From stereotypical roles as maids and cooks to Academy Award-winning performances in blockbuster movies, African Americans have come a long way in the world of film and television. Early stars like Sidney Poitier and Hattie McDaniel may have been the first actors to win awards for their stellar performances, but modern-day actors such as Denzel Washington and Halle Berry are still breaking new ground as the first African Americans to win Oscars, Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards in certain categories. Learn more about the African-American actors who became the first to change the fabric of film and TV with their dramatic performances.
Janice Dickinson told a jury at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial that the comedian drugged and raped her in 1982. The “world’s first supermodel” was one of five additional accusers to testify. “I didn’t consent to this. Here was ‘America’s Dad,’ on top of me,” she said.
Former star of the hit TV drama 'St. Elsewhere,' actor/director Denzel Washington has earned popular and critical acclaim for his roles in an array of feature films, including 'Glory,' 'Malcolm X,' 'Training Day,' 'American Gangster' and 'Flight.'
Halle Berry won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 'Monster's Ball,' becoming the first African-American woman to win the honor. She has starred in films including 'Swordfish,' 'Die Another Day,' 'Gothika,' the 'X-Men' film franchise and 'Kidnap.'
Nat King Cole became the first African-American performer to host a variety TV series in 1956. He's best known for his soft baritone voice and for singles like "The Christmas Song," "Mona Lisa" and "Nature Boy."