Don Cheadle

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Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle UNEP 2011 (cropped).jpg
Cheadle shooting for UNEP as an ambassador, Feb 2011
BornDonald Frank Cheadle, Jr.
(1964-11-29) November 29, 1964 (age 49)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
OccupationActor, producer, author
Years active1984–present
Partner(s)Bridgid Coulter (1992–present)
  (Redirected from Bridgid Coulter)
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Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle UNEP 2011 (cropped).jpg
Cheadle shooting for UNEP as an ambassador, Feb 2011
BornDonald Frank Cheadle, Jr.
(1964-11-29) November 29, 1964 (age 49)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
OccupationActor, producer, author
Years active1984–present
Partner(s)Bridgid Coulter (1992–present)

Donald Frank "Don" Cheadle, Jr. (/ˈdəl/; born November 29, 1964)[1] is an American actor. Cheadle had an early role in Picket Fences and followed it with performances in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Rosewood (1997) and Boogie Nights (1997). He then started a collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh that resulted in the movies Out of Sight (1998), Traffic (2000) and Ocean's Eleven (2001). Other Cheadle films include The Rat Pack (1998), Things Behind the Sun (2001), Swordfish (2001), Crash (2004), Ocean's Twelve (2004), Ocean's Thirteen (2007), Reign Over Me (2007), Talk to Me (2007), Traitor (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man 3 (2013).

In 2004, his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the Rwandan Genocide earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He also campaigns for the end of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and co-authored, with John Prendergast, a book concerning the issue entitled Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond. Along with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub, Cheadle co-founded the Not on Our Watch Project, an organization focusing global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities. In 2010, Cheadle was named U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador. He stars as Marty Kaan on the Showtime sitcom House of Lies, for which he most recently won a Golden Globe Award in 2013.[2]

In summer 2014, Cheadle will direct and star in the film Miles Ahead, based on events in the life of jazz icon Miles Davis. The movie will be filming in Cincinnati.[3]

Early life[edit]

Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Bettye (née North), a teacher,[1] and Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist.[1] He has a sister, Cindy, and a brother, Colin. His family moved from city to city throughout his childhood. Cheadle graduated in 1982 from East High School in Denver, Colorado. After he graduated from East, Don went on to California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a B.A in Acting.[1][4]


Cheadle first became eligible for his Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card when he appeared as a burger joint employee in the 1985 comedy Moving Violations.[5]

He then appeared in Hamburger Hill in 1987, and played the role of Jack in the April 1, 1988 "Jung and the Restless" episode of Night Court. Although his character was supposed to be 16 years old, Cheadle was 23 at the time.

Cheadle then played the role of Rocket in the 1988 movie Colors. In 1989, he appeared in a video for Angela Winbush's No. 2 hit single "It's the Real Thing", performing dance moves in an orange jump suit, working at a car wash. In 1990, he appeared in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air titled "Homeboy, Sweet Homeboy", playing Will Smith's friend and Hilary's first love interest, Ice Tray.[6] In 1992, he played a supporting role in The Golden Girls spin-off The Golden Palace. Cheadle subsequently played district attorney John Littleton on two seasons of Picket Fences.

Cheadle first received widespread notice for his portrayal of Mouse Alexander in the film Devil in a Blue Dress, for which he won Best Supporting Actor awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics and was nominated for similar awards from the Screen Actors Guild and the NAACP Image Awards. Following soon thereafter was his performance in the title role of the 1996 HBO TV movie Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault. He also starred in the 1997 film Volcano, directed by Mick Jackson.

Cheadle's television credits include Emmy-nominated performances in the movies The Rat Pack, A Lesson Before Dying, Things Behind the Sun and in a guest appearance on ER. The last of these spanned four episodes during the show's ninth season, in which he portrayed Paul Nathan, a medical student struggling to cope with Parkinson's disease. He has made appearances in films including Rosewood, The Family Man, Boogie Nights, a cameo appearance in the film Abby Singer, Out of Sight, Traffic, and Ocean's Eleven. These last three were directed by Steven Soderbergh. In 2005, Cheadle was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Paul Rusesabagina in the film Hotel Rwanda. He also starred in, and was one of the producers of Crash, which won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture. For his performance in Crash, Cheadle was nominated for BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor. He played the main character in the movie Traitor. Cheadle starred in Hotel for Dogs by DreamWorks.[7][8]

In 2007 Cheadle published a book, Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, co-authored with John Prendergast.

Cheadle was to make his directorial debut with the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Tishomingo Blues. In a July 2007 interview he stated, "'Tishomingo' is dead..."[9]

Cheadle appeared in NFL commercials promoting the Super Bowl from 2002 to 2005. He so regularly appeared for the NFL in its Super Bowl advertising that in 2006, in a drive to get fans to submit their own advertising ideas, the NFL sought his permission to reference his previous commercials to portray themselves as having no new ideas: "he quickly signed off on the idea and found it funny." Abe Sutton (along with Etan Bednarsh), one of the finalists in this NFL contest, played on this commercial by proposing an ad where an entire team of football players are Don Cheadle.[10]

Cheadle and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder are working together to launch a comedy show on NBC.[11] The "project revolves around mismatched brothers who reunite to open a private security company."[11] Cheadle will serve as an executive producer, along with McGruder, who will write the script.[12]

In 2009, Cheadle performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[13]

In 2010, Cheadle assumed the role of James Rhodes in the film Iron Man 2, replacing Terrence Howard.[14]

In 2010, Cheadle was appointed, "U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador."[15] He and Prendergast published their second book, The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes, in 2010.

He also appeared in Derek Water's "Drunk History" video as Frederick Douglass.[citation needed] As of the show's January 8, 2012 premiere, Cheadle stars in the Showtime TV series House of Lies. He will also make an appearance in 2015 film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, reprising his role as Col. James Rhodes.[16]

In 2013, Cheadle won the Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in the "House of Lies".[2]

Personal life[edit]

Cheadle in February 2007

At the 2007 World Series of Poker, Cheadle and poker player Annie Duke organized an annual charity poker tournament, Ante Up for Africa.[17][18][19]

In 2007, Cheadle was awarded the BET Humanitarian award of the year for his numerous humanitarian services he rendered for the cause of the people of Darfur and Rwanda.[20]

On December 13, 2007, Cheadle and fellow actor George Clooney were presented with the Summit Peace Award by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome for their work to stop the genocide and relieve the suffering of the people of Darfur.[citation needed]

In 2008, Cheadle's family history was profiled on the PBS series African American Lives 2.[21]

Cheadle has two children with his longterm partner Bridgid Coulter.


19843 DaysAngel
1985Moving ViolationsJuicy Burgers Worker
1987Hamburger HillPvt. Washburn
1992Roadside ProphetsHappy Days Manager
1993Meteor Man, TheThe Meteor ManGoldilocks
1993Lush LifeJackTV movie
1995Things to Do in Denver When You're DeadRooster
1995Devil in a Blue DressMouse Alexander
1996Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" ManigaultEarl "The Goat" ManigaultTV movie
1997VolcanoEmmit Reese
1997RosewoodSylvester Carrier
1997Boogie NightsBuck Swope
1998Out of SightMaurice Miller
1998Rat Pack, TheThe Rat PackSammy Davis Jr.
1999Lesson Before Dying, AA Lesson Before DyingGrant WigginsTV movie
2000TrafficMontel Gordon
2000Mission to MarsLuke Graham
2000Fail SafeLt. Jimmy PierceTV movie
2000Family Man, TheThe Family ManCash
2001Rush Hour 2KennyUncredited
2001Things Behind the SunChuck
2001ManicDr. David Monroe
2001SwordfishAgent J.T. Roberts
2001Ocean's ElevenBasher Tarr
2003Abby SingerHimself
2003The United States of LelandPearl Madison
2004Ocean's TwelveBasher Tarr
2004After the SunsetHenri Mooré
2004Assassination of Richard Nixon, TheThe Assassination of Richard NixonBonny Simmons
2004Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives[citation needed]
2004Hotel RwandaPaul Rusesabagina
2005CrashDet. Graham Waters
2006Dog Problem, TheThe Dog ProblemDr. Nourmand
2006King Leopold's GhostNarrator
2007Reign Over MeAlan Johnson
2007Talk to MePetey Greene
2007Ocean's ThirteenBasher Tarr
2007Darfur NowHimself
2008TraitorSamir Horn
2009Hotel for DogsBernie
2009People Speak, TheThe People SpeakHimselfDocumentary
2010Brooklyn's FinestClarence 'Tango' Butler
2010Iron Man 2Lt Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War MachineReplacing Terrence Howard
2011Guard, TheThe GuardFBI Agent Wendell Everett
2012FlightHugh Lang
2013Iron Man 3Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes/Iron Patriot
2015Miles AheadMiles DavisFilming, also director
2015Avengers: Age of UltronCol. James "Rhodey" RhodesPost-production


1982FameHenry Lee2 episodes
1986L.A. LawJulian TatoonEpisode "Gibbon Take"
1986SidekicksGang LeaderEpisode "The Last Electric Knight"
1987Hill Street BluesDarius MiltonEpisode "Days of Swine and Roses"
1987Bronx Zoo, TheThe Bronx ZooCarverEpisode "Small Victories"
1988Night CourtJackEpisode "Jung and the Restless"
1988HoopermanHimselfEpisode "High Noon"
1989BookerHimselfEpisode "The Pump"
1990China BeachAngelEpisode "Warriors"
1990Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, TheThe Fresh Prince of Bel-AirIce TrayEpisode 5, "Homeboy, Sweet Homeboy"
1992–1993Hangin' with Mr. CooperBennie2 episodes
1992–1993Golden Palace, TheThe Golden PalaceRoland Wilson23 episodes
1993–1995Picket FencesD.A. John Littleton38 episodes
2000Simpsons, TheThe SimpsonsBrother FaithEpisode: "Faith Off"
2002Bernie Mac Show, TheThe Bernie Mac ShowCousin D2 episodes
2002ERPaul Nathan4 episodes
2011–presentHouse of LiesMarty KaanLead Role

As producer[edit]

2007Talk to MeExecutive producer
2007Darfur NowProducer
2007CrashProducer2 episodes
2015Miles AheadProducer
Video games

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearNominated workAwardResult
1995Devil in a Blue DressScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting RoleNominated
Picket FencesScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesNominated
1997Boogie NightsScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureNominated
1998Rat Pack, TheThe Rat PackGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmWon
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieNominated
1999Lesson Before Dying, AA Lesson Before DyingPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieNominated
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmNominated
2000TrafficScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureWon
2001Things Behind the SunPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieNominated
2002ERPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesNominated
2004Hotel RwandaSatellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture DramaWon
Academy Award for Best ActorNominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture DramaNominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureNominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading RoleNominated
CrashAcademy Award for Best Picture as producerWon
BAFTA Award for Best Film as producerNominated
2005Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureWon
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting RoleNominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting RoleNominated
2007Talk to MeSatellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or ComedyNominated
2012House of LiesGolden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or ComedyWon
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or ComedyNominated
2014Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated


  1. ^ a b c d Williams, Kam (January 12, 2009). "Don Cheadle: The Hotel for Dogs Interview". The Sly Fox. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Don Cheadle Wins Golden Globe For Best Comedy Actor". Huffington Post. January 13, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Don Cheadle starts filming 'Miles Ahead' Monday". Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Gates, Jr., Henry Louis (January 2009). In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past (Biography). Crown. p. 353. ISBN 978-0-307-38240-5. 
  5. ^ "How Did You Get Your SAG-AFTRA Card?" TV Guide. January 13, 2014. p. 10.
  6. ^ "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 155.
  7. ^ "Don Cheadle joins 'Iron Man 2'". October 14, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Don Cheadle Joins Hotel for Dogs". Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Don Cheadle Talks to Us". July 6, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ Thomaselli, Rich (November 2, 2006). "Advertising Age". Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b 0 Comments (October 28, 2009). "Cheadle, McGruder Team For New Series". Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  12. ^ Getty Images (October 26, 2009). "Don Cheadle, 'Boondocks' creator Aaron McGruder team on NBC comedy; Brad Pitt takes a tumble; and more: The Morning After". Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Credits". The People Speak. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ Borys Kit (October 14, 2008). "Don Cheadle joins 'Iron Man 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 14, 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Actor Don Cheadle named goodwill ambassador for UN". Washington Post. Associated Press. June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010. [dead link]
  16. ^ Thompson, Arienne (December 12, 2013). "Don Cheadle mellow, 'barely awake' after Globes news". USA Today. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  17. ^ Star-Studded Event At 2007 World Series Of Poker To Raise Awareness For Darfur Survivor. Don Cheadle and Annie Duke Organize "Ante Up for Africa"[dead link]
  18. ^ "2nd ANNUAL ANTE UP FOR AFRICA POKER TOURNAMENT AT THE WSOP RAISES PUBLIC AWARENESS AND FUNDS TO HELP END THE CRISIS IN DARFUR". Ante Up for Africa. Archived from the original on February 17, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  19. ^ "2010 WSOP Schedule". Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  20. ^ "BET AWARDS '07: HUMANITARIAN AWARD". Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  21. ^ "African American Lives 2 . Profiles . Don Cheadle". PBS. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  22. ^ "Iron Man 2: The Video Game Gets Talented". Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Don Cheadle Is CAPTAIN PLANET in New Funny or Die Spoof | Collider | Page 112368". Collider. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 

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