Don Cheadle is a $40 million-wealthy American actor. Don Cheadle is most remembered for his roles in “Boogie Nights,” “Traffic,” “Crash,” and the “Ocean’s” trilogy.
He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda.” He later received worldwide notoriety for his portrayal of James Rhodes in a series of Marvel superhero flicks.
Cheadle has received critical acclaim for his performances in Showtime’s “House of Lies” and “Black Monday.”
Don Cheadle Early Life
Don Cheadle was born in 1964 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Donald Sr., a clinical psychologist, and Bettye, a teacher. Colin and Cindy are his siblings.
Throughout his childhood, Cheadle’s family relocated frequently. He attended Hartley Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska, and East High School in Denver, Colorado.
He played saxophone in the school jazz band, sang in the choir, and appeared in plays and musicals while at the latter. Cheadle attended the California Institute of the Arts for his higher education, graduating in 1986 with a BFA in drama.
Cheadle became eligible for his Screen Actors Guild card in the mid-1980s after starring in the comedy picture “Moving Violations.” He starred in succeeding years in films such as “Hamburger Hill” and “Colors,” as well as on television programs such as “Fame,” “L.A. Law,” “Sidekicks,” “Hill Street Blues,” and “Night Court.”
Don Cheadle Film Career
Following his appearances in “Roadside Prophets,” “The Meteor Man,” and “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead,” Cheadle garnered great acclaim for his portrayal as Mouse Alexander in the 1995 thriller “Devil in a Blue Dress.”
He was recognized for his efforts by the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association with Best Supporting Actor honors.
Cheadle featured in the catastrophe thriller “Volcano” and the historical drama “Rosewood” in 1997 and was a member of Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble cast in the period picture “Boogie Nights.”
The next year, he was cast in more important roles, including Warren Beatty’s political satire “Bulworth” and Steven Soderbergh’s criminal comedy “Out of Sight.”
Cheadle reunited with Soderbergh in 2000 for the epic, Academy Award-winning criminal drama “Traffic,” and then again in 2001 for the remake of “Ocean’s Eleven” and its two sequels.
During this period, Cheadle also appeared in “Mission to Mars,” “The Family Man,” “Rush Hour 2,” “Manic,” “Swordfish,” and “The United States of Leland.”
In 2004, Cheadle had one of his greatest film years. Along with his roles in “After the Sunset” and “The Assassination of Richard Nixon,” he played in the highly praised film “Hotel Rwanda” as Paul Rusesabagina, a real-life politician and humanitarian.
He hosted refugees during the Rwandan genocide. Cheadle was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance. Cheadle earned more accolades in 2005 as a member of the ensemble cast of the Academy Award-winning film “Crash.”
His subsequent credits include “The Dog Problem,” the Adam Sandler drama “Reign Over Me,” the Chiwetel Ejiofor and Taraji P. Henson biopic “Talk to Me,” the documentary “Darfur Now,” the spy thriller “Traitor,” and the family picture “Hotel for Dogs.”
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Cheadle made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2010 as James Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine, in “Iron Man 2.” He returned to the character in “Iron Man 3,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Avengers: Endgame” throughout the next decade.
Throughout the decade, he appeared in films such as “Brooklyn’s Finest,” co-starring Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke; “The Guard,” co-starring Brendan Gleeson; the Denzel Washington thriller “Flight,” and the Miles Davis biography “Miles Ahead,” in which he portrayed the musician.
Don Cheadle TV Career
Cheadle appeared in episodes of “China Beach,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” on television in the early 1990s. He starred as D.A. John Littleton on three seasons of “Picket Fences” in a minor role on the “Golden Girls” spinoff series “The Golden Palace.”
He played Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault in the HBO television film “Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault” in 1996. Following that, Cheadle was nominated for Emmy Awards for his roles in two other television films: “The Rat Pack” and “A Lesson Before Dying.”
Over the next decade, Cheadle received more Emmy nods for the Showtime film “Things Behind the Sun” and the medical drama “E.R.,” where he appeared as a guest star.
Cheadle began one of his most prominent television roles on “House of Lies” in 2012, earning him a Golden Globe Award and four straight Emmy nominations.
Later that year, in 2019, he earned more accolades for his starring part in the television series “Black Monday,” which chronicles the events leading up to the 1987 stock market meltdown. Cheadle was named a cast member of the ABC version of “The Wonder Years” in 2021.
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Don Cheadle Personal life
Cheadle has two children with his long-term wife, actress Bridgid Coulter. Cheadle is an outspoken activist who has worked to halt the Darfur genocide and co-founded the humanitarian relief group Not On Our Watch Project.
Additionally, he has collaborated with the United Nations to address climate change issues and serves on the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Advisory Board. He was appointed a U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador in 2010.