Michael Jai White
|Michael Jai White|
at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Freaky Deaky
November 10, 1967 |
Brooklyn, New York
Michael Jai White (born November 10, 1967) is an American actor and martial artist who has 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. White portrayed Jax Briggs in Mortal Kombat: Legacy. White also played Mike Tyson in Tyson.
Early life 
He is an accomplished martial artist, holding seven different black belts: Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Kobudo, Goju Ryu with Master Eddie Morales, Tang Soo Do, Wushu and Kyokushin, with a specific focus in Kyokushin (although his style incorporates aspects of many different martial arts forms). White started martial arts training at the age of eight.
White is a former teacher. He cites his history in education as the reason why, despite his personal love for the music genre on "a lot of levels", he cannot "in good [conscience]" have a positive opinion on hip hop or "excuse some of [its] pervasive and destructive elements", due to his experience with youngsters who had difficulty seeing the difference between it and real life.
Acting career 
White's 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, 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 appeared 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 starred in Kevin Tancharoen's short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, as Jax Briggs, and reprised the role in Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a webseries from the same director. He recently posted on Twitter that he would not be returning to the role for the second season, but would return for the 2013 film.
White also provided the voice of The Green Lantern John Stewart in the video game Justice League Heroes.
Personal life 
In August 2005, White married his girlfriend of two years, Courtney Chatman, an OB/GYN who trained in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Bucking tradition, she proposed to him while having dinner at a restaurant and they spoke about it in an issue of Essence magazine. The couple has a daughter named Morgan Michelle, who was born on December 24, 2008. Michael is also father to Jai Jordan White.
- The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989)
- The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
- Universal Soldier (1992)
- Martin (1994)
- Tyson (1995) (TV)
- Ballistic (1995)
- Captive Heart: The James Mink Story (1996) (TV)
- Spawn (1997)
- Ringmaster (1998)
- Mutiny (1999)
- City of Industry (1998)
- Thick as Thieves (1998)
- Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)
- Freedom Song (2000) (TV)
- Exit Wounds (2001)
- Trois 2: Pandora's Box (2002)
- Silver Hawk (2004) (International Martial Arts Film)
- Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004 - Deleted Scene that can be seen in the Special Features)
- Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)
- Why Did I Get Married (2007)
- The Dark Knight (2008)
- Black Dynamite (2009)
- Blood and Bone (2009)
- Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010)
- Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010)
- Mortal Kombat: Legacy (2011)
- Tactical Force (2011)
- Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (2011)
- We the Party (2012)
- The Philly Kid (2012)
- Freaky Deaky (2012)
- The Wizards Hunter: The Hunt for Evangelion Crowley (2012)
- Mortal Kombat (2014)
Video clips 
- Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey featuring The Flipmode Squad - "I Know What You Want" (2003)
- Nicki Minaj – "Your Love" (2010)
- Toni Braxton - "Hands Tied" (2010)
- Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo - "Let's Go" (2012)
- "Saved by the Bell" (TV Series) (1992) 1 Episode
- JAG (TV series) (1995) - (Marine- Petty Officer Peter Quinn) - (Season 1, Episode 8) - (Brig Break) 
- Soul Food (TV series) (2001) 1 episode
- CSI: Miami (TV series) (2003) - (Officer Roy Bailey) - (Season 2, Episode 3) - (Hard Time)
- Justice League Unlimited (voice: Doomsday) (Cartoon Series) (2006) - season 2
- Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TV series) (2008) 3 episodes
- Spawn: The Animation (voice: Barabbas) (2009)
- The Legend of Bruce Lee (2008) (TV series)
- The Boondocks (TV series) (2010) - season 3, episode 5 - Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2011) - Tattooed Man
- Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse (2011–present) - Marcus Williams
- Black Dynamite (2012) - Black Dynamite
- Aqua Something You Know Whatever (2012) - Zucotti Manicotti (uncredited)
Web Series 
- Black Dynamite (2009)
- Three Bullets (2009)
- PVC-1 (2007)
- Blood and Bone (2009)
- Three Bullets (2009)
- "Michael Jai White is first Black comic superhero to star on the movie screen in 'Spawn.'". Jet magazine. September 22, 1997. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
- Spawn was released on August 1, 1997, two weeks before the release of Steel, which starred NBA basketball player Shaquille O'Neal.
- Mortal Kombat: Legacy cast listing on IMDb
- "Male Celebs Who Practice Martial Arts", Jet magazine, Sept. 24, 2001, at pp. 38-39.
- "Michael Jai White Ignites Black Dynamite". Black Belt Magazine. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
-  Fogan, Sara. "Man of Action", Black Belt Magazine, (undated)
- 47 HH interview with Michael J. White and Scott Sanders to promote the movie Black Dynamite
- "New Mortal Kombat Promotional Featurette Delivers the Goods".
- Morales, Wilson (September 13, 2011). "Never Back Down 2: Michael Jai White". Blackfilm.com. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- Michael Jai White’s Adorable Baby Girl
- "Mortal Kombat Fans, This Is The Hard 'R' MK Movie You've Been Waiting For".
- Brig Break at the Internet Movie Database
- Hard Time at the Internet Movie Database
- Michael Jai White at the Internet Movie Database
- The Official Michael Jai White Website
- Web page on White from Bridgeport Central High School