Don Cheadle was nominated for an Oscar as the heroic hotel manager who sheltered refugees in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda. Cheadle was already one of the busiest character actors of his era, appearing in movies such as Boogie Nights (1997, with Mark Wahlberg), Bulworth (1998, with Warren Beatty), Traffic (2000, with Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Swordfish (2001, with John Travolta). Cheadle started out in television in the early 1980s, picking up a regular role (1993-95) as district attorney John Littleton in the series Picket Fences. His breakout movie role was as the hair-trigger chum Mouse in the Denzel Washington film Devil in a Blue Dress (1995). Handsome, thoughtful and intense, he began working his way toward leading roles as the 21st century arrived. He has worked with director Steven Soderbergh on the films Out of Sight (1998), Traffic (2000), Ocean's Eleven (2001, with George Clooney), and the sequels Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). His other films include Hamburger Hill (1987), Boogie Nights (1997, with Mark Wahlberg), Hotel Rwanda (2004, with Nick Nolte), and the 9/11 drama Reign Over Me (2007, with Adam Sandler. Cheadle had a turn at series television in 2012, with the cable show House of Lies (co-starring Kristen Bell).
Cheadle played Sammy Davis, Jr. in the 1998 TV movie The Rat Pack. Ray Liotta played Sinatra… Since Hotel Rwanda, Cheadle has been an activist against African genocide; with John Prendergast he co-authored the 2007 book Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond… Cheadle has two daughters with his longtime companion, actress Brigid Coulter: Ayana (b. 1994) and Imani (b. 1996).