Forest Steven Whitaker (born July 15, 1961) is an American actor, producer, director, and activist. He is the recipient of an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Film Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
After making his film debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Whitaker went on to earn a reputation for intensive character study work for films such as Bird, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Crying Game, Platoon, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, The Great Debaters, The Butler, and Arrival. He has also appeared in blockbusters such as Panic Room, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Saw Gerrera and Black Panther as Zuri. For his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the British historical drama film The Last King of Scotland (2006), Whitaker won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Whitaker made his directorial debut with the television film Strapped (1993), and directed the films; Waiting to Exhale (1995), Hope Floats (1998), and First Daughter (2004).
Apart from his film career, Whitaker is also known for his humanitarian work and activism. In 2011, he was inducted as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, was later promoted to Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and serves as the CEO of Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI), a non-profit outreach program.