South African actors in America: Top 20 African actors in Hollywood 2020

South African actors in America: Top 20 African actors in Hollywood 2020

The number of African actors in Hollywood has been rising in recent years. These actors and actresses bring the much-needed diversity to Hollywood films. American movies are watched globally, and many fans can identify with the narrative if different cultures are portrayed.

African actors in Hollywood

Hollywood has many prolific African actors from across the continent. Photo: danaiguria, lupitanyongo, chiwetel_ejio, boriskodjoe (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Actors and actresses like Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Peter Mensah, Charlize Theron, Djimon Hounsou, and others have appeared in numerous blockbuster movies. They have also been recognized for global film awards for their outstanding performances. Who are all the African celebrities in Hollywood? Below are the top 20.

Top 20 African actors in Hollywood movies

Actors and actresses from Africa continue to prove to the world that the continent is full of talent. They come from various countries across the continent. Here is a list of the top 20 African actors taking huge strides in the United States.

1. Edi Gathegi from Kenya

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Kenyan actors in Hollywood

Edi Gathegi is known for movies like Nikita, Twilight, and My Bloody Valentine. Photo: iamedigathegi
Source: Instagram

The prolific actor was born in 1979 in Nairobi, Kenya. He has been active in the industry since 2006. Gathegi has starred in a number of Hollywood movies and series, including Twilight, X-Men: First Class, Beauty and the Beast, Nikita, My Bloody Valentine, The Fifth Patient, Lincoln Heights, and others.

2. Lupita Nyong'o from Kenya

Kenyan actors in Hollywood

Lupita Nyong'o is known for movies like 12 Years a Slave, Queen of Katwe, and Black Panther. Photo: lupitanyongo
Source: Instagram

Lupita Nyong'o was born in Mexico in 1983 and was brought up in Kenya. He then went to the United States for College. Her parents are Anyang' Nyong'o, a Kenyan politician, and Dorothy Ogada. She is one of the most successful Kenyan actors in Hollywood. Lupita is known for movies such as 12 Years a Slave, Black Panther, Us, Queen of Katwe, The Jungle Book, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and others.

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3. Benjamin Ochieng' from Kenya

Kenyan actors in America

Benjamin Ochieng' is known for Beautifully Broken, God's Not Dead, and Tears of The Sun. Photo: paukwa
Source: Twitter

Benjamin was born in Nairobi, Kenya. His fluency in the Swahili language has made him the best choice in Hollywood for Swahili-related roles. He has starred in several movies, including Tears of the Sun, God's Not Dead, and Beautifully Broken.

4. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje from Nigeria

Nigerian actors in America

AdewaleAkinnuoye-Agbaje is known for Game of Thrones, Suicide Squad and Thor: The Dark World. Photo: therealadewale
Source: Instagram

Adewale was born in 1967 in London to Nigerian parents of Yoruba origin. He was raised in a white household in England as a foster kid. Adewale started as a model before going to Hollywood and is now one of Hollywood's most prolific Nigerian actors. Popular Adewale movies and series include Thor: The Dark World, Game of Thrones, Tangled: The Series, Farming, Suicide Squad, Bilal, Concussion, Trumbo, Get Rich or Die Tryin', and more.

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5. Chiwetelu Umeadi Ejiofor from Nigeria

Nigerian actors in Hollywood

Chiwetelu Ejiofor has starred in 12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, and Dirty Pretty Things. Photo: chiwetel_ejio
Source: Instagram

Ejiofor was born in 1977 in London to Nigerian parents of Igbo origin. The award-winning actor has starred in 12 Years a Slave, Twelfth Night, American Gangster, Kinky Burns, Half of a Yellow Sun, Melinda and Melinda, Children of Men, Dirty Pretty Things, and others.

6. Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo from Nigeria

Nigerian actors in America

Carmen Ejogo is known for Kidnapped, The Avengers, and Metro. Photo: @marcelodiazv
Source: Twitter

Carmen Ejogo was born in 1973 in London to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother. She has featured in several popular movies and TV productions, including The Avengers, Metro, The Brave One, Boycott, Kidnapped, Alex Cross, Pride and Glory, among others.

7. Sophie Okonedo from Nigeria

Nigerian actors in Hollywood

Carmen Ejogo is known for The Avengers, Pride and Glory, and Metro. Photo: fm_darkerhorse
Source: Instagram

Sophie was born in 1968 in London to a Jewish mother and a Nigerian father. The award-winning actress has been featured in a number of TV series and movies, including Hotel Rwanda, After Earth, Sinbad, Tsunami: The Aftermath, Ace Ventura 2, Martian Child, and others.

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8. Peter Mensah from Ghana

Ghanaian actors in America

Peter Mensah is known for Avatar, Spartacus: Vengeance, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and The Incredible Hulk. Photo: pmensahonline
Source: Instagram

Mensah was born in 1959 in Chiraa, Ghana, and was brought up in England. He is an incredible actor and a martial arts expert. Some of his movies and TV series include Avatar, Spartacus: Vengeance, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, The Incredible Hulk, Hidalgo, Tears of the Sun, and others.

9. Boris Kodjoe from Ghana

Ghanaian actors in Hollywood

Boris Kodjoe is known for Brown Sugar, House of Cards, Resident Evil: Retribution and Resident Evil: Afterlife. Photo: boriskodjoe
Source: Instagram

The former model was born in 1973 in Vienna, Australia, to a Ghanaian father of Ga-Adangbe descent and a German-Jewish mother. Popular Boris Kodjoe movies and TV series include Surrogates, Brown Sugar, Resident Evil: Retribution, Resident Evil: Afterlife, The Gospel, Evil Goes Global, House of Cards, and others.

10. Prince David Osei from Ghana

Ghanaian actors

Prince David Osei is known for The Dead horror movie. Photo: princedavidosei
Source: Instagram

Prince David was born in 1983 in Accra, Ghana. He is an actor, a model, producer, director, and philanthropist. David is known for movies like The Dead, Flight by Night, Merciful Heart, and others.

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11. Charlize Theron from South Africa

South African actors in America

Charlize Theron is known for Monster, The Devil's Advocate, 15 Minutes, and Sleep Walking. Photo: charlizeafrica
Source: Instagram

Charlize Theron was born in 1975 in Benoni, South Africa. The award-winning actress started as a model before finding her way to Hollywood. She is now one of the richest African actors in Hollywood, with an approximate net worth of $130 million in 2020. She has been featured in a number of popular movies, including Monster, The Devil's Advocate, Mighty Joe Young, Cider House Rules, Prometheus, Sleepwalking, 15 Minutes, among others.

12. David Bailie from South Africa

South African actors in Hollywood

David Baile is known for Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean series. Photo: bailey_studio
Source: Instagram

David was born in 1937 in Springs, South Africa. He is an actor and professional photographer with a studio in London. He has acted in numerous television shows and movies, including Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean series, In the Trap, The House That Jack Built, Attila, and many others.

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13. Adhir Kalyan from South Africa

South African actors in America

Adhir Kalyan is known for Rules of Engagement, Up in the Air, and Second Chance. Photo: indiawestinsta
Source: Instagram

Adhir is a South African Indian born in 1983 in Durban. He is one of the many South African actors in Hollywood that are doing well. Popular Adhir Kalyan movies include Rules of Engagement, Up in the Air, No Strings Attached, Holby City, Youth in Revolt, A Nice Girl Like You, Second Chance, among others.

14. Danai Gurira from Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean actors in America

Danai Gurira is known for Black Panther, Avengers: Endgame, and Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: danaigurira
Source: Instagram

Danai Gurira was born in 1978 in the USA to Zimbabwean parents. She is a prolific actress, a philanthropist, and a playwright. Gurira has starred in a number of popular films and series, including Black Panther, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, The Walking Dead, Captain America: Civil War, Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Never Beast, Eclipsed, and many others.

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15. Djimon Hounsou from Benin

African actors in America

Djimon Hounsou is known for Shazam!, Captain Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Legends of Tarzan. Photo: djimon_hounsou
Source: Instagram

Djimon Gaston Hounsou was born in 1964 in Cotonou Benin. He moved to France at an age of twelve, where he met a photographer who introduced him to modeling. He later moved to the USA in 1990, where he started his acting career. Popular Djimon movies and TV series include Fast and Furious 7, Blood Diamond, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Legends of Tarzan, Aquaman, Shazam!, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and others.

16. Liya Kebede from Ethiopia

Ethiopian actors in Hollywood

Liya Kabede is known for Lord of War, Capital, Desert Girl, Samba, and 419. Photo: liyakebede
Source: Instagram

Kebede was born in 1978 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is a model, an advocate, an actress, and a clothing designer. Some of her movies include 419, The Being Experience, Lord of War, Capital, Desert Girl, The Good Shepherd, Samba, and others.

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17. Hoji Fortuna from Angola

Black African actors in Hollywood

Hoji Fortuna can speak French, Hungarian, English, Portuguese, and Czech and is known for Viva Riva! Photo: hojifortunator
Source: Instagram

Fortuna was born in 1974 in Luanda, Angola. He can speak several languages, including French, Hungarian, English, Portuguese, and Czech. His suave and distinguished demeanor has been likened to Morgan Freeman's. He has been in several films such as Viva Riva!, In the Morning, ABC's Pan Am, BBC's Mc Mafia, and others.

18. Chipo Chung from Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean actors in Hollywood

Chipo Chung is known for Thomas and Friends, Into The Badlands, and Redzone. Photo: chipo.chung
Source: Instagram

Chipo Chung was born in 1977 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where her parents lived as refugees. She is half Zimbabwean and half Chinese. Chipo has acted in numerous television shows and movies including Into The Badlands, Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures!, Beyond Plain Sight, Red Zone, In the Loop, Sunshine, Proof, Thomas and Friends, A.D The Bible Continues, Absentia, and others.

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19. Constance Ejuma from Cameroon

African actors in America

Constance Ejuma is known for Black Panther, Ben and Ara, and Proof. Photo: cejuma
Source: Instagram

Constance was born in Cameroon and raised in the United States. The award-winning actress and producer is known for movies and TV shows such as Black Panther, Ben and Ara, Monk, Proof, and others.

20. Rachel Mwanza from the Democratic Republic of Congo

African actors in Hollywood

Rachel Mwanza is known for War Witch, Third Wedding, and Kinshasa Kids. Photo: @cobbo3
Source: Twitter

Rachel was born in 1997 in DRC. Her father abandoned their family in Kinshasa, while her mother threw her to the streets after a false prophet claimed she was a witch. Rachel lived on the streets before being cast to feature in Wajnbrosse's Kinshasa Kids and the documentary Sorcerers Children, Kinshasa. She is now among the young African actors in Hollywood with a bright future. The award-winning actress has also starred in War Witch, a Canadian film and Third Wedding.

Who is the most famous black actor?

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Hollywood has many famous black actors. It is hard to choose who is the most famous. Who are all the Black actors? Some of them include Morgan Freeman, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Sidney Poitier, Tyler Perry, Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, and many more.

This list is not exhaustive as there are many more successful African actors in Hollywood. The American film industry is one of the most diversified and also the most successful. Apart from African actors, there are also numerous black actors who are natives of countries from other continents.

READ ALSO: Here are the 10 highest-paid celebrities in South Africa highlighted the South African celebrities who have huge bank accounts. Most of them work in the film and television industry, which is one of the most developed in the African continent. The highest-paid actors get between R100,000 and R120,000 per month.

The wealthiest celebrities in South Africa have achieved immense professional success in their respective fields. Some of them include Sello Maake, Jamie Bartlett, Minnie Dlamini, Sizwe Dhlomo, Bonang Matheba, Connie Ferguson, Sindi Dlathu, and others.


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