Who is Kenn Whitaker? Forest Whitaker’s Youngest Brother?

Kenn Whitaker was born on 8 August 1963 in Longview, Texas, United States. He is an American Film Actor. Tho old-time film star is popularly known for his presence in the film Most Wanted in 1997. Kenn is famously known as Forest Whitaker’s brother. Though he has stopped acting, his fans and followers still love and admire him.

Early Life and Education

Kenn was born and brought up in Longview, Texas, the USA, with his father, Forest Steven Jr., an insurance salesman, his mother, Laura Francis (née Smith), a unique education teacher, and his three siblings: Forest Whitaker, who was born in 1961, Damon Whitaker who was born in 1970, and Deborah Whitaker, and they’re all actors. 

When Kenn was two (2), his family relocated to Carson, California. He grew up with his siblings and cousin. Kenn, his brothers, and his cousin shared a bed until his cousin left for the army in 1968. He began his elementary school at Charter High School, Palisades, CA. After which, he registered in a college to go after his graduation.

Kenn was neither an intelligent nor dull child, and he was just an average student who loved acting. He had already shown genuine interest in acting and was eager to become an actor. Whitaker followed that desire and became a successful actor.

Top 10 facts about Kenn Whitaker

  1. Kenn was born in Texas, USA, but he relocated after college to Los Angeles for promising career opportunities.
  2. His birth name is Kenneth Dwayne Whitaker, but he is popularly known as Kenn Whitaker.
  3. He was born to a family where everyone was involved in the entertainment industry. His two brothers, Damon and Forest Whitaker, and his sister Deborah are all actors.
  4. The film that made Kenn famous in 1999 was LifeHe played the character of Isaac perfectly well that almost immediately after that, he got so many roles.
  5. Despite being an actor, Kenn has kept himself away from social media. Kenn does not have any social media accounts. 
  6. In recent times, Kenn has stopped appearing in movies but still receives so much love from people that love him.
  7. Kenn is a low-key celebrity who shies away from the media space. However, he became famous in 2018 when people started comparing Kenn and his brother, Forest, on Twitter. 
  8. Kenn has worked very hard to be visible, but still, he is well-known as Forest’s brother and not known for his works.
  9. Whitaker’s life has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to many people, significantly rising stars. Through his story and how he pushed through, he has influenced many people.
  10. If you have watched Most Wanted, you would have known that Kenn Whitaker is one of the key actors in the movie who played his role excellently well.

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Personal Life

Kenn Whitaker, whose real name is Kenneth Dwayne Whitaker has American nationality.

His Parents

A DNA test revealed that his father was of Igbo descent and his mother of AKAN ancestry. He came from a very hardworking family. His mother sponsored herself through college and earned two master’s degrees while taking care of her children, which was not easy. His father, an insurance salesman, had to work back to back to provide for his family. Irrespective of their hardship, they raised their children to be upright humans. Kenn is the most private among his siblings; he has not revealed much about himself. 

Forest/Kenn Whitaker Has A Brother Who Looks So Much Like Him Your Mind Will Blow
source: iHeart

His Brother-Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker, Kenn’s lookalike, is a producer, director, activist, and American actor. He was born on 15 July 1961. He went to Palisades Charter High School, where he sang in their choir and played with the football team before graduating in 1979. 

The first role he performed as an actor was the lead in Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood. Based on the football scholarship he received, he proceeded to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, but a back injury had made him change his utmost singing (music). In 1980, he journeyed to England with the Cal Poly Chamber Singers. While he was still at Cal Poly, he switched to drama. 

Later, he transferred to the Thornton School of Music at the Southern California University composition as a tenor, and afterward, the University’s Drama Conservatory accepted him. In1992, he graduated from USC with a BFA in acting. In 2004, he started going after a degree in “The Core of Conflict: Studies in Peace and Reconciliation” at New York’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

The movies Forest Whitaker has starred in

Later on, Forest Whitaker took a post-graduate course at Drama Studio London. In 1982, following the making of his first launch in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Forest Whitaker went ahead to gain a reputation for Rigorous Character Study work films vis a vis Platoon in 1986, Good Morning, Vietnam in 1987, Bird in 1988,  The Crying Game in 1992, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai ( in 1999), The Great Debaters in 2007, The Butler in 2013, Arrival in 2016, and Respect in 2021. 

Also, he has acted in Blockbusters such as First Daughter in 2002, Rogue OneA Star Wars Story in 2016, as Saw Gerrera, and Black Panther in 2018, as Zuri. Forest won an Award for Best Actor for depicting Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin in the drama movie 2006, The Last King of Scotland. He made his directorial launch with the television film Strapped in 1993, and he directed the following movies: Waiting to Exhale in 1995, Hope Floats in 1998, and First Daughter in 2004.

Aside from his film career, Forest Whitaker is known for his generosity and activism. The UNESCO body swore him in as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011. He was promoted to Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation and served as the CEO of a non-profit outreach program, Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI).

Forest’s Marriage 

Forest Whitaker got married to Keisha Nash in 1996, an actress he met on the set of Blown Away. He has two daughters with Keisha: Sonnet and True, his son Ocean Alexander, and her daughter Autumn from both previous relationships. Whitaker filed for a divorce from her in December 2018 due to differences that they could not reconcile.

The movie star studies yoga and has a black belt in Kenpo? And he’s a vegetarian. Also, he trains in eskrima, under dan Inosanto initially, but he’s present with Joe Jackson. It was made public in 2021 that he had joined NBA Africa as a strategic investor and minority owner.

Some critics have intrigued his left eye ptosis, which gives him a contemplative and sleepy look. Some see it as a physical deformity, while others felt the actor had lost his left eye. Ptosis or ‘drooping eye’ is the sagging of the upper eyelid due to paralysis or disease or as a congenital condition. Kenn made it clear that the condition is hereditary, and he had it in mind to go for surgery to correct it, not for a cosmetic reason but because it affects his vision.

Forest Whitaker
source: scoopearth

Philanthropist and Activist

As an activist, Forest Whitaker has dedicated decades of his Life to humanitarian service. He was motivated to serve because of a lesson his mother taught him, “You don’t have to believe what I believe, but you have to believe in something,” which made him give structures to his Life. In 2012, he established a non-governmental organization, Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI). 

WPDI executes peace-building programs in communities around the world that have been affected by conflicts, a program centered on training youths in conflict resolution and growing businesses in the area of conflict. WPDI programs presently operate throughout Mexico, Africa, and the United States. UNESCO as a body wore Forest as UNESCO Goodwill AMBASSADOR for Reconciliation and Peace in a ceremony held at UNESCO headquarters on 21 June 2011. 

As an Ambassador, he teamed up with UNESCO to champion and improvement initiatives that will empower youths and prevent them from going in or remaining in violent cycles. During the induction ceremony, David Killion, the United States Ambassador to UNESCO, defined Forest Whitaker as “a perfect choice as a Goodwill Ambassador… he has been an example of compassion in all areas of his life, with grace and humility. 

Forest’s involvement with politics

Down to politics, Forest supported and even spoke on behalf of Senator Barrack Obama in his 2008 campaign. Igbo chiefs gave him a chieftaincy title on 6 April 2009 in Imo State, Nigeria. He was given the title Nwannedinamba in Nkwerre, meaning A Brother in a Foreign Land. In addition, he co-founded the International Institute for Peace (IIP) at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, where he was a senior research intellectual.

When UNESCO launched IIP during the international Newark Peace Education Summit, its mission was to develop programs and strategic partnerships to address issues. Issues like increasing the citizens’ security through building the community, the duties of women, spiritual and religious leaders in building peace, the impact of climate change, and the reduction of poverty. IIP functions under the fair UNESCO.

Social Media

Kenn Whitaker is not on any social media platform. In contrast, his brother Forest Whitaker is @forestwhitaker on Instagram with 97k followers. While on Facebook, he is @Forest Whitaker with 614k followers. He has a verified Twitter account @Forest, Whitaker.

Net Worth

Kenn has a net worth of approximately $1M. He has different sources of income, but acting is his primary source of income. Film creation is one of the highest most paying jobs across the world. He has made lots of money by appearing in movies to that effect. Kenn is a model and an inspiration to the career journey of everyone.

His brother, Forest Whitaker, has an estimated net worth of $30M. Kenn’s sister, Deborah Whitaker, just like Forest, her younger brother, is an American film director and also a film producer famous for having written and co-directed Climate in 2016.

Conclusion

Despite Kenneth Whitaker starting from the grassroots, he was able to achieve so much and be a positive influence on a lot of people. His brother Forest Whitaker has accomplished more in his career among the three of them. However, Kenn has not allowed his brother’s achievements to deter him from also making it big in the entertainment industry.

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About The Author

Joy

Joy Zamdayu is an inspirational writer, affiliate marketer with Expertnaire and an author of four published books. She is passionate about investment in personal development and loves to read wide and engage in intelligent conversations.

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