Wednesday, 30 December 2015


                   BLACK   SOCIAL    HISTORY                                                                                                                                            

Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou
Djimon Hounsou by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Hounsou at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International
BornDjimon Gaston Hounsou
April 24, 1964 (age 51)
OccupationActor, model
Years active1986–present
Partner(s)Kimora Lee Simmons
Djimon Gaston Hounsou (US /ˈmən ˈhɒns/;[1][2][3] French: [dʒimɔ̃ hunsu]; born April 24, 1964)[4] is a Beninese actor, model, and Beninese expatriate in the United States. Hounsou began his career appearing in music videos. He made his film debut in theSandra Bernhard film Without You I'm Nothing (1990) and gained widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad (1997). He gained further recognition for his roles in Gladiator (2000), In America (2004) and Blood Diamond(2006). He has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Academy Awards.

Early life

Hounsou was born in CotonouBénin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook.[5] He immigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. Soon after arriving in France, Hounsou dropped out of school and became homeless for a time. A chance meeting with a photographer led to Hounsou being introduced to fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who encouraged Hounsou to pursue a modeling career.[4] In 1987, Hounsou became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1990.[5][6]



Hounsou at Final DipCon Opening Reception
Between 1989 and 1991, Hounsou appeared in the music videos for "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" by Janet Jackson, as well as Madonna's "Express Yourself".[7][8]
Hounsou's film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I'm Nothing. He had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 andER and a guest starring role on Alias. Hounsou captured a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate.[4]
Hounsou received wide critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as Cinqué in the 1997 Steven Spielberg filmAmistad. He gained further notice as Juba in the 2000 film Gladiator.[4] In 2004, Hounsou was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for In America, making him the fourth African male to be nominated for an Oscar. In 2006, he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond; he received Broadcast Film Critics AssociationScreen Actors Guild Award, and Academy Award nominations for this performance.[4][9]
Hounsou also acted in a supporting role in the 2009 science fiction film Push, as Agent Henry Carver.[10] In 2011, he starred as a French commando in the French film Forces spéciales.[11]
Director Tim Story told IGN that if he were to do a third Fantastic Four movie, he would like to have Hounsou as the Black Panther.[12] In November 2008, it was announced that Hounsou would be providing the voice of the Black Panther in the television series of the same name.[13] Hounsou had signed on to play Abdiel in the film version of John Milton's Paradise Lost with Benjamin Walker and Bradley Cooper. The film however was scrapped in early February 2012.[14]
In 2013, he appeared in the comedy film Baggage Claim alongside Paula Patton. He also voiced Drago Bludvist in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and portrayed Korath the Pursuerin the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, both in 2014.[15] He played villains in two 2015 films, Seventh Son and Furious 7, the seventh installment of The Fast and the Furious film series.[16]


On February 24, 2007, it was announced that Hounsou would be the new Calvin Klein underwear model.[17]

Other work

In 2010, Hounsou was featured as the narrator in ESPN's running series of "32 teams, 1 dream" commercials for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Hounsou spoke at the Summit on Climate Change at the United Nations on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.[18] On Tuesday, December 1, 2009, Hounsou told French media that developed countries “need to be held accountable” for their contribution to climate change.[19]

Personal life

In 2007, Hounsou began dating model Kimora Lee Simmons.[20] On May 30, 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, reportedly named because "Kenzo" means "three" (Kimora's third child). Hounsou and Simmons visited Hounsou's family in his native Benin in the summer of 2008, where the two participated in a traditional commitment ceremony. The couple were adorned in traditional clothing and used the ceremony, in the presence of Hounsou's family, to solidify that they are "dedicated to each other 100%." The two, however, emphasized that the ceremony was not a wedding. In the début of Kimora Lee Simmons' show, Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, he was billed as her husband.[21] Hounsou and Simmons, who were never legally married in the United States, announced their separation in November 2012.[22]


1990Without You I’m NothingEx-boyfriend
1992Unlawful EntryPrisoner on bench
1993Killing ZoeMoïse (voice)
1997Ill Gotten GainsFyah
1998Deep RisingVivo
2000The Middle PassageNarratorDocumentary; US version
2001The TagMarshallShort film
2002Le BouletDetective Youssouf
2002The Four FeathersAbou Fatma
2002In AmericaMateo
2002HeroesMystery ManShort film
2003Biker BoyzMotherland
2003Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of LifeKosa
2005Beauty ShopJoe
2005The IslandAlbert Laurent
2006Blood DiamondSolomon Vandy
2008Never Back DownJean Roqua
2009PushHenry Carver
2010The TempestCaliban
2011Elephant WhiteCurtie Church
2011Special ForcesKovax
2013Baggage ClaimQuinton Jamison
2014How to Train Your Dragon 2Drago Bludvist (voice)
2014Guardians of the GalaxyKorath[23]
2014Seventh SonRadu
2015Furious 7Mose Jakande
2015The Vatican TapesVicar Imani
2016Same Kind of Different as MeDenverPost-production
2016Knights of the Roundtable: King ArthurBedivereFilming
2016The Legend of TarzanChief MbongaFilming
2017Blazing SamuraiSumoFilming


1990Beverly Hills, 90210DoormanEpisode: "Class of Beverly Hills"
1999ERMobalage Ikabo6 episodes
2000The Wild ThornberrysVillager (voice)Episode: "Luck Be an Aye-Aye"
2001Soul FoodVictor OnukaEpisode: "Games People Play"
2003–2004AliasKazari Bomani3 episodes
2010Black PantherBlack Panther (voice)6 episodes

Awards and nominations

2004Academy AwardsBest Supporting ActorIn AmericaNominated
2007Academy AwardsBest Supporting ActorBlood DiamondNominated
2004Black Reel AwardsBest Supporting ActorIn AmericaWon
2007Black Reel AwardsBest Supporting ActorBlood DiamondWon
2007Broadcast Film CriticsBest Supporting ActorBlood DiamondNominated
1998Golden Globes AwardsBest Actor-DramaAmistadNominated
2004Independent Spirit AwardsBest Supporting MaleIn AmericaWon
1998NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion PictureAmistadWon
2004NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting ActorIn AmericaNominated
2007NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting ActorBlood DiamondWon
2006National Board of ReviewBest Supporting ActorBlood DiamondWon[24]
2001Screen Actors GuildOutstanding Cast in a Motion PictureGladiatorNominated
2004Screen Actors GuildOutstanding Cast in a Motion PictureIn AmericaNominated
2007Screen Actors GuildOutstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleBlood DiamondNominated[25]