Yasiin Bey

Highest Rated: 95% Amy (2015)
Lowest Rated: 13% Labor Day (2009)
Birthday: Not Available
Birthplace: Not Available
Mos Def may seem, to the casual observer, like a rare example of a musician successfully transitioning into acting, but in truth, his acclaimed music career did not take off until long after he'd cemented himself as a working actor. Nonetheless, the man has built both his music and film careers on a foundation of integrity, earning him critical praise and audience approval for both. His contributions to the underground hip-hop scene started with the 1996 single "Universal Magnetic," a rare example of introspection in a genre dominated by blustering and callousness. Def's film debut, however, came almost ten years before, when he appeared in the 1988 TV movie God Bless the Child at the age of 15. Then going by his birth name, Dante Terrell Smith, Mos Def landed appearances on shows like Here and Now, The Cosby Mysteries, Brooklyn South, Spin City, and NYPD Blue. The spots sustained his career throughout the '90s, as did his roles in feature films like Bamboozled and MTV's Carmen: A Hip Hopera. Slowly but steadily becoming a recognizable face in acting, Mos Def continued to take parts in high-quality films, even if this meant a lower profile for himself as an actor. His supporting roles in Monster's Ball, Brown Sugar, The Italian Job, and The Woodsman, however, garnered him attention on talent alone. In 2004, he co-starred in the HBO movie Something the Lord Made with Alan Rickman and was honored with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, along with Rickman. By the time Def appeared in 2005's Golden Globe award-winning HBO miniseries Lackawanna Blues alongside Terrence Howard and S. Epatha Merkerson, he was a recognized and sought-after face in film. Def soon afterward donned a British accent for a leading role in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, giving audiences a taste of his comedic skills -- which were also on display in his recurring role on the hit Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show, as well as Michel Gondry's retro comedy Be Kind, Rewind -- which found the actor playing a hapless video store clerk opposite Jack Black. Increasingly versatile, Def was just as effective as a key witness hoping to avoid assassination in Richard Donner's 16 Blocks as he was as legendary rock & roller Chuck Berry in 2008's Cadillac Records. Back on the small screen, Def's recurring role as the haunted Brother Sam on Showtime's Dexter found the actor earning even more critical praise in 2011.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
95% Amy Actor $7.9M 2015
67% Life Of Crime Ordell Robbie $0.3M 2014
82% Begin Again Saul $12.1M 2014
33% A Man's Story Actor 2012
86% Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap Actor $0.3M 2012
57% Re:Generation Actor 2012
No Score Yet Number One with a Bullet Actor 2009
13% Labor Day Actor 2009
21% Next Day Air Eric $10.1M 2009
80% ReGeneration Actor 2009
No Score Yet Poliwood Actor 2009
66% Cadillac Records Chuck Berry $8.2M 2008
65% Be Kind Rewind Mike $11.3M 2008
No Score Yet Prince Among Slaves Narrator 2008
38% In Prison My Whole Life Actor 2008
No Score Yet Black August: A Celebration of Hip-Hop and Our Freedom Fighters Actor 2008
No Score Yet A History of DJ Krush Actor 2007
No Score Yet Journey to the End of the Night Wemba 2007
88% Coachella Actor 2006
71% Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Himself $148.3M 2006
92% Dave Chappelle's Block Party Actor $11.8M 2006
56% 16 Blocks Eddie Bunker $37M 2006
No Score Yet Rap Sheet: Hip-Hop & The Cops Actor 2006
No Score Yet Journey to the End of the Night Actor 2006
No Score Yet Alicia Keys: Unplugged Actor 2005
60% The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Ford Prefect $51.1M 2005
75% Lackawanna Blues Bandleader 2005
No Score Yet Independent Lens Actor 2005
No Score Yet Shades of Hip Hop - Cypher Actor 2005
No Score Yet Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth Actor 2005
88% The Woodsman Sgt. Lucas $1.5M 2004
No Score Yet Something the Lord Made Vivien Thomas 2004
No Score Yet Juvies Poetry Narrator 2004
No Score Yet Richard Pryor - I Ain't Dead Yet #%$#@!! Uncensored Actor 2004
No Score Yet Shades of Hip Hop - Resurrection Actor 2004
16% Civil Brand Michael Meadows $0.2M 2003
73% The Italian Job Left Ear $106M 2003
66% Brown Sugar Chris $27.2M 2002
25% Showtime Lazy Boy $38M 2002
85% Monster's Ball Ryrus Cooper $31.3M 2002
No Score Yet European Muslims and Eastern Christians: The Broken Mirrors Actor 2002
No Score Yet The Freshest Kids Actor 2001
No Score Yet Carmen: A Hip Hopera Lt. Miller 2001
48% Bamboozled Big Black Africa $1.9M 2000
89% Freestyle Actor 2000
No Score Yet Island of the Dead Actor 2000
17% Where's Marlowe? Wilt Crawley 1999
No Score Yet Ghosts Dante 1997

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Independent Lens
1999
Appearing
  • 2014
  • 2007
No Score Yet Voces on PBS
2006-2015
Appearing
  • 2012
No Score Yet Colbert Report
2005-2014
Guest
  • 2011
72% Dexter
2006-2013
Brother Sam
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
No Score Yet Austin City Limits
1983
Performer
  • 2010
92% House
2004-2012
Lee
  • 2009
No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
2009-2014
Performer
  • 2009
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
2003
Appearing Panelist
  • 2009
  • 2007
48% The Boondocks
2005-2014
Voice
  • 2008
  • 2007
No Score Yet Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry
2001-2007
Appearing Host
  • 2007
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
96% Chappelle's Show
2003-2006
Performer
  • 2004
No Score Yet My Wife and Kids
2001-2005
Tommy
  • 2002
84% NYPD Blue
1993-2005
Leslie Peach Levon Wells
  • 2000
  • 1998
  • 1997

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