Top 20 popular African actors in Hollywood: Black actors to keep on your radar

Top 20 popular African actors in Hollywood: Black actors to keep on your radar

The number of African actors in Hollywood has been rising in recent years. These actors and actresses bring a nice touch of diversity to Hollywood films and television shows. American movies and TV shows are watched globally, and many fans can identify with the narrative of the different cultures they portray.

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African actors and actresses in Hollywood
Some of the prolific African actors in Hollywood. 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 in global film awards for their outstanding performances.

Top 20 African actors in Hollywood movies

Here is a look at the top African actors and actresses in Hollywood.

20. Edi Gathegi, Kenya

African actors in Hollywood
Edi Gathegi in a black bomber jacket. Photo: @iamedigathegi
Source: Instagram

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  • Date of birth: 10 March 1979
  • Age: 43 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $3 million

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The prolific actor was born in 1979 in Nairobi, Kenya, and has been active in the film and TV 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, and Lincoln Heights.

19. Lupita Nyong'o, Kenya

young African actors
Lupita Nyong'o in a stunning red dress. Photo: @lupitanyongo
Source: Instagram
  • Date of birth: 1 March 1983
  • Age: 39 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $10 million

Lupita Nyong'o was born in Mexico in 1983 and was brought up in Kenya. She then went to the United States for to pursue her college education. Her parents are Anyang' Nyong'o, a Kenyan politician, and Dorothy Ogada.

Lupita is one of the most successful Kenyan actresses in Hollywood. She is known for her roles in 12 Years a Slave, Black Panther, Us, Queen of Katwe, The Jungle Book, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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18. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Nigeria

African American actors in Hollywood
AdewaleAkinnuoye-Agbaje posing for a photo in front of a Suicide Squad logo. Photo: @therealadewale
Source: Instagram
  • Date of birth: 22 August 1967
  • Age: 54 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $3 million

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.

Some of the popular Adewale movies and television shows include Thor: The Dark World, Game of Thrones, Tangled: The Series, Farming, Suicide Squad, Bilal, Concussion, Trumbo, and Get Rich or Die Tryin'.

17. Peter Mensah, Ghana

African American actors in Hollywood
Peter Mensah at the 'Midnight, Texas' Panel at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, Calif. Photo: Jordan Strauss
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 27 August 1959
  • Age: 62 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $5 million

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 the movies and TV series he has appeared in include Avatar, Spartacus: Vengeance, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, The Incredible Hulk, Hidalgo, and Tears of the Sun.

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16. Boris Kodjoe, Ghana

famous African actors in Hollywood
Boris Kodjoe attends the 2022 Inaugural Fifteen Percent Pledge Benefit Gala on April 02, 2022 in New York City. Photo: Arturo Holmes
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 8 March 1973
  • Age: 49 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $5 million

Boris is among the most famous male African actors today. The former model is the son of Ursula, a German psychologist of partially Jewish descent, and Eric Kodjoe, a Ghanaian physician who is of the Ga-Adangbe people in Ghana. Some of the popular Boris Kodjoe movies and TV series include Surrogates, Brown Sugar, Resident Evil: Retribution, Resident Evil: Afterlife, The Gospel, Evil Goes Global, and House of Cards.

15. Benjamin Onyango, Kenya

young African actors
Actor Benjamin A. Onyango attends the 4th Annual Kailand Obasi Hoop-Life Fundraiser at USC Galen Center on August 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: David Livingston
Source: Getty Images
  • Year of birth: 1979
  • Age: 43 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $900,000

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.

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14. Chiwetelu Umeadi Ejiofor, Nigeria

black actors
Chiwetelu Ejiofor in one of his film roles. Photo: @chiwetel_ejio
Source: Instagram
  • Date of birth: 10 July 1977
  • Age: 44 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $16 million

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, and Dirty Pretty Things.

13. Charlize Theron, South Africa

young African actors
Charlize Theron looking glamorous. Photo: @charlizeafrica
Source: Instagram
  • Date of birth: 7 August 1975
  • Age: 46 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $170 million

Charlize Theron was born in 1975 in Benoni, South Africa, and is one of the best-known actors from Africa. The award-winning actress started as a model before finding her way to Hollywood. She is now one of the richest and most famous African actors in Hollywood, with an approximate net worth of $170 million in 2022.

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She has been featured in a number of popular movies, including Monster, The Devil's Advocate, Mighty Joe Young, Cider House Rules, Prometheus, Sleepwalking, and 15 Minutes.

12. Benu Mabhena, Zimbabwe

female African actors
Benu Mabhena during HBO 2007 Pre-Golden Globes Party at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, California, United States. Photo: Jeff Kravitz
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: N/A
  • Age: N/A
  • Net worth: $400,000

Benu Mabhena is a renowned Zimbabwean actress best known for her role in the movie the Blood Diamond 2006. From an early age, it was clear that the actress loved the performance arts. She would often make impressions and tell stories to those around her. As she grew older, she veered more into poetry, writing and reciting poetic pieces.

11. Adhir Kalyan, South Africa

African actors and actresses in Hollywood
Actor Adhir Kalyan speaks onstage during the "Second Chance" panel discussion at the FOX portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel. Photo: Frederick M. Brown
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 4 August 1983
  • Age: 38 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $6 million

Adhir is a South African Indian born in 1983 in Durban. He is one of the many famous South African actors in Hollywood doing quite 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.

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10. Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo, Nigeria

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Actress Carmen Ejogo arrives at the Alfre Woodard's Oscar's Sistahs Soiree by White Diamond Lustre, Elizabeth Taylor at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Photo: Rich Polk
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 22 October 1973
  • Age: years 38 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $4 million

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, and Pride and Glory.

9. Danai Gurira, Zimbabwe

Famous african actors in Hollywood
Danai Gurira looking stunning in a black dress. Photo: @danaigurira
Source: Instagram
  • Date of birth: 14 February 1978
  • Age: 44 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $4 million

Danai Gurira was born in 1978 in the USA to Zimbabwean parents. She is one of the top female African actors, 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, and Eclipsed.

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8. Djimon Hounsou, Benin

Who is the most famous African actor?
Djimon Hounsou visits Build to discuss the film "A Quiet Place Part II" at Build Studio on March 10, 2020 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 24 April 1964
  • Age: 57 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $12 million

Djimon Gaston Hounsou was born in 1964 in Cotonou Benin. He moved to France at the age of twelve, where he met a photographer who introduced him to modelling. He later moved to the USA in 1990, where he started his acting career and has since risen to become one of the best African American actors in Hollywood.

Some of the 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, and Black Panther.

7. Liya Kebede, Ethiopia

famous South African actors in Hollywood
Liya Kebede wears a black turtleneck, long-sleeved t-shirt, a green wool cut-out / asymmetric sleeves wool pullover, and green denim large jeans flared pants. Photo: Edward Berthelot
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 1 March 1978
  • Age: 44 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $18 million

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

6. Hoji Fortuna, Angola

black male actors
Hoji Fortuna attends the 24th New York African Film Opening Night at Walter Reade Theater on May 3, 2017 in New York City. Photo: J. Countess
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: September 4, 1974
  • Age: 48 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $600,000

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

5. Chipo Chung, Zimbabwe

best actors in Africa
Actress Chipo Chung attends "A.D. The Bible Continues" New York Premiere Reception at The Highline Hotel on March 31, 2015 in New York City. Photo: Desiree Navarro
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 17 August 1977
  • Age: 44 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $1.5 million

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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 played roles 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, and Absentia.

4. Constance Ejuma, Cameroon

famous South African actors in Hollywood
Constance Ejuma attends The Diaspora Dialogues Premiere Launch Event at Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills on October 23, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Unique Nicole
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: December 5
  • Age: Unknown
  • Net worth: $20 million

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. Her prolific acting skills and charming demeanour make her one of the best actors in Africa.

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3. Rachel Mwanza, Democratic Republic of Congo

Famous African actors in Hollywood
Rachel Mwanza, winner of the best performance by an actress in a leading role, speaks onstage at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Photo: Jag Gundu
Source: Getty Images
  • Year of birth: 1997
  • Age: 25 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $100,000

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 best young African actors in Hollywood. The award-winning actress has also starred in War Witch, a Canadian film, and Third Wedding.

2. Sophie Okonedo, Nigeria

female African actors
Sophie Okonedo attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2022 at Royal Albert Hall on March 13, 2022 in London, England. Photo: David M. Benett
Source: Getty Images
  • Year of birth: 11 August 1968
  • Age: 53 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $5 million

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, and Martian Child.

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1. Prince David Osei, Ghana

young African actors
Actor Prince David Osei attends the Los Angeles premiere of "The Dead" at AMC Universal City Walk on October 4, 2011 in Universal City, California. Photo: Paul Archuleta
Source: Getty Images
  • Year of birth: 6 December 1983
  • Age: 38 years (as of 2022)
  • Net worth: $850,000

Prince David was born in 1983 in Accra, Ghana and is among the best black male actors from the country. He is an actor, model, producer, director, and philanthropist. David is known for movies like The Dead, Flight by Night, and Merciful Heart.

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This list is not exhaustive as there are many more successful African actors in Hollywood with significant contributions to black movies. The American film industry is one of the most diversified and also the most successful.

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