Answer: Denzel Washington
Washington, born on December 28th, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York was cast as Herman Boone. Mr. Boone was an African American man who was hired to be the new coach for a high school in Virginia. Herman realized that he would have a team of both black and white players since the school had just been integrated. Nevertheless, he worked hard to get the players to work together and respect one another, despite the racist views of that time. Boone was a strict, no nonsense coach who had a rigorous schedule for practices. In one scene, he took the players to the fields of where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought and told them there that they needed to stick together or they would fail. At the end of the movie, Coach Yoast (who Herman succeeded as the football coach) told Coach Boone he was very proud of what he did with the boys.
Washington starred in the movies, "Man on Fire", "Mo' Better Blues" and "Philadelphia". In 2002, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the movie, "Training Day", becoming just the second African American to win an Oscar in that category (the first being Sidney Poitier). Other Oscar nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role that year were Russell Crowe for "A Beautiful Mind", Will Smith for "Ali", Sean Penn for "I Am Sam" and Tom Wilkinson for "In the Bedroom".