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Michael Jai White was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 10, 1967.
White is an American actor famous for his skill as a martial artist. He has directed films as well and holds the distinction of being the first African American to play the role of a comic book superhero.
Michael Jai White played the title character in the 1997 superhero movie 'Spawn' where he starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist. Interestingly, White had a small part in the movie 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze' in the early part of his career. White has learned most of the popular martial arts like Goju-Ryu, Taekwondo, Wushu, Jiujitsu, Kyokushin, and many more.
White's breakthrough performance was in the HBO television film 'Tyson' in 1995, where he portrayed Mike Tyson, a boxer. In the past 15 years, he gained popularity by playing the title role in the parody film 'Black Dynamite' in 2009, as well as playing a role in the animated series of the same name. Some of White's other popular roles are as Jax Briggs in the web series 'Mortal Kombat: Legacy' and as Teague in 'Métal Hurlant Chronicles'.
As a director, audiences got to know him better when his directorial debut feature, 'Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown' came out in 2011; he also featured in the movie.
The action star was also seen as Seth in 'Universal Soldier: The Return' in 1999, and he has also given his voice to Green Lantern in the video game 'Justice League Heroes'. Michael Jai White has been featured in several music videos over the years, associating with artists like Toni Braxton, Busta Rhymes, Nicki Minaj, and Calvin Harris.
Actor Michael Jai White has an estimated net worth of $3.5-5 million. He has amassed a great net worth through his highly successful TV shows and action movies.
Though not officially revealed, his estimated earnings per year are $500,000.
Michael Jai White stands at the height of 6 ft 1 in (185 cm).
Michael Jai White is 54 years old as of 2021.
The martial artist was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 10, 1967. While there's no information on his family or siblings, it is known that the action star is trained in nine different styles of martial arts such as Taekwondo, Wushu, Kyokushin, Shōtōkan, Kobudō, Goju-Ryu, Tang Soo Do, Jiujitsu, and boxing. Michael Jai White started training in Jiujitsu at the age of four and now specializes in Kyokushin Karate. With age, he also started training in other styles.
When he was a teenager, he moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, and went to Central High School, from where he graduated in 1985. After graduating high school, White decided to pursue higher education and attended Southern Connecticut State University. He earned a degree from the university in the late '80s. Michael Jai White began working by the time he was 14 years old. White actively participated in a lot of competitions as a street fighter since his teenage years. Another aspect of White is his passion for the teaching profession. He formerly taught special education to students who would struggle with behavioral problems. Michael Jai White taught for three years before pursuing his acting career.
White married his former wife Courtenay Chatman in 2005. The couple split in 2011 and have a daughter named Morgan and two sons together.
White got engaged to actress Gillian Iliana Waters in February 2014. In July 2015, in Thailand, the couple tied the knot. White has famously shared a post on Facebook where he has since apologized to his previous partners and credited Waters for making him a better person and understanding himself better.
One of the most noted roles, which some consider to be pathbreaking, was his portrayal of the main character in 'Spawn', the 1997 superhero movie. This became the first time an African-American actor got to play a comic book superhero in a major motion picture with a high budget. Although his first breakthrough was playing Mike Tyson in the 1995 film 'Tyson', inspired by heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson's life, his acting in 'Spawn' is still more talked about. White was later nominated for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for his work in 'Spawn'. Michael Jai White has also worked with action star Steven Seagal in 'Exit Wounds' in 2001, in 'Universal Soldier: The Return' with action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme, and starred opposite Jerry Trimble in 'Full Contact' in 1993.
The martial artist has also been seen in a number of music videos. He has collaborated with singers Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey in 2003 for their music video 'I Know What You Want'. Later in 2010, he was seen in music videos with Nicki Minaj and Toni Braxton. Michael Jai White has also done voice work for the American animated series 'Justice League' and 'Static Shock' in 2003. White has had a successful association with actor and director Tyler Perry. The Tyler Perry-directed features, 'Why Did I Get Married?' and its sequel 'Why Did I Get Married Too?' garnered huge collections at the box office, while White's performances were well appreciated.
Another noticeable role for White was in the 2008 super hit 'The Dark Knight', where he was seen as the character of a mob boss named Gambol. White writes scripts as well and has written the scripts for both his movies '3 Bullets' and 'Black Dynamite'.
Michael Jai White has played the role of Jax Briggs in Kevin Tancharoen's short film 'Mortal Kombat: Rebirth'. He retook the role in its sequel, the web series 'Mortal Kombat: Legacy'. Over the years White has gained more popularity with his movie 'Welcome To Sudden Death', which came out on Netflix in October 2020. The film was watched by many and became one of the most-watched movies on Netflix. The movie was a remake of the 1995 movie 'Sudden Death' starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, which was produced by Universal Pictures. Though White is primarily a martial artist and likes directing movies, he also has plans to build a movie studio called Jaigantic Studios in New Haven, Connecticut. His vision is to create a studio where action movies can be made with the latest sets and technologies.
At the Urban Action Showcase & Expo in 2014, White was conferred with the Fists of Legends Decade Award. White earned The Mantle of The Black Dragon at the 2019 Urban Action Showcase & Expo, held in November. The award was previously given to legends like Cynthia Rothrock, Taimak, Ron van Clief, and Don Wilson.
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