Donald Frank Cheadle Jr, world renowned for his role as the superhero Colonel James 'Rhodey' Rhodes / War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was born on November 29, 1964 in Kansas City, Missouri. He has one Academy Award nomination and two Golden Globe Awards and another 32 accolades to his name. Here are some interesting facts about the hero:
In the year 2008, his family history was profiled on the PBS series "African American Lives 2." It was revealed in a DNA test that the actor is of Cameroonian descent.
It is said that he spent over 10 years writing the script of his directorial debut "Miles Ahead," which is actually based on the life of jazz musician Miles Davis.
He earned the eligibility for the Screen Actors Guild Card, when he performed as a burger joint employee in the "Moving Violations" comedy movie.
Early in his career, his performance opposite Denzel Washington in the 1995 movie "Devil in a Blue Dress," earned him the Best Supporting Actor Award by the Los Angeles Film Critics. He also bagged the National Society of Film Critics Award for this role.
In 1989, he was featured in a video for Angela Winbush's No. 2 hit single "It's the Real Thing", performing dance moves in an orange jump suit, working at a car wash.
In the 2010 movie "Iron Man 2," Cheadle claimed that he tried to make the role of Stark's right-hand man Rhodes his own, but eventually stole as much as possible from Terrence Howard's performance in the first film "Iron Man," to bring him to life.
It was reported that he was to make his directorial debut with the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's "Tishomingo Blues." However, in July 2007, he said in an interview that "Tishomingo is dead."
Following his role as Paul Rusesabagina in "Hotel Rwanda," a movie based on the early 1990s Rwandan genocide, he became an activist to raise awareness of the mid-2000s genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. In January 2005, he traveled to Sudan with five members of Congress to see refugee camps and to meet survivors of the genocide. Upon his return, he reported on his trip for ABC News Nightline.
His performance as Graham in the 2004 movie "Crash," which he co-produced, earned him nominations for the BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Supporting Actor. The movie went on to win the 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture.
At the 2007 World Series of Poker, Cheadle and poker player Annie Duke organized an annual charity poker tournament, Ante Up for Africa, which attracted 167 celebrities and poker stars. The final two players of the year - Dan Shak and Brandon Moran who shared the first place, agreed to donate all the prize money to charities in Darfur.
Cheadle was honored by the CineVegas Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival and received ShoWest's Male Star of the Year award.
He and Harrison Ford collaborated on a documentary event series "Years of Living Dangerously," which provides first-hand reports on those affected by, and seeking solutions to climate change. Cheadle is also on the Advisory Board of Citizens Climate Lobby.
In the 2004 movie "Hotel Rwanda," he was director Terry George's original choice for the role of Raul Rusesabagina. However, famous actors like Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Mekhi Phifer and even Will Smith were also in consideration during pre-production due to their bigger drawing capacity. However, when George ultimately produced the movie independentley, he went back to his original choice.
In 2010, Cheadle was named U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador.
It was reported that he had only a few hours to accept the offer of playing the superhero "Rhodes/War Machine." Although a comic book fan, he had never made one before, due to the lack of black superheroes in the comic book universe.
He along with George Clooney share the Summit Peace Award by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome for their work in Darfur.
In January 2004, he appeared in promotional advertisements for the National Football League and the race to its championship title game, Super Bowl XXXVIII.
He made his directorial debut with the 2015 movie "Miles Ahead." He claims that he chose to shoot the film entirely in Cincinnati, Ohio, because "the architecture and the look here can approximate the era that is being shot in Manhattan."
He is famous for portraying law enforcement agents or professionals with a troubled social life or a disturbing past life.
His most popular movie "Hotel Rwanda" is ranked at #90 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time, one of the most recent entries on the list.
Cheadle in an interview with MTV.com revealed that prior to the 2008 movie "Iron Man," he had actually been thinking the superhero Colonel James 'Rhodey' Rhodes / War Machine to have been a robot.
He graduated from East High School in Denver, Colorado in the year 1982. During his time there, he played saxophone in the jazz band, sang in the choirs and was active in the theatre department, performing in musicals, plays, and several mime shows all under the direction of Catherine Davis.
He along with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, David Pressman and Jerry Weintraub, co-founded the organization - Not On Our Watch Project, which focuses on global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities.
In the year 2009, he performed in "The People Speak," a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."
During the filming of the 2000 movie "Mission to Mars," he requested that he sleep overnight on the actual film set so that he could stay in full character.
He filmed his directorial debut "Miles Ahead," at over 30 locations in downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine, the West End, and Northside.
He played the role of Marty Kaan on the Showtime sitcom "House of Lies," for which he was awarded a Golden Globe Award in the year 2013.
He along with John Prendergast coauthored the book "Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond," which discusses the present situation in Sudan's Darfur regiaon and also outlines various ways in which ordinary citizens can take action to end ongoing tragedies in Darfur, northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere.
In the year 2010, he and Prendergast published their second book "The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes."
He was awarded the BET Humanitarian award in 2007 for his numerous humanitarian services rendered for the cause of the people of Darfur and Rwanda.