Ice Cube PhotoBORN: June 15, 1969

L.A.-born African American musician and actor Ice Cube rose to prominence as the lead singer of two popular rap groups: N.W.A. and the Lynch Mob. In 1991, the incredibly successful rapper was cast by director John Singleton in the pivotal and brilliantly-essayed role of cynical ex-con Doughboy in Singleton's debut feature, Boyz 'N the Hood (1992) (the film's title was taken from Cube's best-selling 1986 album). Cube's acclaimed crossover from music to film paved the way for future acting assignments; in addition to starring in Singleton's Higher Learning (1995), he did particularly strong work in Charles Burnett's acclaimed The Glass Shield (1994) and in David O. Russell's Three Kings (1999), the latter of which cast him as an American serviceman in Iraq during the aftermath of the Gulf War. In addition to acting, Cube has served as a producer on a number of projects, and he made his directing debut with The Players Club (1998), a comedy about a young African American single mother who takes a job at a strip club to make ends meet. -- Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide