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Michael Jai White (1967)

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  Summary  

Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White appeared as Marcus Williams in the Tyler Perry films Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?, and currently stars as the character on the TBS comedy-drama television series Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse.

  Biography  

 early life
White was born in Brooklyn, New York and moved as a teen to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he graduated from Central High School in 1988.

He is an accomplished martial artist, holding seven black belts in Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Kobudo, Goju Ryu with renowned Master Eddie Morales, Tang Soo Do, Wushu and Kyokushin, with a specific focus in Kyokushin . White started martial arts training at the age of eight.

White is a former teacher. He cites his history in education as the reason why, despite his personal love for the music genre on "a lot of levels", he cannot "in good " have a positive opinion on hip hop or "excuse some of pervasive and destructive elements", due to his experience with youngsters who had difficulty seeing the difference between it and real life.

 acting career
His first major starring role and breakout performance was in the 1995 HBO film Tyson, as heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson. He portrayed the eponymous character in the 1997 movie Spawn, making him the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture. His work in Spawn earned him a nomination for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Male Newcomer. White starred opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in Universal Soldier: The Return. In 2001, he also starred opposite fellow martial artist Steven Seagal in Exit Wounds. In 2003, he starred in Busta Rhymes' and Mariah Carey's music video "I Know What You Want". Since 2003, in addition to his on screen roles, White has been doing voice work, including Static Shock and the Justice League. White showcases his martial arts skills in the direct-to-DVD film Undisputed II: Last Man Standing. He also appears in Michelle Yeoh's Silver Hawk in 2004. He played a samurai in Kill Bill Vol. 2, although his role was cut from the theatrical release. His film, Why Did I Get Married? opened at number one at the box office on October 12, 2007.

White played the role of the mob boss Gambol in the 2008 film The Dark Knight. He also starred in the film Blood and Bone and the blaxploitation homage Black Dynamite, both released in 2009. White wrote the scripts for both Black Dynamite and his upcoming 3 Bullets in which he stars with Bokeem Woodbine.

On March 30, 2010, White appeared on The Mo'Nique Show to promote his film Why Did I Get Married Too. The two joked about the acclaim that comes with winning an Oscar. In May of that year he appeared in the music video for Toni Braxton's new song "Hands Tied" from her album Pulse, as well as the Nicki Minaj music video for Your Love as Nicki's sensei and love interest.

He also stars in Kevin Tancharoen's short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, and reprises the role in Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a webseries from the same director.

White made his directorial debut and starred in Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown, which was released on home video on September 13, 2011.

White also provided the voice of The Green Lantern John Stewart in the video game Justice League Heroes.

 personal life
In August 2005, White wed his girlfriend of two years, Courtenay Chatman, an OB/GYN who trained in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. She proposed to him while having dinner at a restaurant and they spoke about it in an issue of Essence magazine. Senior Kwofie was the best man at their wedding. The couple has a daughter named Morgan Michelle, who was born on December 24, 2008. Michael has two sons from a previous relationship.

He is an avid chess player, as seen in his movie Blood and Bone.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Michael Jai White", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.