theGrio’s 100: Michael B. Jordan, leading man of Hollywood’s new generation

theGRIO's 100 - Michael B. Jordan had a breakout year in Hollywood starring in the critically acclaimed film ‘Fruitvale Station,' and he's just getting started...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Who is Michael B. Jordan?

Micheal B. Jordan, 26, was born in Santa Ana, California, attended Newark Arts High School in Newark, NJ, where he played basketball.

Jordan began his career modeling for Modell’s sporting goods, and later Toys “R” Us. In 1999, at the age of 12, Jordan got his big break starring in a recurring role in the CBS comedy Cosby. Years later he made appearances in The Sopranos, All My Children and played a small but pivotal role of Wallace on the first season of HBO’s The Wire. In 2012, Jordan appeared in George Lucas’ WWII epic Red Tails.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

In 2013 Michael B. Jordan grabbed the attention of Hollywood film critics with his starring role as shooting victim Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station, directed by Ryan Coogler. His performance in the film earned him a Hollywood Spotlight Award, Gotham Award, and breakthrough actor award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter went as far as dubbing Jordan “a young Denzel Washington.” 

In an interview last year with theGrio, Jordan opened up about his role in Fruitvale Station and discussed the importance of being a role model for young men.

“We need more men in our kids’ lives,” says the actor. “Most of our dads are locked up. They’re not around. A lot of the women are taking care of the kids and they need help. It’s a different thing, especially for young males. It’s imperative for them to have the father figure in their life, and if they don’t have that, I think it’s more likely for certain stereotypes in certain situations to keep repeating themselves.”

What’s next for Jordan?

Up next Jordan will star alongside Zac Efron in the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment. He recently joined the cast of Josh Boone’s Pretenders, and is also reportedly slated to portray the grandson of Apollo Creed in the Rocky spin-off Creed with his Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and Sylvester Stallone.

Follow Michael B. Jordan on Twitter @michaelb4jordan