This is a list of legendary Nollywood actors and actresses in the Nigerian movie industry (dead & alive). Most of them are popular celebrities and veterans, acting films that entertain us on TV. This list features those who started acting from way back and are respected by all who came after them.
Nollywood just like Hollywood is the nomenclature of the Nigerian film industry. Over the years, it has produced various professional actors and actresses that have won awards over the decades and taken the country to the next level.
Although, these actors and actresses comes from various ethnics background. One cannot deny the fact that the audience and fans patronize their movies especially in cinema houses. No wonder these prominent film stars are popular.
- Pete Edochie
Chief Pete Edochie, (born 7 March 1947) is a Nigerian actor. Edochie is considered one of Africa’s most talented actors, being honoured with an Industry Merit Award by Africa Magic and Lifetime Achievement by Africa Film Academy Although a seasoned administrator and broadcaster, he came into prominence in the 1980s when he played the lead role of Okonkwo in an NTA adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s all-time best selling novel, Things Fall Apart. Edochie descends from the Igbo land in Nigeria and is a Catholic. In 2003, he was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Niger by President Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2018, he stared in Lionheart which is one of the highest earning movies in Nigeria.
- Nkem Owoh
Nkem Owoh is a Nigerian actor and comedian. In 2008 he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Owoh featured in the 2003 film Osuofia in London. He is also known for performing the song “I Go Chop Your Dollar” about advance fee fraud. The song was featured in the film The Master in which Owoh plays a scammer. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission banned the song.
- John Okafor
John Okafor (born 17 October 1961) popularly known as Mr. Ibu is a Nigerian actor and comedian. Okafor is considered to be one of Nigeria’s most talented comic characters. His humorous acting is often characterised by stupidity, hilarious imbecility and a sharp disconnection from reality. He has acted in more than 200 movies including Mr.Ibu (2004), Mr.Ibu in London (2004), Police Recruit (2003), 9 Wives (2005), Ibu in Prison (2006), Keziah (2007) and lots more.
- Sam Loco Efe
Sam Loco Efe (25 December 1945 – 7 August 2011), born Sam Loco Efeeimwonkiyeke in Enugu, was a Nigerian actor and director. He is known for his trademark linguistic jargons which he uses to spice up his comedic character in the movie. Although late, He’s still relevant and respected in the industry.
- Patience Ozokwor
It will be unfair to go on with this list without mentioning mama the mama (Mama Gee). Patience Ozokwor (born September 14, 1958) is a musician, fashion designer, gospel singer and actress. She won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards. Ozokwor was among the 100 Nigerians honoured by the government to celebrate the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 2014.
There are a lot of other legends worthy of mentioning. But to mention a few;
- Monalisa Chinda
- Muma Gee
- Nafisa Abdullahi
- Nikki Amuka-Bird
- Nse Ikpe Etim
- Oge Okoye
- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
- Richard Mofe Damijo
- Saheed Balogun
- Saint Obi
- Olu Jacob
- Joke Silva