Morris Lamont Chestnut, Jr. (born January 1, 1969) is an American actor. He first came to attention for his role in the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood. He has appeared in numerous feature films and on television series, including the starring role of pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. in the Fox TV series Rosewood.
Chestnut was born in Cerritos, California, the son of Morris Lamont Chestnut, Sr. and Shirley Chestnut. He graduated from Richard Gahr High School in 1986, and subsequently studied finance and drama at California State University, Northridge.
Chestnut"s first professional acting role was as Jadon in Freddy"s Nightmares: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series, season 2, episode 19 ("A Family Affair"), which aired on February 18, 1990. His first feature film role was as Ricky Baker in Boyz n the Hood (1991). He followed that up with roles in various TV movies. Chestnut also played a role on Patti LaBelle"s short-lived sitcom Out All Night. His career continued to rise steadily with co-starring roles in standard big-budget studio films such as Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) and G.I. Jane (1997). He was also a regular cast member on C-16, in the role of Special Agent Mal Robinson, from 1997 to 1998.
In 1998, he won the annual Madden Bowl video game competition. In 1999, Chestnut starred in The Best Man with Taye Diggs and Nia Long, as a professional football player on the eve of his wedding. The Best Man earned positive reviews from the press and did well at the box office. For his performance Chestnut earned an NAACP Image Award nomination. He again played a football player in The Game Plan (2007). In 2001, he starred in The Brothers, a film centering on the themes of fidelity and success among young professionals. In 2004, he appeared as a firefighter in Ladder 49.
He has worked with Steven Seagal three times. In Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), Chestnut is Seagal"s reluctant partner. In both Half Past Dead (2002) and Prince of Pistols (2008), he co-stars as the main villain.