

Halle Berry

Favorite role: Leticia Musgrove in “Monster’s Ball.” Won Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2002.

Jamie Foxx

Favorite role: Ray Charles in “Ray.” Won Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2005.

Nia Long

Favorite role: Nina Mosley in “Love Jones.”


Favorite role: Mary in “Precious.” Nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2009.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Favorite role: Tre Styles in “Boyz n the Hood.”

Denzel Washington

Favorite role: Alonzo in “Training Day.” Won Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2002.

Samuel L. Jackson

Favorite role: Carl Lee Hailey in “A Time to Kill.”

Joy Bryant

Favorite role: Cheryl Smolley in “Antwone Fisher.”

Morgan Freeman

Favorite role: Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris in “Million Dollar Baby.” Won Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in 2005.

Zoe Saldana

Favorite role: Neytiri in “Avatar.”

Kerry Washington

Favorite role: Kay Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.”

Don Cheadle

Favorite role: Paul Rusesabagina in “Hotel Rwanda.”

Lynn Whitfield

Favorite role: Brandi in “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.”

Eddie Murphy

Favorite role: Prince Akeem in “Coming to America.”

Queen Latifah

Favorite role: Cleopatra ‘Cleo’ Sims in “Set It Off.”

Ruby Dee

Favorite role: Lucinda Purifyin “Jungle Fever.”

Michael Ealy

Favorite role: Beau Willie in ‘For Colored Girls’

Cicely Tyson

Favorite role: Binta in “Roots.”

Regina King

Favorite role: Margie Hendricks in “Ray.”

Jada Pinkett Smith

Favorite roles: “Jason’s Lyric,” “Set it Off,” and “HawthoRNe.”

Will Smith

Favorite role: Mike Lowery in “Bad Boys.”


Favorite role: Charisse Dolittle in “Dr. Dolittle 2.”

Paula Patton

Favorite role: Ms. Rain in “Precious.”

Angela Bassett

Favorite role: Anna Mae Bullock in “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”

Anika Noni Rose

Favorite role: Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog.”

Idris Elba

Favorite role: Monty in “Daddy’s Little Girls.”

Anthony Mackie

Favorite role: Tupac Shakur in “Notorious.”

Taraji P. Henson

Favorite role: Queenie in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Sidney Poitier

Favorite role: Walter Lee Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Sanna Lathan

Favorite role: Monica Wright in “Love & Basketball.”

Alfre Woodard

Favorite role: Alma Roberts in “American Violet.”

Forest Whitaker

Favorite role: Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.”

Morris Chestnut

Favorite role: Keith Fenton in “Two Can Play That Game.”

Gabrielle Union

Favorite role: Evangeline ‘Eva’ Dandrige in “Deliver Us from Eva.”

Jenifer Lewis

Favorite role: Jackie Washington in “Jackie’s Back!.”

Omar Epps

Favorite role: Quincy McCall in “Love & Basketball.”

Laurence Fishburn

Favorite role: Furious Styles in “Boyz n the Hood.”

Tisha Campbell-Martin

Favorite role: Sydney in “House Party 3.”

Thandie Newton

Favorite role: Christine Thayer in “Crash.”