|Birth Date||April 24, 1964|
|Birth Place||Cotonou, Benin|
Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He moved to Lyon, France, when he was 13. Hounsou has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model. He has since left his modeling career and has worked on Gladiator by Ridley Scott and Amistad by Steven Spielberg. Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Bénin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He emigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. Soon after arriving in France, Hounsou dropped out of school and became homeless for a time. A chance meeting with a photographer led to Hounsou being introduced to fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who encouraged Hounsou to pursue a modeling career. In 1987, Hounsou became a model and established a career in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1990. Between 1989 and 1991, Hounsou appeared in the music videos for "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" by Janet Jackson, as well as Madonna's Express Yourself. Hounsou's film debut was in the 1990 Sandra Bernhard film Without You I'm Nothing. He had television parts on Beverly Hills, 90210 and ER and a guest starring role on Alias. Hounsou captured a larger role in the science fiction film Stargate.