Djimon Hounsou, a Beninese-American actor and model, began his career appearing in music videos. He made his film debut in the Sandra Bernhard film Without You I’m Nothing and gained widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad. Check out these other amazing facts about the talented actor.
1. Djimon Gaston Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Bénin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou. He emigrated to Lyon, France at the age of 13 with his brother.
2. Soon after arriving in France, Hounsou dropped out of school and became homeless for a time.
3. Hounsou’s film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I’m Nothing. He had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 and E.R., and a guest starring role on Alias.
4. He earned several awards for his heart-wrenching performance in Blood Diamond, including his second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
5. On February 24, 2007, it was announced that Hounsou would be the new Calvin Klein underwear model.
6. In 2007, Hounsou began dating model Kimora Lee Simmons.
7. In 2013, he appeared in the comedy film Baggage Claim alongside Paula Patton. He also voiced Drago Bludvist in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and portrayed Korath the Pursuer in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, both in 2014.
8. Hounsou is the fourth African man to receive an Oscar nomination for acting. The other three were Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway and Omar Sharif.
9. He has a son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, born May 30, 2009. Mother is ex-fiancée Kimora Lee Simmons.