It is no news that children like to follow their parents’ footsteps most of the times. Several actors who are now accomplished in Hollywood started acting because their parents were good at it. A very similar story has been spread about the popular Hollywood actor, Forest Whitaker and his The Great Debaters co-star, Denzel Whitaker. Many believe Forest Whitaker is the biological father of Denzel and like him, the young actor is seeking to pursue a career in acting. Keep reading to find out the real truth about the duo’s relationship in the following paragraphs.
Who Is Denzel Whitaker?
The American actor was born as Denzel Dominique Whitaker on 15th June 1990 in Torrance, California, USA. Not much is known about Whitaker’s early life but he began his acting career in 2001 when he played the role of Dimitri in Training Day, an Antoine Fuqua thriller film which starred Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.
Since then, he has progressed to add several acting credits to his name both in film and on television. Some of his film credits worthy of note include The Great Debaters (2007) for which he won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Abduction in 2011, and Black Panther in 2018. He is also a voice actor and has featured in a number of animations over the years including Handy Manny as Kyle’s voice, the voice of Sgt. Gutter in The Boondocks, and the voice of the background fish in SpongeBob SquarePants – a role for which he was not credited.
It is also interesting to know that Whitaker was named after Denzel Washington, a fact not known to him until he went on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote The Great Debaters. Coincidentally, Washington happens to be one of the actor’s biggest inspiration, along with the likes of Will Smith, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg.
Is Denzel Whitaker The Son of Forest Whitaker?
Although Denzel Whitaker shares the same skin tone, surname, and profession with Forest Whitaker, the two are not biologically related. The closest Forest has come to being Denzel’s father was when the former acted as the latter’s on-screen father in the 2007 film, The Great Debaters. They also shared screen time on the widely acclaimed 2018 superhero film, Black Panther, with Forest appearing as Yuri and Denzel as young Yuri.
Forest Whitaker and his ex-wife, Keisha Nash, whom he was married to until their divorce in 2018, birthed three daughters and a son. His son’s name is Ocean Whitaker. From all, we have gathered, the man only shares the same last name with Denzel whose parents have been identified as Younalanda Whitaker and Dale Whitaker.
It is also known that Forest was born with the full name Forest Steven Whitaker III on 15th July 1961. Whitaker is a seasoned American actor, producer, and director whose career began actively in 1982. Before then, he sang in the choir and was a star quarterback in his school, Palisades Charter High School football team until he graduated in 1979.
He proceeded to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona on a football scholarship but had to switch his major to music due to an unfortunate back injury that prevented him from playing. He again switched his major to Drama before he got accepted to study Opera at the University of Southern California and then into the University’s Dramatic Arts School where he studied and graduated with a Fine Arts Degree in Acting in 1982. He furthered his education at Drama Studio, London, where he also studied Acting on Scholarship.
In 1982, he had his first on-screen role in Cameron Crowe’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High as a high school football player and has since worked on numerous films and television shows as either an actor, producer, or director. As an actor, some of his noteworthy films include The Last King in Scotland, The Great Debaters, The Butler, Southpaw, and Black Panther. He has also appeared on various TV films and series including Criminal Justice, Door to Door, The Twilight Zone, The Shield, and Empire.
This Whitaker has received numerous awards and nominations. Some of his awards include BAFTA award, Satellite award, Prime Time Emmy Award, Golden Globe award, and the Academy Award.