- NAME: Don Cheadle
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: November 29, 1964 (Age: 49)
- Did You Know?: Don Cheadle was named Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program in 2010.
- EDUCATION: California Institute for the Arts
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Kansas City, Missouri
- Full Name: Donald Frank Cheadle Jr.
- AKA: Don Cheadle
- ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius
Best Known For
Don Cheadle is a critically acclaimed actor who has appeared in such films as Crash, Hotel Rwanda and Iron Man 2.
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Born in Missouri in 1964, Don Cheadle appeared in shows such as Fame, L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues throughout his early career in the 1980s. But it was his portrayal of trigger-happy Mouse Alexander in the film Devil in a Blue Dress that catapulted Cheadle to success. Cheadle went on to appear in many acclaimed films, such as Hotel Rwanda, Crash and Iron Man 2. He transitioned back to television in 2012 as the lead actor in the popular comedy House of Lies,
for which he won a Golden Globe Award.
Actor Donald Frank Cheadle, Jr. was born on November 29, 1964, in Kansas City, Missouri, as the middle child in a family of three children. Cheadle was involved in acting at an early age. While attending elementary school in Denver, Colorado, he played Templeton the Rat in a stage adaptation of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. "I remember carrying my script around and studying it like I do now," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know why but I was serious about acting even then."
Cheadle entered the California Institute for the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California, in 1982. At CalArts, Cheadle received a rigorous education in classic theatre, and by the time he graduated he quickly found work in television. He appeared in small parts on shows such as Fame (1982-87), L.A. Law (1986-94) and Hill Street Blues (1981-97), while also taking the time to do stage performances.
Cheadle began his first recurring role alongside Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty in the short-lived spin-off of the popular cult classic The Golden Girls (1985-92) titled The Golden Palace (1992-93). His next recurring role as District Attorney John Littleton in the television series Picket Fences (1992-96) was more successful, but the role that brought him greater notice in Hollywood was his riveting portrayal of trigger-happy Mouse Alexander in the film Devil in a Blue Dress (1995).
Based on the novel by Walter Mosely, and also starring Denzel Washington, the film explored the heart of the Los Angeles black community in the 1940s. Cheadle won awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics, and was nominated for Screen Actors Guild and NAACP Image Awards.
Cheadle continued to make appearances on TV throughout the '90s, earning Emmy nominations for the HBO film A Lesson Before Dying (1993) and the Showtime movie Things Behind the Sun (2001). It was also during this time that his film career started to boom. He also made critically acclaimed appearances in films such as Boogie Nights (1997). He also won his first Golden Globe Award for his work in the TV film The Rat Pack (1998) as Sammy Davis, Jr.
Cheadle's roles on film and on television began to become more varied as his exposure grew. In 2000, he appeared in the criminal drama Traffic, which was released shortly after he appeared in the comedy The Family Man during the same year.
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