It's between Denzel Washington and Lawrence Fishburne. Fishburne has a slight edge becase of 'The Matrix', 'Apocalypse Now', 'Othello'; Washington, because of his sleek, sophisticated personae. However not to many of his films dropped me, like Fishburne; I never watched 'Glory', after I heard about the scene where he gets whipped; although 'Crimson Tide' was awesome!, except the scene where Hackman's character, bashes him in the face, several times, with no retaliation wth? God and Country was pretty good but again, he 'takes one for the team'.
quote:
Originally posted by nayo:

It's between Denzel Washington and Lawrence Fishburne. Fishburne has a slight edge becase of 'The Matrix', 'Apocalypse Now', 'Othello'; Washington, because of his sleek, sophisticated personae. However not to many of his films dropped me, like Fishburne; I never watched 'Glory', after I heard about the scene where he gets whipped; although 'Crimson Tide' was awesome!, except the scene where Hackman's character, bashes him in the face, several times, with no retaliation wth? God and Country was pretty good but again, he 'takes one for the team'.


Are you penalizing the actor for what happens to his character and role in the film?
quote:
Originally posted by nayo:
It's between Denzel Washington and Lawrence Fishburne. Fishburne has a slight edge becase of 'The Matrix', 'Apocalypse Now', 'Othello'; Washington, because of his sleek, sophisticated personae. However not to many of his films dropped me, like Fishburne; I never watched 'Glory', after I heard about the scene where he gets whipped; although 'Crimson Tide' was awesome!, except the scene where Hackman's character, bashes him in the face, several times, with no retaliation wth? God and Country was pretty good but again, he 'takes one for the team'.

Yes... it was a toss up for me too.... especially since I have a total crush on Fishbourne... but I picked him because his roles have affected me more.... Denzel is cute... but I don't like "cute" in men..... and his roles are "cute"..... I enjoy his work..... but I'm not "affected"....

with one exception ...... I was "affected" by his role in Glory.... I thought it was powerful performance.....

and yes, being affected is a WEAK way to rate an actors performance... but I need to feel the role and actor plays.... bring some intensity to the work....

I was impressed by Denzel in Malcolm X... I think he did a good job there.....

but....

Fishbourne in the Matrix, Boys in the Hood... etc.. in really everything I've ever seen him in (including B rated horror movies) his presence is felt.... I feel the strength of the character he embodies and in each (especially Othello) he transforms for me.... not as Fishbourne but he brings these characters to my mind and allows me to experience their world.... their thinking......

I like that....


Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by nayo:

It's between Denzel Washington and Lawrence Fishburne. Fishburne has a slight edge becase of 'The Matrix', 'Apocalypse Now', 'Othello'; Washington, because of his sleek, sophisticated personae. However not to many of his films dropped me, like Fishburne; I never watched 'Glory', after I heard about the scene where he gets whipped; although 'Crimson Tide' was awesome!, except the scene where Hackman's character, bashes him in the face, several times, with no retaliation wth? God and Country was pretty good but again, he 'takes one for the team'.


Are you penalizing the actor for what happens to his character and role in the film?




Yes; the pattern is annoying. If Halle Berry does any more movies where she is asking some [white] man to make her 'feel good', 'no more soup for her lol!
I think Denzel gives consistently strong, versatile performances.

Sam and Larry (remember him before he was Laurence), are always good, but for the most part they play the same character again and again.

Black Actresses always run circles around the guys, though. girl
Andre Braugher..not as well known as some of the others mentioned, but his work in "Homicide, Life On the Street" (the best cop show ever)speaks volumes.
quote:
Originally posted by TruthSeeker:
Andre Braugher..not as well known as some of the others mentioned, but his work in "Homicide, Life On the Street" (the best cop show ever)speaks volumes.


OOOhh! I love Braugher. His style sort of reminds me of Don Cheadle; intense, smart, provocative and witty. Braugher's got that 'someting' special like Cheadle, that is a combination of intelligence, sexy and bold.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
I think Denzel gives consistently strong, versatile performances.

OMG!!! ek

"Ensign, make a note in the log... Frenchy and I just agreed on something."

Wink
I must say I like Don Cheadle and Denzel Washington for their acting and diversity of films - so they share my vote. And let's not forget James Earl Jones for his prolific career and talents. (I also like Jamie Foxx and Lawrence and Wesley to varying degrees)

While hunting around on the World-Wide-Waste-Of-Time, I also came across this rather interesting sounding man!! I haven't seen any of his films but he was obviously a Renaissance Man with a lot of talent and flair and substance. What an inspiration! And what a truly amazing man... hat bow


Paul Robeson was the epitome of the 20th-century Renaissance man. He was an exceptional athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and political activist. His talents made him a revered man of his time, yet his radical political beliefs all but erased him from popular history. Today, more than one hundred years after his birth, Robeson is just beginning to receive the credit he is due.

Born in 1898, Paul Robeson grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. His father had escaped slavery and become a Presbyterian minister, while his mother was from a distinguished Philadelphia family. At seventeen, he was given a scholarship to Rutgers University, where he received an unprecedented twelve major letters in four years and was his class valedictorian. After graduating he went on to Columbia University Law School, and, in the early 1920s, took a job with a New York law firm. Racial strife at the firm ended Robeson's career as a lawyer early, but he was soon to find an appreciative home for his talents.

Returning to his love of public speaking, Robeson began to find work as an actor. In the mid-1920s he played the lead in Eugene O'Neill's "All God's Chillun Got Wings" (1924) and "The Emperor Jones" (1925). Throughout the late 1920s and 1930s, he was a widely acclaimed actor and singer. With songs such as his trademark "Ol' Man River," he became one of the most popular concert singers of his time. His "Othello" was the longest-running Shakespeare play in Broadway history, running for nearly three hundred performances. It is still considered one of the great-American Shakespeare productions. While his fame grew in the United States, he became equally well-loved internationally. He spoke fifteen languages, and performed benefits throughout the world for causes of social justice. More than any other performer of his time, he believed that the famous have a responsibility to fight for justice and peace.

As an actor, Robeson was one of the first black men to play serious roles in the primarily white American theater. He performed in a number of films as well, including a re-make of "The Emperor Jones" (1933) and "Song of Freedom" (1936). In a time of deeply entrenched racism, he continually struggled for further understanding of cultural difference. At the height of his popularity, Robeson was a national symbol and a cultural leader in the war against fascism abroad and racism at home. He was admired and befriended by both the general public and prominent personalities, including Eleanor Roosevelt, W.E.B. Du Bois, Joe Louis, Pablo Neruda, Lena Horne, and Harry Truman. While his varied talents and his outspoken defense of civil liberties brought him many admirers, it also made him enemies among conservatives trying to maintain the status quo.

During the 1940s, Robeson's black nationalist and anti-colonialist activities brought him to the attention of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Despite his contributions as an entertainer to the Allied forces during World War II, Robeson was singled out as a major threat to American democracy. Every attempt was made to silence and discredit him, and in 1950 the persecution reached a climax when his passport was revoked. He could no longer travel abroad to perform, and his career was stifled. Of this time, Lloyd Brown, a writer and long-time colleague of Robeson, states: "Paul Robeson was the most persecuted, the most ostracized, the most condemned black man in America, then or ever."

It was eight years before his passport was reinstated. A weary and triumphant Robeson began again to travel and give concerts in England and Australia. But the years of hardship had taken their toll. After several bouts of depression, he was admitted to a hospital in London, where he was administered continued shock treatments. When Robeson returned to the United States in 1963, he was misdiagnosed several times and treated for a variety of physical and psychological problems. Realizing that he was no longer the powerful singer or agile orator of his prime, he decided to step out of the public eye. He retired to Philadelphia and lived in self-imposed seclusion until his death in 1976.

To this day, Paul Robeson's many accomplishments remain obscured by the propaganda of those who tirelessly dogged him throughout his life. His role in the history of civil rights and as a spokesperson for the oppressed of other nations remains relatively unknown. In 1995, more than seventy-five years after graduating from Rutgers, his athletic achievements were finally recognized with his posthumous entry into the College Football Hall of Fame. Though a handful of movies and recordings are still available, they are a sad testament to one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century. If we are to remember Paul Robeson for anything, it should be for the courage and the dignity with which he struggled for his own personal voice and for the rights of all people.

I've put a picture link below...>>>

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Ira Aldridge
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Ira Aldridge as Mungo in The Padlock, 1820s or 1830sIra Frederick Aldridge (1807–1867) was an American stage actor. He was born in New York City to Reverend Daniel and Luranah Aldridge on July 24, 1807.

Aldridge attended the African Free School in New York City. His early "education" in theater included viewing plays from the high balcony of the Park Theatre, New York's leading theater of the time. His first professional acting experience was in the early 1820s with the company associated with the African Grove, where he debuted as Rolla in Pizzaro; he went on to play Shakespeare's Romeo and later became a rather famous Hamlet.

Charles Mathews famously imitated and parodied the African Grove's star James Hewlett performing Hamlet in a performance Mathews called "The African Tragedian" (part of a larger worked titled "A Trip To America"). Aldridge would later gain fame by claiming to be "The African Tragedian" on whom the performance was based. According to Bernth Lindfors, professor of English and African literatures at the University of Texas, Mathews went to the African Theater and invited Hewlett do a private performance for him, and then invented a story about a black actor butchering Shakespeare. In Mathews' parody, Hewlett spoke the line "...and by opposing end them..." as "...and by opposum end them...", leading to a rendition of "Opossum Up a Gum Tree", the de facto anthem of African Americans at the time. Aldridge denied that this had actually occurred during his performances at the African Grove; according to Eric Lott, he actually borrowed the joke back from Mathews at a later date and made exactly that transition from Hamlet to the popular song.

Confronted with the persistent disparagement and harassment that black actors had to endure in the antebellum United States, Aldridge emigrated to England, where he became a dresser to the British actor Henry Wallack. According to Shane White, author of the book "Stories of Freedom in Black New York," the only American stage anyone in England had ever heard of at this time was the stage that Mathews had performed, and Aldridge associated himself with that. Bernth Lindfors says "when Aldridge starts appearing on the stage at the Royalty Theater, he's just called a gentleman of color. But when he moves over to the Royal Coburg, he's advertised in the first playbill as the American Tragedian from the African Theater New York City. The 2nd playbill refers to him as 'The African Tragedian.' So everybody goes to the theater expecting to laugh because this is the man they think Matthews saw in New York City." Instead Aldridge performed scenes from Othello that stunnded reviewers. According to a monograph written by Herbert Marshall at Southern Illinios University, one critic wrote "In Othello (Aldridge) delivers the most difficult passages with a degree of correctness that surprises the beholder." He gradually progressed to increasingly larger roles; by 1825, he had top billing at London's Coburg Theatre as Oronoko in A Slave's Revenge, soon to be followed by the role of Gambia in The Slave and the title role of Shakespeare's Othello. He also played major roles in plays such as The Castle Spectre and The Padlock and played several roles of specifically white characters, including Captain Dirk Hatteraick and Bertram in Rev. R. C. Maturin's Bertram, the title role in Shakespeare's Richard III, and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

By the 1830s, he had married an English woman named Margaret Gill, and earned the cognomen the "African Roscius". In 1831 he successfully played in Dublin, several locations in southern Ireland, Bath, and Edinburgh. Edmund Kean praised his Othello; some took him to task for taking liberties with the text, while others attacked his race.

He first toured to continental Europe in 1852, with successes in Germany (where he was presented to the Duchess Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and performed for Frederick William IV of Prussia) and in Budapest. An 1858 tour took him to Serbia and to Imperial Russia, where he became acquainted with Leo Tolstoy. He mastered enough Russian to perform roles in that language.

Now advancing in years, he played (in England) the title role of King Lear for the first time. He purchased some property in England, toured Russia again (1862), and applied for British citizenship (1863). His wife Margaret died in 1864; on April 20, 1865, he married his former mistress, Amanda Von Brandt, with whom he already had a child, Ira Daniel. They had four more children: Irene Luranah, Ira Frederick, Amanda"”all of whom would go on to musical careers"”and Rachael, who was born shortly after Aldridge's death and who died in infancy.

Aldridge spent most of his final years in Russia and continental Europe, interspersed with occasional visits to England. A planned return to the post-Civil-War United States was prevented by his death in August 1867 while visiting Łódź, Poland. His remains were buried in the city's Evangelical Cemetery; 23 years passed before a proper tombstone was erected. His grave is tended by the Society of Polish Artists of Film and Theatre.

[edit]
Children
Ira Daniel Aldridge, 1847-?. Teacher. Migrated to Australia in 1867.
Irene Luranah Pauline Aldridge, 1860-1932. Opera singer.
Ira Frederick Olaff Aldridge, 1862-?. Musician and composer.
Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge (Amanda Ira Aldridge), 1867-1956. Opera singer, teacher and composer under name of Montague Ring.
I am not going to pretend to be a judge of acting. I am very plot oriented about movies and I am a science fiction fan so Fish wins because of The Matrix.

But I will admit even with that it is hard to rank him above Morgan Freeman but I will anyway. LOL

Deep Impact wasn't really science fiction. That is actually possible, it just hasn't happened YET.

umbra
I think Samuel and Denzel are my top picks. I really liked Denzel in Fallen and I liked Samuel in Negotiator
I was about say, 'WHAT????' No one has mentioned Samuel L. Jackson.

He has to be in the top few (4 or 5); at least, based on sheer volume alone.

Morgan Freeman
Denzel Washington
Samuel L. Jackson
Lawrence Fishburne
Don Cheadle
Terence Wright

And...that's just for starters.

And...that's ASSuming that 'actor' means males only!!

And they say nothing has changed.

I remember when the choices would have been Willie Best, Step 'n Fetchit, Rochester, Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, Dorothy Dandridge, Ossie Davis, Ethel Waters, Ruby Dee, etc.

Giants all, but it was another day.

Because of them, we get today's choices.

PEACE

Jim Chester
I think they are all pretty good, but I don't classify any of them up with Denzel since he can carry a Movie. Samuel L, and Lawrence are close but you want find neither of them as the leading Man in a Top Movie, nor will you find Morgan even though he's older, he does have a good body of work in supporting Roles. Many go see a movie because these actors are in it, but there is usually something else about the movie that draws them.

For the Future I think Terrance Howard (Crash & Hustle & Flow)) will be the next Denzel, and he probably will surpass him in overall popularity. He has the magnetism of a Brando or James Dean. I think he's destime for Stardom.

leart

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Who do you think is the best African American actor out there? Not who is the hottest/most attractive/sexiest (ladies! nono), but who has the strongest body of work over their career?
Just putting in another vote for Samuel J... and the best film I think he's ever been in IMNSHO... is 187. An explosive, wonderful music soundtrack to match. Nobody ever mentions this film and I think it's fine.
In my top 3 of all films in fact. Wink tfro

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