40 famous black male actors every cinephile should know about

40 famous black male actors every cinephile should know about

The Hollywood entertainment scene has numerous male actors whose acting talent and prowess cannot be disputed. They are all extraordinarily gifted, and some have been in the industry for many decades. Take a look at some of Hollywood's most well-known black male actors.

black male actors
Famous black male actors every cinephile should know about. Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
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Black actors have persevered and demonstrated that they possess the requisite qualities and skills to thrive in the industry. This list of black male actors includes actors from a variety of countries who have reached distinct milestones in various genres and decades of film and television shows.

Who are the top 40 famous black male actors?

These top African American actors are among the best, with several of them also being among the best living performers today. Furthermore, some have received multiple honours over the years

Black actors over 60

Even though some of these famous celebrities are in their later years, they continue to feature in films and television shows. The following is a list of famous black actors above the age of 60.

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10. James Earl Jones (90 years)

black male actors
James Earl Jones accepts the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Photo: Theo Wargo
Source: Getty Images

Born on 17 January 193, James Earl Jones has been renowned as one of the best actors in American history. He made his debut on screen in 1952 when he appeared as Dr Jim Frazier in the series Guiding Light.

During his career, James has won 28 different awards. In 2019, he voiced Mufasa in The Lion King's hit animated film.

9. Morgan Freeman (84 years)

black male actors
Morgan Freeman speaks onstage during the 51st NAACP Image Awards, Presented by BET, at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. Photo: Aaron J. Thornton
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Morgan Freeman is a famous Hollywood actor who has been in the industry for more than five decades. He rose to fame in the 1970s for his role in the television series The Electric Company.

However, he is best known for his appearances in many well-regarded motion pictures, including Driving Miss Daisy, Lean on Me, and Glory. He has won 64 different awards and one Oscar award.

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8. Bill Cosby (84 years)

famous black actors
Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo
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Bill Cosby is a legendary American stand-up comedian that doubles up as an actor and author. Bill is globally famous for the NBC sitcom television series The Bill Cosby Show that ran for 8 seasons (1984-1992).

The 84-year-old celebrity made his debut in 1965, Spy Espionage. He also ventured into singing, producing his Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings. Bill Cosby is considered one of the most famous old black actors in the industry.

7. Danny Glover (75 years)

black movie stars
Danny Glover attends celebration of Governor Newsom signing $50 million financial relief for small performing arts organizations at Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth
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Danny Glover is a 75-year-old film director and political activist. He is widely known for his lead role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series.

He also had leading roles in films such as Beyond the Lights (2014), Sorry to Bother You (2018), The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019), The Dead Don't Die (2019) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).

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6. Samuel L. Jackson (73 years)

black actors over 60
Samuel L. Jackson attends The Last Full Measure Atlanta red carpet screening at SCADshow in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Paras Griffin
Source: Getty Images

Samuel Jackson is among the most famous black movie stars who have been in the industry for 50 decades now. He has appeared in most popular films and series like Coming to America (1988), S.W.A.T. (2003) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

5. Denzel Washington (67 years)

black movie stars
Denzel Washington attends the Los Angeles premiere of A24's "The Tragedy Of Macbeth" at the DGA Theater Complex in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez
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Denzel has been recognized for his extraordinary talent multiple times. He has been in the acting scene for over four decades and has acted in over 60 movies and TV shows.

He has won a Tony Award, three Golden Globes, seventeen NAACP Image Awards, and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor.

4. Dennis Haysbert (67 years)

popular black actors
Dennis Haysbert poses in front of a message board on the first tee during the pro-am ahead of the Zozo Championships in Thousand Oaks, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian
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Dennis Haysbert is one of the most talented voice actors in Hollywood. His excellence and deep, resonant voice are witnessed in numerous films, stages, and TV productions.

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He has starred as a secret service agent, Tim Collin in Absolute Power, Sergeant Major Jonas Blane in The Unit, and President David Palmer in 24 (the first five seasons).

3. Laurence Fishburne (60 years)

black actors over 60
Pictured Laurence Fishburne. Photo: Jesse Grant
Source: Getty Images

Laurence John Fishburne has been critically hailed for his films' forceful, militant, and authoritative characters. He has appeared in films and series like Black-ish, History's Greatest Mysteries, and Year Million, where he was the narrator.

2. Forest Whitaker (60 years)

famous black male actors
Forest Whitaker attends the 2021 Gotham Awards Presented By The Gotham Film & Media Institute at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Photo: Dia Dipasupil
Source: Getty Images

Forest Whitaker's first acting role was in 1982 in the television series Making the Grade. Since his debut, he has appeared in more than 100 films and TV series. His recent roles include August Bolo in Extrapolations, Ellsworth 'Bumpy' Johnson in Godfather of Harlem, and C. L. Franklin in Respect.

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1. Eddie Murphy (60 years)

popular black actors
Eddie Murphy, the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Photo: Michael Kovac
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Eddie rose to fame on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, for which he was a regular cast member from 1980 to 1984.

At age 21, Murphy co-starred with Nick Nolte in 48 Hours, and he went on to star in Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, The Nutty Professor, and Shrek.

Black actors in their 50's and 40's

Below are actors who are in their 50's and 40's and still impress their fans with their acting skills.

20. Wesley Snipes (59 years)

black movie stars
Wesley Snipes attends the premiere of Amazon's "The Tomorrow War" at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Frazer Harrison
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Wesley is an American actor, film producer, and martial artist. His prominent film roles include New Jack City (1991), White Men Can't Jump (1992), and The Expendables 3 (2014). He has appeared in a total of 70 films and series.

19. Andre Braugher (59 years)

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40 famous black male actors every cinephile should know about
The Last Day, Part 2 Episode 810. Andre Braugher as Ray Holt. Photo: John P. Fleenor
Source: Getty Images

Andre Braugher is best known for his current role as the stoic Captain Raymond Holt on the Brooklyn Nine-Nine television show.

He made his acting debut in the 1989 movie Glory. Andre has acted alongside stars such as Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick.

18. Djimon Hounsou (57 years)

african american actors
Djimon Hounsou attends The King's Man New York Gala Screening on December 13, 2021, in New York City. Photo: Arturo Holmes
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Djimon Gaston Hounsou is a Beninese-American actor and model. He began his career appearing in music videos. He made his film debut in Without You I'm Nothing (1990) and earned widespread recognition for his role as Cinqué in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad (1997).

17. Don Cheadle (57 years)

popular black actors
Don Cheadle attends the No Sudden Move premiere during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at The Battery in New York City. Photo: Jim Spellman
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Besides acting, Don Cheadle is also a producer, director, and writer best known for his performance in Crash, Hotel Rwanda and Iron Man 2. He made his debut on the big screen in the comedy film Moving Violations in 1985.

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16. Martin Lawrence (56 years)

famous black male actors
Martin Lawrence attends the premiere of BET's "Boomerang" Season 2 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California. Photo: JC Olivera
Source: Getty Images

Martin Lawrence came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor. He got his start playing Maurice Warfield in What's Happening Now!! (1987–1988). After that, he starred in various films and series like Big Momma's House and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.

15. Chris Rock (56 years)

handsome black actors
Chris Rock attends the Inter Miami CF Season Opening Party Hosted By David Grutman and Pharrell Williams at The Goodtime Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Johnny Louis
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Chris Rock began his career as a stand-up comedian and progressed into acting and producing. He has shared screen space with several celebrated Hollywood actors and actresses. He has appeared in at least 68 films and 43 TV shows.

14. Cuba Gooding, Jr. (54 years)

famous black male actors
Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the Ocean Drive Magazine Art Basel cover party at The Ritz Carlton, South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams
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Cuba began acting in 1986 in the TV series Better Days as Bully. He went on to appear in other several series like Hill Street Blues, The Bronx Zoo and Coming to America.

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13. Jamie Foxx (54 years)

handsome black actors
Jamie Foxx attends Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man: No Way Home" Los Angeles Premiere held at The Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Albert L. Ortega
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Born Eric Marlon Bishop, Jamie has been in the entertainment industry since 1990. He is also an established comedian and singer with 84 acting credits under his name. His notable roles include Spider-Man: No Way Home, White Famous and Baby Driver.

12. Morris Chestnut (53 years)

handsome black actors
Morris Chestnut attends the FOX Winter TCA All-Star Party at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena in Pasadena, California. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth
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Morris Chestnut, whose full name is Morris Lamont Chestnut, is an actor and producer born on 1st January 1969 in Cerritos, California, U.S. He has starred in several TV series and films like Our Kind of People (2021), The Resident (2019-2021), and Being Mary Jane (2019).

11. Will Smith (53 years)

popular black actors
Will Smith attends the "Aladdin" European Gala at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London, England. Photo: Karwai Tang
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Will Smith is one of the most celebrities around the globe. He has appeared in iconic movies, which made him famous.

His breakout role was in the comedy-drama Six Degrees of Separation in 1993. Ever since his debut, Will Smith has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, displaying great talent in all.

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10. Bernie Mac (51 years)

famous black male actors
Bernie Mac on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show on ABC. Photo: Jesse Grant/WireImage.com
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Bernie Mac was an American actor and comedian. He rose to prominence as a stand-up comedian and appeared in films and television shows such as Mo Money, Booty Call, Friday, The Players Club among others.

Mac Bernie died on August 9th, 2008, due to pneumonia complications. He also had sarcoidosis, an inflammatory illness of uncertain origin that causes tissue inflammation.

9. Chris Tucker (50 years)

black movie stars
Chris Tucker attends the Thriller Night Halloween Party hosted by Prince Michael Jackson and The Heal Los Angeles Foundation in Encino, California. Photo: Kevin Winter
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Chris Tucker is also known as Christopher Tucker. He is a comedian born in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Chris made his debut as a stand-up performer in the 1990s when he appeared in Friday, The Fifth Element, Money Talks, and Jackie Brown.

8. Idris Elba (49 years)

black movie stars
Idris Elba attends The Harder They Fall World Premiere during the 65th BFI London Film Festival at The Mayfair Hotel in London, England. Photo: Dave J Hogan
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Idrissa Elba is among the most famous black actors from England. He is also a producer and musician. He is known for his role as Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire, DCI John Luther in the BBC One series Luther, and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

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7. Omari Hardwick (48 years)

african american actors
Omari Hardwick at STARZ Madison Square Garden "Power" Season 6 Red Carpet Premiere, Concert, and Party in New York City. Photo: Michael Kovac
Source: Getty Images

Besides acting Omari Hardwick is also a poet, rapper, producer, and podcaster. He is best known for his starring role as James "Ghost" St. Patrick, the protagonist of Starz's Power.

He is also known for his roles in Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls (2010) and as Andre in Being Mary Jane.

6. Michael Ealy (48 years)

black movie stars
Michael Ealy attends the premiere of HBO's "Westworld" Season 3 at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Photo: Axelle
Source: Getty Images

Michael Brown, commonly known as Michael Ealy, was born on the 3rd August 1973 in Washington, D.C., United States of America. Before his breakthrough in the film industry, Ealy was a waiter.

He later joined the theatre in off-Broadway productions, where he appeared in various stage plays. Since his debut, Ealy has appeared in various films and series, currently boasting 57 acting credits under his name.

5. Omar Epps (48 years)

african american actors
Omar Epps attends Power Book III: Raising Kanan global premiere event and screening at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Photo: Jamie McCarthy
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Omar Epps, whose full name is Omar Hashim Epps, was born on 20th July 1973 in Brooklyn, New York, United States.

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Omar has appeared in films and TV series like Power Book III: Raising Kanan, This Is Us, Almost Christmas and Love & Basketball.

4. Sterling K. Brown (45 years)

black male actors
Sterling K. Brown attends NBC's This Is Us Season 6 Red Carpet at Paramount Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Jon Kopaloff
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Sterling K. Brown was born on 5th April 1976, inSt. Louis, Missouri, U.S. Sterling is famous for appearing in films such as This Is Us, I Am Athlete and Black Panther.

He currently has 66 acting credits according to his IMDb.

3. Tyrese Gibson (43 years)

African American actors
Tyrese Gibson attends Universal Pictures' "F9" World Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Photo: Frazer Harrison
Source: Getty Images

Tyrese Gibson is a successful songwriter, singer, and model. His first media debut was a Coca-Cola advertisement in 1994. After that, he worked as a model and acted on various TV shows.

However, he is mostly known for his recurring role in two of the highest-grossing film series: Fast & Furious and Transformers.

2. Chadwick Boseman (43 years)

black actors under 40
Chadwick Boseman attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Photo: Emma McIntyre
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Chadwick Aaron Boseman was an American actor, writer, and director best known for his role as T`Challa in Black Panther. He also played roles such as Jackie Robinson in the movie 42 and the R&B singer James Brown in Get on Up.

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Chadwick was born in Anderson, South Carolina, to Carolyn and Leroy Boseman on November 29, 1976. His dad was an entrepreneur, while his mother worked as a nurse. At the time of his death on 28 August 2020, he had appeared in 34 films and TV shows.

1. Kevin Hart (42 years)

famous black male actors
Kevin Hart attends Netflix's True Story"New York Screening at the Whitby Hotel in New York City. Photo: Mike Coppola
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Kevin Hart is among the most popular black actors, producers, and comedians. His stand-up shows are often awe-inspiring and can only be described as breathtaking.

Hart is a household name in many countries, some of which he has visited on his numerous comedy tours. In addition, he boasts 100 acting credits.

Black actors under 40

Below is a list of actors that are under 40 years old.

5. Donald Glover (38 years)

black actors under 40
Donald Glover arrives at the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Gregg DeGuire
Source: Getty Images

Donald Glover, known by his stage name Childish Gambino, is a rapper, actor, singer, writer, comedian, director, and producer.

Donald rose to fame when he portrayed college student Troy Bames on the television sitcom Community. He has also starred in several films such as The Lazurus Effect, The Martian, and The Lion King as Simba.

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4. Michael B. Jordan (34 years)

black actors under 40
Michael B. Jordan attends the "A Journal For Jordan" World Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City. Photo: Cindy Ord
Source: Getty Images

Jordan is among the fast-rising actors in the entertainment industry. He is known for his film roles as shooting victim Oscar Grant in the drama Fruitvale Station (2013), Boxer Donnie Creed in Creed (2015), and Erik Killmonger in Black Panther (2018).

3. Tyler James Williams (29 years)

black male actors
Tyler James Williams attends the "Abbott Elementary" Premiere at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Photo: Ray Tamarra
Source: Getty Images

Tyler James Williams is an American actor and rapper best known for playing the Chris on Everybody Hates Chris, and Noah on AMC's The Walking Dead.

Tyler began acting in 2000 when he appeared in the TV series Sesame Street. Since then Tyler has appeared in more films and series boasting 37 acting credits.

2. Kelvin Harrison Jr. (27 years)

young black male actors
Kelvin Harrison Jr.attends the UK Premiere of "Cyrano" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London, England. Photo: Karwai Tang
Source: Getty Images

Kelvin Harrison Jr. is an American actor who began acting with minor roles in the 2013 films Ender’s Game and 12 Years a Slave.

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Harrison has starred in several roles, with Luce and Waves's films bringing him widespread attention. He has also been cast in TV shows such as StartUp, Godfather of Harlem, and Shots Fired.

1. Trevor Jackson (25 years)

black male actors
Trevor Jackson visits Build to discuss the TV show "Grown-ish" at Build Studio in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano
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Trevor Howard Lawrence Jackson is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. He is among the most handsome black actors best known for portraying Aaron Jackson on Freeform original series Grown-ish. He has also appeared in Let It Shine, Cold Case, Eureka and Austin & Ally.

Young black male actors

When it comes to acting talent, young black male actors have not been left behind. Some of them have won prestigious prizes and have appeared in a variety of films and television shows. Some of these actors include:

5. Marcus Scribner (22 years)

young black male actors
ABC's "black-ish" stars Marcus Scribner as Andre Johnson Jr. Photo: Dario Calmese
Source: Getty Images

Marcus Scribner was born on 7th January 2000 in Los Angeles, California. At the age of 13, Marcus became famous for starring Andre Johnson Jr. on the sitcom television series Black-ish where he appeared in 165 episodes from 2014 to 2022.

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He has also appeared in Dragons: The Nine Realms, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish.

4. Michael Rainey Jr. (21 years)

black actors under 40
Michael Rainey Jr. at STARZ Madison Square Garden "Power" Season 6 Red Carpet Premiere, Concert, and Party in New York City. Photo: Jamie McCarthy
Source: Getty Images

Michael Rainey Jr. is a young American actor who started his career by appearing in Un Altro Mondo. He has also appeared on reality TV shows such as The Real, Tamron Hall and Made in Hollywood. However, he is popular mostly due to his role on the Starz show Power.

3. McLaughlin (20 years)

black movie stars
Caleb McLaughlin attends 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Leon Bennett
Source: Getty Images

Caleb gained popularity after his role as Lucas Sinclair in the Netflix series Stranger Things. He started acting as a child, with his first-ever role being in an Opera.

He then went on to Broadway, where he played the role of Young Simba in the Lion King. He has been an active actor since 2012 and has featured in several films and television series.

2. Miles Brown (17 years)

young black male actors
Miles Brown attends Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: No Way Home Los Angeles Premiere in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Emma McIntyre
Source: Getty Images

Miles Brown is among the popular young black male actors who have captured the attention of many from his onscreen talent. He was born on 28th October 2004 in Los Angeles. Mile began his career in 2012 when he appeared in the film Battlefield America as Little Rascals Intro Battle Crew.

He is best known for his role in the series Black-ish as Jack Johnson. Miles Brown has also appeared in Drunk History, Goldie and Bear and Mixed-ish.

1. Issac Ryan Brown (16 years)

young black actors
Issac Ryan Brown attends the world premiere of Sony Pictures Animation and Marvel's Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse at The Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, California. Photo: Paul Archuleta
Source: Getty Images

Issac Ryan Brown was born on 12th July 2005 in Detroit, Michigan. Issac first appeared on screen in 2013 as Kip in the series Sam & Cat. He is one of the young black actors to appear in many films and television shows.

He currently has 48 acting credits to his name and some of his recent roles include Gus in the series The Owl House.

The success of the Hollywood film industry is credited to its talented filmmakers, scriptwriters, producers, directors, costume designers, make-up artists, and much more. The list could go on and on, but the following 40 black male actors are among the best in the industry. They have all done a fantastic job in all of the films and series in which they have appeared.

READ ALSO: Richest actor in the world: Top 30 wealthiest stars in 2022

Legit.ng recently published an article on the top 30 wealthiest actors in the world. Most of these actors are known by many. They have been very successful and some have been in the industry for decades.

So what is the net worth of the wealthiest actor in the world? Have a look at this article to find out more.

Source: Legit.ng

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