Morris Chestnut

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Morris Chestnut
Morris Chestnut by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Chestnut at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2010
Morris Lamont Chestnut

(1969-01-01) January 1, 1969 (age 53)
Years active1990–present
Pam Byse-Chestnut
(m. 1995)

Morris Lamont Chestnut (born January 1, 1969) is an American actor. He first came to prominence for his role as Ricky in the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood. He has appeared in feature films and on television series, including the starring role of FBI Agent Will Keaton in the NBC TV series The Enemy Within.

Early life[edit]

Chestnut was born in Cerritos, California on January 1, 1969,[1] the son of Morris and Shirley Chestnut.[2] His mother was a teacher, while his father worked as a medical salesman.[3] He studied finance and drama at California State University, Northridge.[4][3] Chestnut worked as a bank teller prior to being an actor.[5]


Chestnut's first professional acting role was as Jason in Freddy's Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series, season 2, episode 19 ("A Family Affair"), which aired on February 18, 1990. His first feature film role was as Ricky Baker in Boyz n the Hood (1991).[6] He followed that up with roles in various TV movies. Chestnut also played a role on Patti LaBelle's short-lived sitcom Out All Night.[7] His career continued to rise steadily with co-starring roles in standard big-budget studio films such as Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) opposite Steven Seagal and Katherine Heigl and G.I. Jane (1997) opposite Demi Moore. He was also a regular cast member on C-16, in the role of Special Agent Mal Robinson, from 1997 to 1998.[8]

In 1998, he won the annual Madden Bowl video game competition. In 1999, Chestnut starred in The Best Man with Taye Diggs and Nia Long, as a professional football player on the eve of his wedding.[9] The Best Man earned positive reviews from the press and did well at the box office. For his performance, Chestnut earned an NAACP Image Award nomination.[10] He again played a football player in The Game Plan (2007).

Chestnut starred in The Brothers (2001), a film centering on the themes of fidelity and success among young professionals.[11] That same year, he portrayed Keith Fenton, the love interest of Vivica A. Fox, in Two Can Play That Game[12] and appeared as basketball player Tracey Reynolds in 2002 film Like Mike.[13] In 2004, he played a firefighter named Tommy Drake in Ladder 49.[14]

He has worked with Steven Seagal three times: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) as Seagal's reluctant partner[15] and lead male villain in Half Past Dead (2002)[16] and Prince of Pistols (2008).

Chestnut joined the cast of Nurse Jackie in 2013, playing war veteran Dr. Ike Prentiss.[17] The following year, he won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.[18]

In 2015, Morris Chestnut played Derrick Dog Prince in the movie Heist. People magazine named Morris Chestnut as one of the "Sexiest Men Alive" in 2015.[19]

To prepare for his role as professional football player, Lance Sullivan, in the movie The Best Man Holiday Chestnut had to get back into shape. His fitness training experience with Celebrity Fitness Trainer Obi Obadike inspired him to become Obadike's co-author on the health and fitness book, The Cut. The Cut, published on April 18, 2017, contains exercise drills and recipes.[20] Chestnut earned himself an NAACP image Award nomination for acting in the sequel.[21]

Chestnut played the lead role of pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr. in Rosewood,[22] receiving another NAACP image Award nomination.[23] He appeared as Raymond Dupont in the short-lived drama Our Kind of People.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Morris Chestnut has been married to Pam Byse-Chestnut since 1995. The couple have two children, son Grant and daughter Paige.[25] He was raised in the Baptist church, and he is a practicing Christian.[26]

In March 2022, Chestnut was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a star that was unveiled in his presence.[27]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Boyz n the Hood Ricky Baker
The Last Boy Scout Locker Room Kid
1994 The Inkwell Harold Lee
1995 Higher Learning Track Anchor
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Bobby Zachs
1997 G.I. Jane McCool
Firehouse Andre
1999 The Best Man Lance Sullivan
2001 The Brothers Jackson Smith
Two Can Play That Game Keith Fenton
Scenes of the Crime Ray
2002 Like Mike Tracy Reynolds
Half Past Dead Donny Johnson / 49ner One
2003 Confidence Travis
2004 Breakin' All the Rules Evan Fields
Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid Gordon Mitchell
Ladder 49 Tommy Drake
2005 The Cave 'Top' Buchanan
2007 The Game Plan Travis Sanders
The Perfect Holiday Benjamin
2009 Not Easily Broken Dave Johnson
Love in the Nick of Tyme Marcelles Wynters Video
2012 Think Like a Man James Merrill
2013 Identity Thief Detective Reilly
The Call Officer Phillips
Kick-Ass 2 Detective Marcus Williams
The Best Man Holiday Lance Sullivan
2015 The Perfect Guy Dave
Heist Derrick 'Dog' Prince
2016 When the Bough Breaks John Taylor
2017 Girls Trip Himself


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Freddy's Nightmares Jason Woodman Episode: "A Family Affair"
1992 In the Line of Duty: Street War Prince Franklin TV movie
1992–93 Out All Night Jeff Carswell Main cast
1993 The Ernest Green Story Ernest Green TV movie
1994 Living Single Hamilton Brown 2 episodes
1997–98 C-16: FBI Special Agent Mal Robinson Main cast
2000 ER ICU Nurse Frank 'Rambo' Bacon 2 episodes
2001 The Killing Yard Shango TV movie
2005 Bones Agent Oakes Episode: "The Man in the Wall"
Dante Dante TV movie
2008 The Prince of Motor City Leo Moore TV movie
2009–11 V Ryan Nichols Main cast
2011 American Horror Story Luke Recurring cast (season 1)
2013 American Dad! Craig (voice) Episode: "For Black Eyes Only"
2013–14 Nurse Jackie Dr. Prentiss Main cast (season 5–6)
2014–15 Legends Tony Rice Main cast (season 1), guest (season 2)
2015–17 Rosewood Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr. Main cast
2018 Goliath Deputy District Attorney Hakeem Rashad Main cast (season 2)
2019 Being Mary Jane Beau Mercer Episode: "Becoming Pauletta"
The Enemy Within FBI Agent Will Keaton Main cast
2019–21 The Resident Dr. Barrett Cain Main cast (season 3–4), Recurring cast (season 5)
2021 Our Kind of People Raymond Dupont Main cast
TBA The Best Man: The Final Chapters Lance Sullivan Main cast

Theatrical performances[edit]

  • Love In The Nick of Tyme (2007)
  • What My Husband Doesn't Know (2011)
  • The Nutcracker (2013)

Published work[edit]

  • Chestnut, Morris (2017). The Cut: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days and Sculpt Your Best Body. Hachette Book Group, Inc. ISBN 978-1455565238.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome
2000 NAACP Image Award NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture The Best Man Nominated
2014 Acapulco Black Film Festival Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Acting Ensemble The Best Man Holiday Won
Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Actor Nominated
NAACP Image Award NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
NAACP Image Award NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nurse Jackie Won
2016 NAACP Image Award NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Rosewood Nominated


  1. ^ "Today's Birthdays". Toledo Blade. January 1, 2004. p. D3.
  2. ^ "Morris Chestnut". Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Perlman, Cindy (March 18, 2001). "Morris Chestnut shows his sensitive side in 'The Brothers'". Record-Journal. pp. F1, F6.
  4. ^ Kiesewetter, John (October 24, 1992). "'Boyz' star success on TV comedy". Sun Journal. p. 14.
  5. ^ Longeretta, Emily (March 23, 2022). "Morris Chestnut Reflects on Surviving and Thriving Three Decades in the Business: 'In Hollywood, There's No Blueprint'". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  6. ^ Walentis, Al (July 16, 1991). "'Boyz N the Hood' an auspicious debut". Reading Eagle. p. 11.
  7. ^ Wood, Bret (January 16, 1993). "'Out All Night' has LaBelle and much more". The Dispatch. p. 2.
  8. ^ Terrace, Vincent. Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2007 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2008), p.331.
  9. ^ Carr, Jay (October 30, 1999). "A celebration of friendship". Toledo Blade. p. 6.
  10. ^ "NAACP announces Image Award nominees". The Michigan Daily. December 2, 1999. p. 13B.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 23, 2001). "It's All About the Characters". Lakeland Ledger. p. 4.
  12. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (September 8, 2001). "Comedy plays up game between sexes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. C-7.
  13. ^ Rickey, Carrie (July 2, 2002). "Charismatic Bow Wow goes hoop-hop in 'Like Mike'". Daily News. p. 4B.
  14. ^ Monush, Barry; Willis, John (April 2006). Screen World: 2005 Film Annual. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 134. ISBN 9781557836670.
  15. ^ Holden, Stephen (July 17, 1995). "Once again, Seagal on the spot to save world". The Spokesman-Review. p. C5.
  16. ^ Cherry, Nanciann (November 15, 2002). "Seagal entertains with strong cast, lots of action". Toledo Blade. p. E4.
  17. ^ Gilbert, Matthew (April 11, 2013). "'Nurse Jackie': Every step she takes". Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  18. ^ "NAACP Image Awards: Beyonce, John Legend Win Top Music Honors". Billboard. February 23, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  19. ^ "The Weeknd, Jussie Smollett Among People's Sexiest Men of the Year - Music News - ABC News Radio". ABC News Radio. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  20. ^ Jack, Fisher (2017-04-18). "Morris Chestnut and Obi Obadike's 'The Cut: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days". EURweb. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  21. ^ Couch, Aaron; Washington, Arlene (February 22, 2014). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  22. ^ Perigard, Mark (September 23, 2015). "Poor diagnosis: Morris Chestnut plays crime-solving pathologist in 'Rosewood'". Boston Herald. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  23. ^ "'Straight Outta Compton,' 'Empire,' Michael B. Jordan Top NAACP Image Awards". Variety. February 5, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 17, 2021). "Morris Chestnut to Star in Lee Daniels' 'Our Kind of People' for Fox". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  25. ^ Carvajal, Edduin (2019-01-29). "Morris Chestnut's grown-up son shows off his shirtless body, posing by the sea in recent photos". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  26. ^ GRAHAM, CHANEL (January 6, 2009). "Making Marriage Work". Christianity Today. Retrieved June 6, 2019. Chestnut: I was raised in a Baptist church, so I've always been strong in my faith.
  27. ^ "Morris Chestnut gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". KTTV. 23 March 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2022 – via Fox News affiliates.

External links[edit]