Don Cheadle Scheduled to Bring the First Black Millionaire Back To Life
BY SUSAN JOHNES
Don Cheadle is bringing the life of another historical figure to the big screen. The 52-year-old actor has acquired the film and TV rights to Shane White’s 2015 book Prince of Darkness, which chronicles the untold story of Wall Street’s first black millionaire, Jeremiah G. Hamilton.
The story revolves around the rising to prominence of a black broker who after leaving Haiti in 1828, defied the odds during the mid-19th century to become a mogul in New York’s business world.
During Hamilton years as an entrepreneur, he would own railroad stock in trains that were legally barred.
Additionally, he acquired ships, bought, and sold real estate. At the time of his death in 1875, Hamilton’s estate was worth an estimated $2 million, becoming the richest non-white man in the country.
Hamilton broke both customs and laws by marrying a white woman. Besides, he bought a mansion in New Jersey and bought railroad stocks. Hamilton’s biopic production details will be announced at a later date.
The project will mark the latest biographical film role for Cheadle. However, it is not the first time that he is making an appearance on the screen. Previously, he portrayed Rwandan humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina and street hoops legend Earl Manigault.
Cheadle’s acting role began when he entered the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, in 1982. He received a rigorous education in classic theater, and by the time he graduated he found work immediately on television.
Cheadle has won awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. Following his memorable appearance in Boogie Nights, Cheadle won his first Golden Globe Award for his work in the TV film The Rat Pack as Sammy Davis Jr.
His work on “House of Lies,” also earned him multiple Emmy nominations for Lead Actor in a Comedy. In 2015, he returned to the superhero genre with his appearance in Avengers, Age of Ultron.
Cheadle’s roles in film and television became more varied as his exposure grew. He has enjoyed a prominent role in the drama traffic, comedy and action movies.
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