Morris Chestnut is an American actor best known for his roles as teenage father Ricky Baker in the 1991 film Boyz N the Hood, groom-to-be Lance Sullivan in the 1999 film The Best Man, as Tracy Reynolds, NBA star in the 2002 film Like Mike, and as the Visitor Ryan in the science fiction television series V, from 2009-2011.
Chestnut first garnered audience attention as Ricky in the critically-acclaimed Boyz N the Hood, a role in which he portrayed a high school running back using his football skills to escape his South Central Los Angeles neighbourhood.
He followed that with a challenging lead role as one of the Arkansas Nine high school students in the civil rights television drama, The Ernest Green Story.
Those two pivotal roles led Chestnut to roles in such feature films as Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, G. I. Jane and Half Past Dead.
His career has steadily continued with appearances in numerous romantic comedies, including The Brothers, Two Can Play That Game, Breakin' All the Rules and The Best Man, for which he received an NAACP nomination.
He was also seen in Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid and the highly-regarded Ladder 49 for director Jay Russell.
A Los Angeles native, Chestnut spent time in the banking industry following high school. His career in finance included stints as a teller.
It was during junior college in Long Beach that he saw a friend in a play, which sparked his interest in the performing arts. The following semester he took courses in acting and began to earnestly pursue the profession.
He studied in the Marla Gibbs Acting School in Hollywood, landed an agent and started auditioning for such television shows as A Different World and Freddie's Nightmares, as well as for independent films.
Following his seminal role in Boyz N the Hood, Chestnut landed a role in the sitcom Out All Night, starring Patti LaBelle, and appeared in commercials for such companies as McDonald's and Champs Sporting Goods.
Chestnut was seen in the No. 1 box office comedy hit, The Game Plan, opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
He also starred in the romantic comedy feature The Perfect Holiday, opposite Queen Latifah and Gabrielle Union, and completed filming Not Easily Broken, opposite Jennifer Lewis and Taraji Henson, on which he also served as producer.