Djimon Hounsou
A Beninese-American actor and model. As an actor, Hounsou has been nominated for two Academy Awards.

Hounsou became a naturalized American citizen in 2007. He was reluctant to renounce his Beninese citizenship and therefore opted to become a dual citizen of both Benin and the United States, effectively rendering him a Beninese-American.

Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, in 1964, to lbertine and Pierre Hounsou. He immigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. In 1987, he became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the U.S. in 1990. One year before obtaining his college degree, he dropped out of school.

In the 1989 he appeared in a music video of Straight Up by Paula Abdul. Hounsou's film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I’m Nothing, and he has had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 and ER and a guest starring role on Alias, but received a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate. His first on-screen appearance was in the 1990 Janet Jackson video “Love Will Never Do (Without You).” He also starred in a 2002 Gap commercial directed by Peter Lindbergh, dancing to a rendition of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" by Arrested Development's Baba Oje.

He received wide critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as Cinqué in the 1997 Steven Spielberg film Amistad. He gained further notice as Juba, in the 2000 film Gladiator. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for In America, in 2004, becoming the fourth African male to be nominated for an Oscar (along with Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway and Omar Sharif). 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 Association, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Academy Award nominations for this performance.

In 2007, Hounsou began dating model/CEO of Baby Phat, Kimora Lee Simmons. In 2008 Hounsou and Simmons visited Hounsou's family and while there, the two participated in a traditional commitment ceremony. On May 30, 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, reportedly named because Kenzo means 3 (Kimora's third child). Hounsou is now a naturalized United States citizen and resides in Los Angeles.  


April 24, 1964

 Place of birth

Cotonou, Benin



Black Adam
 2021, The Wizard
Blazing Samurai
 2021, Sumo
The King's Man
 2020, Neil Kenlock
A Quiet Place Part II
Charlie's Angels
 2019, Bosley
 2019, The Wizard
Captain Marvel
 2019, Korath
 2019, Duke
 2018, King Ricou (voice)
Same Kind of Different as Me
 2017, Denver
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
 2017, Bedivere
I Am Heath Ledger
 2017, Himself
The Legend of Tarzan
 2016, Chief Mbonga
 2015, Cartwright
The Vatican Tapes
 2015, Vicar Imani
Furious 7
 2015, Jakande
Seventh Son
 2014, Radu
Guardians of the Galaxy
 2014, Korath
How to Train Your Dragon 2
 2014, Drago Bludvist (voice)
Baggage Claim
 2013, Quinton
Special Forces
 2011, Kovax
Elephant White
 2011, Curtie Church
Black Panther
 2011, T'Challa
The Tempest
 2010, Caliban
 2009, Agent Henry Carver
Never Back Down
 2008, Jean Roqua
Vanity Fair: Killers Kill, Dead Men Die
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 2006, Ajihad
Blood Diamond
 2006, Solomon Vandy
The Island
 2005, Albert Laurent
Beauty Shop
 2005, Joe
 2005, Midnite
 2004, Woodhead
In America
 2003, Mateo
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life
 2003, Kosa
Biker Boyz
 2003, Motherland
The Four Feathers
 2002, Abou Fatma
Dead Weight
 2002, Youssouf
The Middle Passage
 2000, Narrator (U.S. Version)
 2000, Juba
Deep Rising
 1998, Vivo
 1997, Cinque
 1994, Horus
Unlawful Entry
 1992, Prisoner on Bench
Paradise Lost

Elephant White (2011)


The View
The Academy Awards
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Soul Food
Black Panther
 2010, Black Panther (voice)
Wayward Pines
 2015, CJ Mitchum
Beverly Hills, 90210
 1990, Nightclub Doorman



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