Hounsou arrives at the premiere of Push, Mann Theater, Westwood, USA 2009
|Born||Djimon Gaston Hounsou
April 24, 1964
|Partner(s)||Kimora Lee Simmons (2007–2012; 1 child)|
Djimon Gaston Hounsou (US pron.: / /; French: [dʒimɔ̃ hũsu]; born April 24, 1964) is a Beninese-born American actor and model. As an actor, Hounsou has been nominated for two Academy Awards.
Early life 
Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Bénin, in 1964, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He emigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. Soon after arriving in France, Hounsou dropped out of school and became homeless for a time. A chance meeting with a photographer led to Hounsou being introduced to fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who encouraged Hounsou to pursue a modeling career. In 1987, Hounsou became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1990.
Hounsou's film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I'm Nothing. He had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 and ER and a guest starring role on Alias. Hounsou received a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate.
Hounsou received wide critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as Cinqué in the 1997 Steven Spielberg film Amistad. He gained further notice as Juba in the 2000 film Gladiator. In 2004, Hounsou was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for In America, making him the fourth African male to be nominated for an Oscar. That same year, Charlize Theron, a South African actress, was nominated for Best Actress and won for her work in Monster, and was the first time that one African man and one African woman were nominated for an Oscar in the same year. In 2006, he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond; he received Broadcast Film Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Academy Award nominations for this performance.
Hounsou also acted in a supporting role in the 2009 science fiction film Push, as Agent Henry Carver.
In 2011, he starred as a French commando in the French film Forces spéciales.
Director Tim Story told IGN that if he were to do a third Fantastic Four movie, he would like to have Hounsou as the Black Panther. In November 2008, it was announced that Hounsou would be providing the voice of the Black Panther in the upcoming animated series of the same name. Housnou has signed on to play Abdiel in the film version of John Milton's Paradise Lost with Benjamin Walker and Bradley Cooper.
On February 24, 2007, it was announced that Hounsou would be the new Calvin Klein underwear model. Starting with the fall 2007 season, he was featured in the brand’s global print advertising campaign including the launch of their new Calvin Klein Steel product line.
Other work 
In 2010, Hounsou was featured as the narrator in ESPN's running series of "32 teams, 1 dream" commercials for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Hounsou spoke at the Summit on Climate Change at the United Nations on Tuesday, September 22, 2009. On Tuesday, December 1, 2009, Hounsou told French media that developed countries “need to be held accountable” for their contribution to climate change.
Personal life 
Hounsou became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005, and currently resides in Los Angeles. He was reluctant to renounce his Beninoise citizenship and therefore opted to become a dual citizen of both Benin and the United States.
In 2007, Hounsou began dating model Kimora Lee Simmons. On May 30, 2009, Simmons gave birth to their son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, reportedly named because "Kenzo" means "three" (Kimora's third child). Hounsou and Simmons visited Hounsou's family in his native Benin in the summer of 2008, where the two participated in a traditional commitment ceremony. The couple were adorned in traditional clothing and used the ceremony, in the presence of Hounsou's family, to solidify that they are "dedicated to each other 100%." The two, however, emphasized that the ceremony was not a wedding. In the début of Kimora Lee Simmons' show, "Life in the Fab Lane", he was billed as her husband. Hounsou and Simmons, who were never legally married in the United States, announced their separation in November 2012.
- Academy Awards
- Black Reel Awards
- Golden Globes
- 1998, Best Actor-Drama: Amistad (Nominated)
- NAACP Image Awards
- Screen Actors Guild
See also 
- "Djimon Hounsou pronunciation". Forvo.com. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- See co-star's pronunciation at approximately 7:32 and 7:47. "Never Back Down - Interviews...". YouTube. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- See the interviewer and DiCaprio's pronunciations at approximately 3:57 and 4:04. "Blood Diamond Leonardo DiCaprio interview". YouTube. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- "Djimon Hounsou: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Djimon Hounsou: The Push Interview Kam Williams. KamWilliams.com. 2009-01-30
- "Djimon Hounsou Biography (1964-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Djimon Hounsou Biography - Yahoo! Movies
- "Straight Up". Paula-Abdul.net. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Love Will Never Do Without You". songfacts.com. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
- "Djimon Hounsou Roars as the Black Panther".
- [dead link]
- "Developed countries need to be held accountable". Rfi.fr. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Slonim, Jeffrey. "People.com". People.com. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- March 9, 2009 AT 3:06PM (2009-03-09). "Kimora Lee Simmons, Djimon Hounsou Had Commitment Ceremony". Usmagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Jordan, Julie (2012-11-21). "Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou Separate". People. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Djimon Hounsou|
- Djimon Hounsou at the Internet Movie Database
- Punching Up His Career Courant.com (March 10, 2008)
- Djimon Hounsou: The Push Interview with Kam Williams