Celebrating the Arts..Rags to Riches Tale of Haitian Jimmy Jean-Louis

The Institute of Caribbean Studies will honor Jimmy Jean-Louis with the 2013 Excellence in the Arts Award. He will be presented with the award during the 20th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) Gala at the JW Marriott on Friday, November, 22, 2013.

Jimmie Jean Louis

Jimmy's story is truly a "rags to riches" story

Haitian-born actor, Jimmy Jean-Louis grew up in the slums of Petion-Ville, Haiti until age 12, working his way to become a Hollywood celebrity.

In 2010, his deep love for his homeland caused him to shift his focus from his acting career to help rebuild Haiti, which was ravaged by a 7.0 earthquake on January 12. He is the founder and president of Hollywood Unites for Haiti, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underprivileged youth in Haiti.


  • Recurring role in CW Show, "Arrow."
  • Role in popular NBC series "Heroes."
  • Founder and President of Hollywood Unites for Haiti.  
  • Nominated for Best Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (2012).

Louis is an artist with international appeal. Early in his career, Jimmy worked as a dancer and a model in France, Spain, Italy, South Africa and England. He moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue acting. His credits include movies "Tears of the Sun" (Bruce Willis), "Phat Girlz" (Mo'Nique), "Diary of a Tired Black Man", and the NBC hit television show "Heroes". Jimmy currently has a recurring role on the CW show "Arrow".

He recently shot his most important film to date. Jimmy portrayed the title role in  "Toussaint Louverture" and won Best Actor at the Pan African Film Festival, the Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival, and Vues d'Afrique International Film Festival in Canada. He was also nominated Best Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2012.

He is fluent in five languages and sings. He was an invited singer on the Quincy Jones project "We Are The World 25" to benefit humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. Louis resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Evelyn and three children.

Jimmy Jean-Louis talks about his work in Haiti and his career. 

Hollywood Unites For Haiti – Jimmy Jean-Louis

Other Honorees 

– Etienne Charles… Trailblazer Award
– Dr. Guy Harvey… Luminary Award
– Jimmy Jean-Louis… Excellence in the Arts Award
– Frederick 'Freddie' McGregor… Lifetime Achievement Award
– Dr. Deborah Persaud… Outstanding Contribution to Medicine Award
– Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne… Excellence in Science & Technology Award
– Kim Watson… Outstanding Community Service Award

Click here to learn about honorees…

Learn More about the Awards



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