Actor, producer, and social activist Winston Duke was born on November 15, 1986, in Argyle, Tobago, to civil servant and restaurant owner Cora Pantin. There is no information about his father available. In 1995, Duke’s family moved to Brooklyn, New York. Cindy is his only sibling.
Duke went to Brighton High School in Rochester, New York, and was nicknamed “close talker” after the annoying character of a low talker on an episode of Seinfeld.
Duke graduated from Brighton High School in 2004 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from the University at Buffalo in 2009.
Following that, Duke spent a year auditioning for roles. It was a difficult task that necessitated additional training. As a result, Duke enrolled in the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 2010, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting in 2013. During his time at Yale, he was a member of the Repertory Theatre and understudied for the role of Pisani in Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist. In addition, he appeared as Sylvester Brown in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine.
Duke appeared in five television shows between 2014 and 2016, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Person of Interest, The Messengers, Major Crimes, and Modern Family. Duke made his film debut in the Oscar-nominated film Black Panther in 2018, at the age of 32. He played M’Baku, the treacherous leader of the Jabari Tribe. Duke appeared in the film Avengers: Infinity War the same year. In 2018, he won the “Breakout Award” at the Savannah Film Festival in Savannah, Georgia, the country’s largest university-run festival. He was also named “Best Movie Actor” at the MTV Movie + TV Awards.
Duke, a Human Rights activist, has been active in the HeForShe movement and openly petitioned for solutions to achieve gender equality at the annual HeForShe Impact Summit in New York City in 2018. Duke won the Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” in 2019 for his roles as “Gabe Wilson” and “Abraham” in the blockbuster horror film Us. In 2020, he will appear in the Netflix thriller Spenser Confidential. In addition, Duke received the “Excellence in Acting Award” at the Denver International Film Festival and was nominated for “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” at the NAACP Image Awards.
Winston Duke won the Maverick Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival in Newport Beach, California in 2021 for his role in the Edson Oda film Nine Days. Duke is also planning an expanded role in the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in 2022.
The net worth of Winston Duke is estimated to be around $8 million.