Actor Don Cheadle has been a leading man in Hollywood for a long time. He’s had star turns in hit films like “Out of Sight,” “Traffic,” and “Iron Man 2.” However, what truly makes him a leading man is his effort to shine a light on the charitable causes around the world. Not only is Cheadle an Oscar-nominated actor and producer, he’s a humanitarian who uses his platform in the entertainment industry to bring aid and awareness to the genocide happening in Darfur.
Don Cheadle first began his humanitarian efforts in Darfur when he began doing research for his role in the film “Hotel Rwanda.” The film set during the Rwandan Genocide brought the harsh reality of impoverished Africans right before his own eyes. Seeing the desperate need for food, clean water and other basic amenities, Don Cheadle became an activist fighting to make a difference in the war-torn country. Researching his role for “Hotel Rwanda” moved him so much, he put everything he had into that role and it earned him an Academy Award nomination, but the nomination didn’t mean as much to him as helping those in Darfur.
Since 2004, Don Cheadle has dedicated plenty of time and effort in raising money for the people of Darfur. He wrote a book in 2007 called “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond” which he co-authored with John Prendergast. The pair’s first book did so well, they were commissioned to write a second book in 2010 titled “The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes.” Also in that year, he was named the United Nations’ Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador and has continued to hold on to that position.
Don Cheadle is a leading man because he uses his talent to help others. While many celebrities use their fame to help themselves change their financial situation, a true leading man will use his talents to help and teach those around him.