Who is Kenn Whitaker? Untangling the Story of Forest Whitaker’s Twin Brother

Who is Kenn Whitaker? Untangling the Story of Forest Whitaker’s Twin Brother

Forest Whitaker is undoubtedly one of the most acclaimed American actors working today. With an Academy Award and over 50 acting credits to his name, he has played some truly iconic roles over his decades-long career. 

However, few people realize that Forest has an equally talented twin brother named Kenn Whitaker who works behind the scenes in Hollywood.

An Introduction to Kenn Whitaker

Kenn Whitaker was born just minutes after his fraternal twin brother Forest on July 15, 1961 in Longview, Texas. The family which included two older brothers, moved around Texas frequently before settling down in Carson, California. Both Kenn and Forest excelled at football and music from a young age and shared creative interests like acting.

After graduating from Palisades Charter High School, Kenn attended California State Polytechnic University where he played football. However, he was drawn to the film industry and began working on student films. This then developed into a career directing, producing and sometimes acting in both movies and TV shows.

So while his twin brother Forest pursued acting, Kenn Whitaker found his calling behind the camera. But as twins, the two have collaborated closely over the years on various projects.

Confirming That Kenn and Forest Whitaker are Twins

Yes, Kenn Whitaker and Forest Whitaker are absolutely fraternal twins born to parents Forest Jr. and Laura Francis Whitaker (née Smith), just minutes apart on the same day in 1961.

While they look somewhat alike, fraternal twins share only 50% of the same DNA on average unlike identical twins. Still, the similarities between the two are clear in their creative talents and interests in the entertainment industry.

Kenn Whitaker Age and Early Life

As Forest Whitaker’s twin, Kenn Whitaker’s age is exactly the same – 62 years old as of 2023. He was born and raised alongside his famous brother as one of four boys in the Whitaker family.

Growing up, Kenn excelled at sports and music just like Forest. He played guitar and sang well enough that he was offered a scholarship. But ultimately, his passion for filmmaking won out.

Kenn Whitaker Siblings

  • Brother: Academy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker
  • Brothers: Two older brothers named Damon Whitaker and Ocean Alexander Whitaker
  • Sister: 1 younger sister named Monique Whitaker

So in total, there were four Whitaker siblings – 3 brothers and 1 sister – with Kenn and Forest fraternal twins in the mix as the two middle children.

What Kenn Whitaker Does for a Living

Unlike his globally renowned actor twin Forest, Kenn Whitaker chose to work primarily behind the scenes in Hollywood. He started out studying Film and Television Production in college before dropping out to get real industry experience.

Over the years, Kenn has:

  • Directed movies and TV shows
  • Produced various films and documentaries
  • Founded his own production company call Significant Productions
  • Played minor acting roles here and there

He often collaborates professionally with his brother Forest, directing or producing projects that Forest is starring in. However, Kenn is a very private person and doesn’t seek out the spotlight like his celebrity twin.

Kenn Whitaker Movies and TV Shows

Kenn Whitaker Movies and TV Shows

Kenn isn’t an actor like his brother Forest Whitaker. However, he has occasionally played minor acting roles over the years in:

  • Strapped (TV Movie in 1993)
  • The Kenn Walker Show (Short in 2003)
  • Black Nativity (in 2013 with Forest)

However, Kenn’s real work has been directing, producing and writing behind the scenes. Some projects with is brother Forest’s involvement include:

  • Hope (Short in 1993)
  • Sunday in Paris (Short in 1994)
  • It’s Nothing Personal (TV movie in 1993 which Kenn directed)
  • Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (TV Series in 1995 where Kenn directed an episode)
  • First Daughter (in 1999 where Kenn was a co-producer)
  • American Gun (in 2005 where Kenn was an associate producer)

And many more both with and without Forest over the past 30+ years working in Hollywood.

Kenn Whitaker Net Worth

There isn’t publicly available data on Kenn Whitaker’s exact net worth. However, having worked consistently behind the scenes in Hollywood for over 30 years along with owning his own production company, his estimated net worth is likely in the low millions.

Certainly, it’s fair to assume Kenn earns a comfortable living working both with his brother as well as independently on films and TV shows over his long career. However, Kenn tends to eschew the spotlight and live very privately, unlike his hugely famous twin Forest.

Fun Facts About Kenn Whitaker

While Kenn Whitaker tends to shy away from publicity unlike his celebrity twin brother Forest, here are some tidbits about him you may not know:

  • Kenn and Forest have matching tattoos of their fraternal twin bond
  • Kenn is said to have helped Forest learn to play the guitar as teenagers
  • Behind the scenes, Kenn has helped Forest prepare for major acting roles like The Last King of Scotland
  • Like Forest, Kenn is also heavily involved in various charitable organizations and activism
  • Kenn focuses more on local charities out of the public eye rather than global initiatives

So while the famous Whitaker twin has made his mark in front of the screen, the two siblings clearly share a close bond with Forest’s early career being bolstered behind the scenes by his supportive twin brother Kenn.


In summary, Kenn Whitaker is the lesser-known fraternal twin brother of Hollywood star Forest Whitaker. While Forest pursued acting and achieved major stardom and acclaim, Kenn has had success working behind the camera directing, producing and writing both with and without his famous brother’s involvement.

With a career spanning over 30 years in Hollywood backed by his own production company, Kenn Whitaker has an understated yet impressive resume across both film and television. And as the twin of an Academy Award winner, Kenn has certainly made the most of that genetic link to find his own career niche in the entertainment industry.

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