Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White (born November 10, 1967) is an American actor and martial artist that appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African-American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film “Spawn.” White appeared as Marcus Williams in the Tyler Perry films “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Why Did I Get Married Too?”, and currently stars as the character on the TBS comedy-drama television series Tyler Perry's “For Better or Worse.”

His first major starring role and breakout performance was in the 1995 HBO film “Tyson,” as heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson. He portrayed the eponymous character in the 1997 movie “Spawn,” making him the first African-American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture. His work in “Spawn” earned him a nomination for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Male Newcomer. White starred opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in “Universal Soldier: The Return.” In 2001, he also starred opposite fellow martial artist Steven Seagal in “Exit Wounds.”

In 2003, he starred in Busta Rhymes' and Mariah Carey's music video "I Know What You Want." Since 2003, in addition to his on screen roles, White has been doing voice work in animation, including “Static Shock” and the “Justice League.” White showcases his martial arts skills in the direct-to-DVD film “Undisputed II: Last Man Standing.” He also appears in Michelle Yeoh's “Silver Hawk” in 2004.

He played a samurai in “Kill Bill Vol. 2,” although his role was cut from the theatrical release. His film, “Why Did I Get Married?” opened at number one at the box office on October 12, 2007.

White played the role of the mob boss Gambol in the 2008 film “The Dark Knight.” He also starred in the film “Blood and Bone” and the blaxploitation homage “Black Dynamite,” both released in 2009. White wrote the scripts for both “Black Dynamite” and his upcoming “3 Bullets” in which he stars with Bokeem Woodbine.

On March 30, 2010, White appeared on “The Mo'Nique Show” to promote his film “Why Did I Get Married Too.” The two joked about the acclaim that comes with winning an Oscar. In May of that year he appeared in the music video for Toni Braxton's new song “Hands Tied” from her album Pulse, as well as the Nicki Minaj music video for “Your Love” as Nicki's sensei and love interest.

He also stars in Kevin Tancharoen's short film “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth,” and reprises the role in “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” a webseries from the same director. White made his directorial debut and starred in “Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown,” which was released on home video on September 13, 2011. White also provided the voice of The Green Lantern John Stewart in the video game “Justice League Heroes.”

In August 2005, White wed his girlfriend of two years, Courtney Chatman, an OB/GYN who trained in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The couple has a daughter named Morgan Michelle, who was born on December 24, 2008. Michael has two sons from previous relationships.

He is an avid chess player, as seen in his movie “Blood and Bone.”