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Forest Whitaker Turns 50

As the Oscar winner celebrates his fiftieth birthday, we appreciate his impressive body of work

Forest Whitaker celebrates his 50th birthday July 15th

Forest Whitaker won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. — Illustration by Roberto Parada

The Big 5-Oh: July 15

He's lost a lot of weight in the past few years, but 6-foot-2 Forest Whitaker is still the most imposing vegetarian we know. And as befits a guy who got college scholarships for both playing football and singing opera, his complexities are reflected in his roles: Remember his childlike yet bloodthirsty Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland?

See also: George Clooney at 50: His career (so far) in photos.

Whitaker and his wife, Keisha Nash, gave each of their children unusual first names — Sonnet, True, Ocean, Autumn — and he's proud to be a third-generation "Forest." He told an interviewer, "I try to be like a forest: revitalizing and constantly growing."

Next: Geoffrey Rush, Robin WIlliams and more famous July birthdays. >>

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