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African-American Breakout Roles vs. Now

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Cuba Gooding, Jr. Then

Cuba Gooding, Jr. initially studied Japanese martial arts before he started his acting career. In the 1980s, he appeared in many TV shows merely as a guest star, but his first major appearance was in the 1991 movie “Boyz n the Hood.” The movie was a major hit, and led to many other movie roles such as “Lightning Jack” and “Men of Honor.” Gooding also received an Oscar in 1996 for his role in "Jerry Maguire." —XFINITY Entertainment Staff

(Ron Galella, Ltd./ WireImage/ Getty Images)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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