2023 NAACP Image Awards: Get to Know History-Making Actor Billy Porter

The veteran thespian found breakthrough success with his performance on FX’s 'Pose'.

Actor Billy Porter is nominated for the “Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television)” award at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards for his work on Disney+’s  The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. He and castmates Cedric the Entertainer and Kyla Pratt are nominated in that category alongside Chris Bridges for Karma’s World and veteran voice actress Cree Summer for her contribution to Nickelodeon’s Rugrats.

Before we reveal who will take home the win, keep reading to discover five things you didn’t know about this year’s nominee, Billy Porter. And don’t forget to tune into the 54th Annual NAACP Image Awards set to air live on Saturday, February 25th, 2023, at 8:00 PM ET on BET. The Pose star

  • He gave his first sermon at age 11

    In a vintage interview with Esquire, Porter revealed that he gave his first and only sermon to a packed local church. “So many people felt something special–a special energy coming from me in my life early on,” he told the outlet. “It’s immediately about ‘little preacher man.’ You’re going to be a preacher. Because it’s the only space that they understand a special energy like that.”

  • He has a long history with theater

    After attending the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, he studied drama on a scholarship at Carnegie Mellon. In 2000 he attended UCLA briefly for a screenwriting program before ultimately moving to New York.

  • He stars in Disney+’s animated series ‘Proud Family: Louder and Prouder’

    When Disney’s animated series Proud Family announced its reboot, Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, they also revealed several new cast members, including Porter, who voiced Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins, a banker and adopted dad to Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins and Francis "KG" Leibowitz-Jenkins. He is married to Barry Leibowitz-Jenkins, voiced by actor Zachary Quinto.

  • The women in his life inspire his fashion style

    Porter sat down with The Journal, where he discussed the inspiration behind his unique style. “I’ve always loved fashion,” he told the outlet. “My mom, my grandmother, and my great-aunt were all hugely fashionable. I’ve finally found a space where I’m comfortable being me. I call it the ‘Billy Porter look,’ and it’s rooted and based in however I feel at that time. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to embrace it.”

  • He made history in 2019

    In 2019, Porter made history while accepting the Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series,” becoming the first openly gay black man to be nominated and win in any lead acting category at the Primetime Emmys.

    Watch the NAACP Image Awards live on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 8:00 pm ET/PT on BET.

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