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Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 29, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Kansas City, Missouri, USA Profession: actor, musician, playwright, screenwriter, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Absolutely engaging and immensely talented, actor Don Cheadle rightfully earned his reputation as one of his generation's most versatile and committed performers. After years of thankless guest appearances on TV dramas and sitcoms, Cheadle gained attention with the role of the fastidious hotel manager of "The Golden Palace" (CBS, 1992-93), a spin-off from the beloved sitcom, "The Golden Girls" (CBS, 1985-1992). The chameleon-like Cheadle broke out with an acclaimed performance in Carl Franklin's crime thriller "Devil in a Blue Dress" (1995) and continued the streak with remarkable work in highly-lauded films like "Boogie Nights" (1997) and "Out of Sight" (1998). He officially made Hollywood's A-list as one of Danny Ocean's crack team of con men in Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), but it was his performance as real-life hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in "Hotel Rwanda" (2004) that earned Cheadle the most effusive critical praise of his career. He played an integral role in the Oscar-winning ensemble drama "Crash" (2005) prior to turning in a tour de force performance in the radio DJ biopic "Talk to Me" (2007). In addition to the hugely successful sequels to "Ocean's Eleven," the actor was...

Absolutely engaging and immensely talented, actor Don Cheadle rightfully earned his reputation as one of his generation's most versatile and committed performers. After years of thankless guest appearances on TV dramas and sitcoms, Cheadle gained attention with the role of the fastidious hotel manager of "The Golden Palace" (CBS, 1992-93), a spin-off from the beloved sitcom, "The Golden Girls" (CBS, 1985-1992). The chameleon-like Cheadle broke out with an acclaimed performance in Carl Franklin's crime thriller "Devil in a Blue Dress" (1995) and continued the streak with remarkable work in highly-lauded films like "Boogie Nights" (1997) and "Out of Sight" (1998). He officially made Hollywood's A-list as one of Danny Ocean's crack team of con men in Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), but it was his performance as real-life hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in "Hotel Rwanda" (2004) that earned Cheadle the most effusive critical praise of his career. He played an integral role in the Oscar-winning ensemble drama "Crash" (2005) prior to turning in a tour de force performance in the radio DJ biopic "Talk to Me" (2007). In addition to the hugely successful sequels to "Ocean's Eleven," the actor was frequently seen in such big-budget productions as the superhero blockbuster sequel "Iron Man 2" (2010). He later returned to television as the star of the highly-regarded cable comedy "House of Lies" (Showtime, 2012- ). Cheadle's ability to virtually disappear into any role kept him at the very top of Hollywood's list of "go to" actors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Iron Man 3 (2013)
2.
 Source, La (2012)
3.
 Kingdom Come (2012)
4.
 Source, La (2012)
5.
 Flight (2012)
6.
 Guard, The (2011)
7.
 Iron Man 2 (2010)
8.
 Hotel for Dogs (2009)
9.
10.
 Traitor (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Kansas City, MO
:
Raised in Lincoln, NE and Denver, CO
:
Had first acting role in a fifth grade production of "Charlotte's Web"; cast as the rat Templeton
1985:
Feature film debut, "Moving Violations"
:
Acted with the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, MN and with the New York Shakespeare Festival in NYC's Central Park
1987:
TV debut, guest shot on "Hill Street Blues" (NBC)
1988:
Played pivotal role of Rocket, a murderous gang member, in the drama "Colors"
1991:
Starred and co-wrote the theme for the unsold NBC comedy pilot "In the House"
1992:
TV series debut as the overly competent hotel manager in "The Golden Palace," the CBS spin-off of "The Golden Girls"
1993:
Played recurring role of Bennie on "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper" (ABC)
1993:
Played district attorney Jonathan Littleton on the CBS drama series "Picket Fences"
1995:
Breakthrough role as Mouse, the psychopathic sidekick to Denzel Washington's Easy Rawlings in "Devil in a Blue Dress"
1997:
Co-starred in John Singleton's underrated "Rosewood" as a piano teacher who stands up to racists
1997:
Appeared as porn star Buck Swope in "Boogie Nights"
1998:
Had featured role of L.D., a moralist gang leader, in "Bulworth"
1998:
Cast as Sammy Davis Jr in the HBO movie "The Rat Pack"; received Emmy nomination
1998:
Played Snoopy, a psychopathic killer in Steven Soderbergh's "Out of Sight," co- starring George Clooney
1999:
Starred in the HBO adaptation of "A Lesson Before Dying"; received Emmy nomination
2000:
Reteamed with Soderbergh to play a DEA agent in "Traffic"
2000:
Wrote and directed the digital film "The Jesse Borr Story"
2001:
Portrayed the manager-lover of a troubled rock singer in "Things Behind the Sun"; screened at Sundance
2001:
Acted opposite Jeffery Wright in Suzan-Lori Parks' off-Broadway drama, "Topdog/Underdog"; was unable to recreate role on Broadway in 2002 due to scheduling conflicts
2001:
Again collaborated with Clooney and Soderbergh for the "Ocean's Eleven" remake
2002:
Had a recurring role on the NBC drama "ER" as Paul Nathan, a med student who suffers from Parkinson's disease; received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2003)
2003:
Received Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for <i>Fear Itself</i>
2004:
Reunited with original cast for "Ocean's Twelve" again directed by Steven Soderbergh
2004:
Portrayed Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsis refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda"; received a Golden Globe, SAG and an Oscar nomination for Best Actor
2004:
Cast opposite Naomi Watts, Sean Penn and Jack Thompson in "The Assassination of Richard Nixon"
2005:
Produced and starred in Paul Haggis' directorial debut "Crash," a multicharacter study of L.A. race relations; earned a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2007:
Re-teamed with the original cast for "Ocean's 13"
2007:
Portrayed Ralph 'Petey' Greene, a real-life ex-con-turned-radio and TV host in "Talk to Me"; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Actor
2009:
Co-starred in "Hotel for Dogs," a film adaptation of the Lois Duncan novel of the same name
2010:
Cast in Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest"
2010:
Replaced Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes, best friend to Downey's Tony Stark for "Iron Man 2"
2012:
Cast as a highly successful and cutthroat management consultant on Showtime series "House of Lies"
2012:
Co-starred with Denzel Washington in "Flight"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

California Institute of the Arts: Valencia , California - 1986

Notes

"Now that I know how [the Oscar nominees] get picked, and how the selection process works, I could give a fuck if I never get one. I mean it would be nice because your money goes up, and it shows appreciation on a wide level, but what does my performance have to do with the political lobbying and machinations that go on inside the Academy that I am not privy to? If I never get an Oscar, it doesn't mean anything about my work. It's enough to me that everyone's saying, 'Damn . . . they passed you up'"---Don Cheadle on not receiving a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in "Devil in a Blue Dress" quoted in Premiere, April 1997.

Cheadle founded Elemental Prose, a company of artists with the goal of preserving oral histories through words and music.

"I'm glad that people try to write roles that anyone can do, but I also don't ever want to end up in movies where the fact that I'm a black man is a nonissue. In America, it's always an issue."---Cheadle quoted in Interview, August 1997.

"Don is one of those actors who is so intense that if the other actors are not up for a scene, they're going to get smoked. It's not like he's Mr. Thespian, but you have to be ready. He's very generous with other actors, It you mention him to other actors, their eyes light up."---Stephen Soderbergh, who directed Cheadle in "Out of Sight", to The New York Times, May 16, 1999.

"I just want to continue to do diverse characters, because that's what's fun for me. It's not necessarily what's star-making, but as long as I can make a career out of it, that's what I'll be doing."---Cheadle quoted in Time Out New York, May 14-21, 1998.

"He's a character actor, but so is Dustin Hoffman. He will carry a movie. He has those serious chops. There is so much emotion he puts into it, so many colors on his palette."---Rob Cohen, director of "The Rat Pack", to The New York Times, May 16, 1999.

"Actors have to know that this is fleeting. This is about the flavor of the month. They can get sick of Don Cheadle's flavor and move on to the next at any time. Very few actors, we can probably count them on two hands, have had a career that spans 60 years. You can be a banker for the rest of your life, but you can be bankable for as long as people want to pay for tickets. I'm not hot, I'm lukewarm. I'm making money and I'm saving my money and trying to be good in everything I do."---Don Cheadle quoted in Daily News, June 28, 1998.

"Don Cheadle has an angelic quality and dangerous quality to him... he's brilliant."--- Brett Ratner quoted in Ebony Magazine, August 2002.

"He's the perfect man, incredibly intelligent, talented, generous and funny."---Sophie Okonedo, Cheadle's co-star in "Rwanda" quoted to People, November 29, 2004.

"Don has this energy, like he could say or do anything at any moment. Movie stars in general make us feel safe, but that's not where he operates from. He seems not to be governed by the laws of the universe somehow."---Stephen Soderbergh, who directed Cheadle in "Ocean's Twelve", to Entertainment Weekly, December 17, 2004.

"My career has never been like a jet taking off; it's a house built on sand," he says. "It's nervous-making for sure."---Cheadle to GQ, March 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Bridget Coulter. Actor. Played Cheadle's wife in "Rosewood"; mother of his two daughters.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Colin Cheadle.
daughter:
Ayana Tai Cheadle. Born on September 26, 1994; mother, Bridget Coulter.

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