Don Cheadle Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Don Cheadle is an American actor, author, director, producer, and writer born on November 29, 1964. He has received numerous awards including two Grammy Awards, a Tony Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Cheadle has also been nominated for an Academy Award, two British Academy Film Awards, and 11 Primetime Emmy Awards. His nominations across the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards have earned him recognition as one of the few Black individuals to achieve such accolades (EGOT).

Early in his career, Cheadle appeared in films like “Hamburger Hill” and played the role of “Rocket” in “Colors”. He solidified his reputation in the 1990s with notable roles in “Devil in a Blue Dress,” “Rebound: The Legend of Earl,” “Boogie Nights,” and “Bulworth”. His collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh led to films such as “Out of Sight,” “Traffic,” “The Ocean’s Trilogy,” and “No Sudden Move”. Cheadle’s portrayal of Paul Rusesabagina in “Hotel Rwanda” earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also co-produced Crash which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2005.

Cheadle gained worldwide recognition as James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with “Iron Man 2”. His performance in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. He is set to star in “Armor Wars” a new film within the Marvel franchise.

On television, Cheadle has appeared in “Night Court,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Booker,” “Picket Fences,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” “ER,” and “House of Lies,” where he won a Golden Globe Award in 2013 and received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. From 2019 to 2021, he starred in “Black Monday,” earning two Emmy Award nominations.

In addition to his acting career, Cheadle won his first Grammy Award in 2016 for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for Miles Ahead. In 2022, he won a second Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for narrating Carry On: Reflections for a New Generation by John Lewis. He also received a Tony Award as a producer for the musical A Strange Loop.

Full NameDon Frank Cheadle Jr.
Date of BirthNovember 29, 1964
Place of BirthKansas City, Missouri, USA
OccupationActor, Producer, Author
Height5′ 8″ (1.73 m)
SpouseBridgid Coulter
ChildrenImani Cheadle, Ayana Tai Cheadle
Net Worth$40 million

Don Cheadle’s Early Life and Education

Don Cheadle Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Donald Frank Cheadle Jr. was born in Kansas City Missouri. His mother Bettye Cheadle worked as a teacher and his father Donald Frank Cheadle Sr. was a clinical psychologist. He grew up with a sister named Cindy and a brother named Colin and their family moved frequently during his early years.

From 1970 to 1974, Don Cheadle attended Hartley Elementary School in Lincoln Nebraska. He later graduated from East High School in Denver Colorado in 1982. During his high school years, Cheadle was involved in various activities including playing saxophone in the jazz band, singing in choirs, and participating in the theater department where he performed in musicals plays, and mime shows.

After high school, Cheadle pursued his passion for theater and attended the California Institute of the Arts. In 1986, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater from CalArts.


Don Cheadle Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Don Cheadle started his acting career in the mid-1980s getting his Screen Actors Guild card for a role in the comedy film Moving Violations. By 1987 he had a small part in “Hill Street Blues” and also appeared in the movie “Hamburger Hill”. In 1988, despite being 23 years old he played a 16-year-old in a Night Court episode titled “Jung and the Restless.”

In the same year, Cheadle took on the role of Rocket in the film “Colors”. He continued to diversify his roles appearing in Angela Winbush’s music video “It’s the Real Thing” and guest-starring in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. By 1992, he had a notable role in “The Golden Girls, spin-off” The Golden Palace, and later portrayed district attorney John Littleton on “Picket Fences” for three seasons.

Don Cheadle gained widespread recognition in 1995 for his role as Mouse Alexander in “Devil in a Blue Dress” earning him Best Supporting Actor awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. He continued to excel with roles like Earl “The Goat” Manigault in Rebound: The Legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault and appearances in notable films like “Rosewood,” “Volcano,” “Boogie Nights,” and “Out of Sight”.

In 1998, Don Cheadle won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Sammy Davis Jr. in “The Rat Pack” and earned an Emmy nomination. He further impressed audiences and critics as Grant Wiggins in the TV movie “A Lesson Before Dying,” winning a Primetime Emmy Award.

Entering the 2000s, Cheadle’s career soared with roles in Traffic Mission to Mars and the Ocean’s Eleven series alongside stars like George Clooney and Brad Pitt. His versatility continued to shine through various projects including his Academy Award-nominated performance as Paul Rusesabagina in “Hotel Rwanda” which also earned him critical acclaim.

Don Cheadle Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Don Cheadle’s career diversified further with roles in films like “Crash” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Traitor. He explored comedy-drama in “Reign Over Me” and family-friendly fare in “Hotel for Dogs”.

Outside of acting, Cheadle appeared in NFL commercials and contributed to projects like “The People Speak” a documentary based on Howard Zinn’s works. He also took on the role of James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe appearing in several films and TV series including “Iron Man 2,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”.

From 2012 to 2016, Don Cheadle starred in the Showtime series “House of Lies” winning a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. He later directed produced and starred in the film Miles Ahead a passion project about jazz legend Miles Davis.

Recently, Don Cheadle has continued to showcase his talent in diverse roles such as in the crime thriller “No Sudden Move” and the family film “Space Jam: A New Legacy” highlighting his enduring presence and versatility in Hollywood.

Net Worth

Don Cheadle has an estimated net worth of $40 Million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of Don Cheadle’s net worth comes from his successful acting career, spanning over three decades. He has earned significant income from his roles in major Hollywood films, including his portrayal of War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been a substantial part of his earnings.

Additionally, Cheadle has worked in television, earning critical acclaim and awards for his performances in series like “House of Lies.” Besides acting, he has also made money through producing and directing. His various endorsements and business ventures have also contributed to his wealth, making him one of the respected figures in the entertainment industry.

Personal life

Don Cheadle Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2008, Don Cheadle’s family history was featured on the PBS series “African American Lives 2”. It was revealed that his ancestors were once enslaved by the Chickasaw Nation who did not grant freedom to their slaves until 1866. It wasn’t until the 1890s with the help of the Dawes Commission that Cheadle’s ancestors gained U.S. and Chickasaw citizenship.

A DNA test from the show indicated that Cheadle has Cameroonian roots. Another test showed that a third of his African ancestry traces back to the Senegal-Liberia region over a quarter to Congo-Angola and the rest to western Nigeria and Benin.

In early 2020, Don Cheadle married actress Bridgid Coulter his partner of over 28 years and co-star from Rosewood. The couple has two children together.


Don Cheadle Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Don Cheadle has been actively involved in humanitarian efforts particularly focusing on ending the genocide in Darfur Sudan. Alongside John Prendergast, he co-authored the book “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond.” Together with George Clooney Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub, Cheadle co-founded the Not on Our Watch Project. This organization aims to draw global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities.

For his dedicated work, Cheadle received the BET Humanitarian Award in 2007 recognizing his efforts in Darfur and Rwanda.

Beyond his humanitarian work, Cheadle also engages in charity through events like the annual Ante Up for Africa poker tournament organized with Annie Duke during the 2007 World Series of Poker.

In 2007, Don Cheadle and George Clooney were honored with the Summit Peace Award by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates for their significant contributions to halting genocide and alleviating suffering in Darfur.

Don Cheadle has extended his advocacy to environmental issues collaborating with the United Nations on climate change. He partnered with Harrison Ford on the documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously” which sheds light on climate change impacts and solutions. Cheadle serves on the advisory board of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Recognizing his environmental advocacy Cheadle was appointed as a U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador in 2010. That same year he and John Prendergast published their second book “The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes.”

In a gesture of support during his 2019 appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” Cheadle wore a T-shirt advocating for the protection of transgender children.