Jani Toivola

Jani Toivola

In 2011, Jani Toivola was voted a Member of the Finnish Parliament making him the first black, gay member.

Jani Toivola
Jani Toivola

The son of a Finnish mother and Kenyan father, he studied in HB Acting Studio, New York in 1999–2002. He was also the first black actor of note.

He’s been the host of ‘Idol’, Finland’s version of American Idol, a contestant on Finland’s version of Dancing With the Stars, and he’s been a spokesman for the Finnish Tourist Board, explaining what’s cool about Finland. He starred in ‘Heart Of A Lion’, a story about a local skinhead honcho, Teppo (Peter Franzén), who falls fast and hard for the beautiful, blond Sari (Laura Birn). The problem — she has a biracial young son named Rahmu (Yusufa Sidibeh) and an ex (Jani Toivola) who stops by often to see his son.

You can learn more about him on his official website and learn more about his story in this interview with PRI.

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong'o

Kenyan/Mexican Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o has, as of this posting, won 25 awards! Talk about a breakout artist. Nyong’o is the first Kenyan actress and the first Mexican actress to win an Academy Award.

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita has been a production assistant on ‘The Constant Gardener’, ‘The Namesake’, ‘Where God Left His Shoes’, ‘In My Genes’, and the music video, ‘The Little Things You Do’.  She was Maz Kanta in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and is, as of this writing, working on ‘The Queen of Katwe’, ‘The Jungle Book’, and ‘Star Wars Episode VIII’.

She has also been on the cover or featured in several magazines including Vogue, Dazed and Confused, New York Magazine, and InStyle Magazine, to name a few. In 2014, she was named “The Most Beautiful Woman” by People and “Woman of the Year” by Glamour.

In 2014, she was chosen as one of the faces for Miu Miu’s Spring 2014 campaign and has been a regular on Harper’s Bazaar’s Derek Blasberg’s Best Dressed List since Autumn 2013.  To keep up with her extensive interviews, modeling gigs and movies, become a fan on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and Instagram and keep up with her movies on IMDB.

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

American James Earl Jones was a stutterer who overcame his stutter to become the memorable voice in the ‘Star Wars‘ series.  In a career of more than 60 years became known as “one of America’s most distinguished and versatile” actors and “one of the greatest actors in American history.”

James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones

Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has won many awards, including a Tony Award and Golden Globe Award for his role in ‘The Great White Hope’. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1991, and he also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the film version of ‘The Great White Hope’. He is also known for his voice roles as Darth Vader in the ‘Star Wars’ film series, and Mufasa in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ as well as many other film, stage, and television roles.

As a child Jones had a stutter. In his episode of ‘Biography’, he said he overcame the affliction through poetry, public speaking, and acting, although it lasted for several years. A pre-med major in college, he went on to serve in the United States Army during the Korean War, before pursuing a career in acting.

On November 12, 2011, he received an Honorary Academy Award.