In 2004, his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also campaigns for the end of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and co-authored a book concerning the issue titled 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 currently stars on the Showtime sitcom House of Lies, which earned him an Emmy Award nomination.
Cheadle acted in Hamburger Hill in 1987. He also 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 #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. In 1992, he received a supporting role in The Golden Girls spin-off The Golden Palace. Although the show was highly publicized, it was cancelled after one season. 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 fame spread with a regular role as the district attorney on the television series Picket Fences. Cheadle's other 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.
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. Cheadle and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder are working together to launch a comedy show on NBC. The "project revolves around mismatched brothers who reunite to open a private security company." Cheadle will serve as an executive producer, along with McGruder, who will write the script.
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.
In 2010, Cheadle assumed the role of James Rhodes in the film Iron Man 2, replacing Terrence Howard, his Crash co-star. Cheadle was appointed, "U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador."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. Cheadle currently stars in the new Showtime TV series House of Lies, which premiered on January 8th, 2012.
- Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Bettye (née North), a teacher, and Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist.
- He has a sister, Dawn, 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, and went on to the California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a BFA in Acting.
- According to the episode of the "National Heads-Up Poker Championship" aired on NBC on April 15, 2007, Cheadle defeated noted poker champion Phil Ivey in the first round of the tournament. The two met in the "Hearts & Diamonds" bracket. Cheadle, as an amateur player, was considered[according to whom?] a significant underdog against the professional Ivey. On the episode aired April 29, 2007, in the second round of the tournament, Cheadle was defeated and knocked out of the tournament by Vegas poker pro Scott Fischman. In the same tournament in 2009, he defeated David Pham in the first round only to lose to Paul Wasicka in the round of 32.
- At the 2007 World Series of Poker, Cheadle and poker player Annie Duke organized an annual charity poker tournament, "Ante Up for Africa". Many Hollywood actors were expected to play in the tournament, which had a $5,000 buy-in. Money finishers were encouraged to donate part of their winnings to the International Rescue Committee or the Enough Project The annual tournament is one of two non-bracelet events listed on the official WSOP schedule.
- 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.
- 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. The award was presented by the World Summit of Nobel Laureates, Mikhail Gorbachev, and TheCommunity.com.
- In 2008, Cheadle's family history was profiled on the PBS series African American Lives 2.
- ^ a b c d Williams, Kam (January 12, 2009). "Don Cheadle: The Hotel for Dogs Interview". The Sly Fox. KamWilliams.com. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
- ^ 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.
- ^ "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 155.
- ^ "Don Cheadle joins 'Iron Man 2'". Azcentral.com. October 14, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ "Don Cheadle Joins Hotel for Dogs". Movieweb.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ "Don Cheadle Talks to Us". Comingsoon.net. July 6, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ Thomaselli, Rich (November 2, 2006). "Advertising Age". Adage.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ a b 0 Comments (October 28, 2009). "Cheadle, McGruder Team For New Series". Blogs.bet.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ 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". Cleveland.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ "Credits". The People Speak. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ Borys Kit (October 14, 2008). "Don Cheadle joins 'Iron Man 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 14, 2008.[dead link]
- ^ Full Cast and Crew for Crash (2004/I) IMDb
- ^ "Actor Don Cheadle named goodwill ambassador for UN". Associated Press. Washington Post. June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.[dead link]
- ^ 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]
- ^ "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.
- ^ "2010 WSOP Schedule". Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- ^ "BET AWARDS '07: HUMANITARIAN AWARD". Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- ^ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aalives/profiles/cheadle.html
- ^ "Iron Man 2: The Video Game Gets Talented". Sega.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- ^ http://collider.com/captain-planet-don-cheadle-funny-or-die/112368/
- Don Cheadle at the Internet Movie Database
- Don Cheadle: The Hotel for Dogs Interview with Kam Williams
- European edition of Don Cheadle's book Not on Our Watch, published by Maverick House Publishers 2007
- 10 Questions for Don Cheadle on Time.com (a division of Time Magazine)
- Don Cheadle interview
- Not On Our Watch: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Jerry Weintraub
- Don Cheadle Wins Sexiest Man 2009
- Don Cheadle signs TV production deal
- The People Speak at the Internet Movie Database
- 'The People Speak' (LA Times article)