A tall, handsome rising young star often cast as street-tough black youths, Bokeem Woodbine offered a number of startling performances in a succession of feature films and TV longforms since the early 1990s. Encouraged by his mother to apply for work as an extra in Ernest Dickerson's 1991 directorial debut, "Juice." he was hired as a stand-in and caught the notice of casting director Jaki Brown-Karman who later suggested Woodbine to Forest Whitaker for the latter's directorial effort, "Strapped" (HBO, 1994). In that film, Woodbine portrayed an inner city youth selling drugs on the street and information to the cops to help his girlfriend get out of jail. Hollywood and other filmmakers soon took notice and the actor landed a small part in Spike Lee's "Crooklyn" (1994) before Doug McHenry cast him the key role of the bad-seed brother in "Jason's Lyric," (also 1994). The following year, Woodbine appeared as an Oakland youth who becomes a cohort of Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in "Panther" and lent his magnetic screen presence to the role of a preacher who becomes enmeshed in a heist in the Hughes Brothers' "Dead Presidents." He went on to headline the critically-derided "Caught Up," supported the late Chris Farley in his final film "Almost Heroes" and was involved in a kidnapping that goes awry in "The Big Hit" (all 1998).