Michael Jai White

Actor, Martial artist, School teacher
Brooklyn-born Michael Jai White survived his rough urban upbringing and entered the entertainment industry on the strength of his martial arts credentials, backing fellow black belt Steven Seagal in a soup commercial ... Read more »
Born: 11/09/1967 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (48)

Black Dynamite 1992 - 1996, 2000 - 2001, 2011 - 2012, 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Voice

Chocolate City 2015 (Movie)

Princeton (Actor)

Metal Hurlant Chronicles 2013 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

Real Husbands of Hollywood 2015 (Tv Show)

Himself

Skin Trade 2015 (Movie)

Reed (Actor)

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse 2011 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

Arrow 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Blood and Bone 2014 (Movie)

Isaiah Bone (Actor)

Chain Of Command 2014 (Movie)

James Webster (Actor)

Falcon Rising 2014 (Movie)

John 'Falcon' Chapman (Actor)

Getting Played 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Playmakers of New Orleans 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Tactical Force 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Philly Kid 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

We the Party 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Freaky Deaky 2011 (Movie)

(Actor)

One Angry Juror 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? 2010 (Movie)

Marcus (Actor)

Black Dynamite 2009 (Movie)

Black Dynamite (Actor)

The Dark Knight 2008 (Movie)

Gambol (Actor)

Tyler Perry's House of Payne 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? 2007 (Movie)

Marcus (Actor)

Undisputed 2 2007 (Movie)

George "Iceman" Chambers (Actor)

Windfall 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Clubhouse 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Silver Hawk 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

CSI: Miami 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Pandora's Box (Rainforest Films) 2002 (Movie)

Hampton Hines (Actor)

Boston Public 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1996, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Exit Wounds 2001 (Movie)

Strutt (Actor)

NYPD Blue 1992 - 1996, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Soul Food 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Wonderland 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Breakfast of Champions 1999 (Movie)

Howell (Actor)

Universal Soldier: the Return 1999 (Movie)

S E T H (Actor)

Ringmaster 1998 (Movie)

Demond (Actor)

City of Industry 1997 (Movie)

Odell (Actor)

Spawn 1997 (Movie)

Al Simmons--Spawn (Actor)

2 Days in the Valley 1996 (Movie)

Buck (Actor)

JAG 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Tyson 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Living Single 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Actor

Martin 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Actor

Universal Soldier 1992 (Movie)

Soldier (Actor)

Freedom Song (TV Show)

Actor

Mutiny (TV Show)

Actor

Thick As Thieves (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (2)

Black Dynamite 2009 (Movie)

(Story By)

Black Dynamite 2009 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (1)

Never Back Down 2 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

Brooklyn-born Michael Jai White survived his rough urban upbringing and entered the entertainment industry on the strength of his martial arts credentials, backing fellow black belt Steven Seagal in a soup commercial for Japanese television, making his feature debut as Alley Guy 1 in "True Identity" (1991, billed as Michael White) and playing a bit part in Roland Emmerich's "Universal Soldier" (1992), starring another martial arts maestro, Jean-Claude Van Damme. He appeared in straight-to-video fare like "Ring of Fire" (also 1992), "Full Contact" (1993) and "Lion Strike" (1994), as well as on episodes of "Living Single", "Martin" (both Fox) and ABC's "NYPD Blue", before coming to prominence as the eponymous star of the critically-lauded HBO special, "Tyson" (1995), cutting an imposing figure as boxing's former Heavyweight Champ. White, who had Tyson's mannerism's down cold, used his karate background to sell the boxing scenes while delving deep into Iron Mike's tortured psyche to deliver a top-quality acting performance that complemented his impressive athleticism.

Milestones

2000

Was series regular on the ABC drama "Wonderland"

1999

Reteamed with Van Damme for "Universal Soldier: The Return", this time in the significant role of SETH

1999

Offered a standout turn as Pointy, a local gangster who considers himself a Renaissance man, in "Thick as Thieves", a noirish crime movie boasting idiosyncratic humor and deftly drawn characterizations, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival

1999

Starred as Ben Cooper in "Mutiny", an NBC movie based on the landmark case that forced the military to fully integrate blacks into its ranks; Morgan Freeman served as an executive producer

1998

Played Demond, a man with a "stick-it-anywhere" policy, in "Ringmaster", starring Jerry Springer

1997

First feature starring role, "Spawn"

1996

Played Elroi in Bruce Pittman's "Captive Heart: The James Mink Story", a CBS movie

1996

Appeared in John Herzfeld's feature "2 Days in the Valley"

1995

Starred as Mike Tyson in HBO's "Tyson", directed by Uli Edel

1995

Portrayed Lieutenant Fancy's hot-headed brother Reggie in two episodes of ABC's "NYPD Blue"

1994

Made TV debut with guest appearances on episodes of Fox series "Living Single" and "Martin", both airing on the same date (February 20)

1994

Appeared in straight-to-video sequel, "Lion Strike/Ring of Fire 3: Lion Strike"

1993

Acted in straight-to-video martial arts feature "Full Contact"

1992

Appeared as a Soldier in Roland Emmerich's "Universal Soldier", starring fellow martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme

1991

Feature debut as Alley Guy 1 in "True Identity", billed as Michael White; also appeared in that year's straight-to-video martial arts pic "Ring of Fire"

Taught emotionally disturbed children for three years

Hired by fellow martial-arts maestro Steven Seagal to work on a soup commercial for Japanese television

Bonus Trivia

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White has six black belts and has won over 20 martial arts titles.

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"Acting is a means to achieving more success in my true job, which is to bring about change in the inner city and in these children I have a power to reach. We on television [and film] speak louder to children than their parents do. As unfortunate as it is, it's the truth. I couldn't rest if I didn't use my talents to their potential. I was a school teacher for three years. I taught EMD--emotionally disturbed children--and I found that I had a real gift for reaching them. It was really a tough decision to leave something that I was so gifted at . . . I was always fascinated with human beings. I could see the world as so many people. I was on my own since I was 13 so I grew up on the streets quite a bit and I was always fascinated with everyone. I had friends or acquaintances from every walk of life--millionaires to vagrants--that I knew personally. I knew how they thought, what they were about, and I knew their back story." --Michael Jai White quoted in Venice, August 1997

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