film, television, and stage actor
Birthplace: New York City
Rhames is best known for playing seedy, often villainous, characters, such as Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction (1994). But his onscreen persona couldn't be more different than the real-life Rhames. A deeply religious and compassionate man, Rhames is a classically trained actor with profound respect for the craft. Educated at the prestigious New York High School of Performing Arts and Juilliard School of Drama, Rhames studied Shakespeare, Molière, and Chekhov. He made his television debut in 1984's Go Tell It on the Mountain and in 1985 starred in Broadway's The Winter Boys, opposite Matt Dillon. Theater work continued at a regular pace, and he also did stints on Another World, Guiding Light, and Miami Vice. His ascent in film can be traced to his role in Brian De Palma's Vietnam saga, Casualties of War (1989). His other films include Mission: Impossible (1996), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Con Air (1997), Out of Sight (1998), and Entrapment (1999). He starred in the remake of George Romero's 1978 zombie flick Dawn of the Dead, released in spring 2004. He took over Telly Savalas's lollipop in USA Network's new Kojak series in 2005 and is taking on the role of baseball great Satchel Paige in the movie The Perfect Game (2007).