Forest Whitaker

39th Annual AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman - Arrivals

Birth Name: Forest Steven Whitaker

Place of Birth: Longview, Gregg, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: July 15, 1961

Ethnicity: African-American

Forest Whitaker is an American actor, director, and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland (2006).

He is the son of Laura Francis (Smith) and Forest Whitaker, Jr. His brother is actor Kenn Whitaker. Forest has four children, and is married to actress Keisha Nash.

Forest’s paternal grandfather was Forest Elmer Whitaker (the son of Tyler Whitaker and Ida Williams). Tyler was the son of Albert Whitaker and Frances.

Forest’s paternal grandmother was Vallie Ree Hughes (the daughter of Edmond Hughes and Sulteena/Sallenna Halton). Edmond was the son of Edmond Hughes and Eliza Gene.

Forest’s genetic tests have indicated that he has Igbo and Akan ancestry. He was given the title of Nwannedinambar of Nkwerre, “brother in a foreign land”, when he visited Nigeria.

Source: Forest’s paternal grandfather, Forest Elmer Whitaker, on the 1920 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

5 Responses

  1. cwm85 says:

    Well my guess was wrong but his ancestry is from west Africa as most people with African descent are from who live in america. The Igbo are primarily in Nigeria some 32 million. And Akan people are located in President Obama’s father’s country in Ghana. Interesting african mix. I not sure what his surname is from but he’s probably 20 or less European.

  2. cwm85 says:

    He should go on Louis Gates Jr show and find out what part of Africa and tribe he’s from. I’m guessing cameroon… I know someone who is from cameroon who favors Whitaker.

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    good actor

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