(Larenz Tate)

Versatile seems apropos when describing an actor that can convince moviegoers that he is as ruthless as O-Dog in “Menace II Society” and as smooth as the poet/author Darius Lovehall in “Love Jones.”

The brother can even portray iconic singers like Frankie Lymon in “Why Do Falls Fool in Love.”

However, sometimes Tate gets overlooked when Hollywood powerbrokers hand out the monikers of icon or movie star.

The brother has even shined on television for decades from “South Central” to the “Power” universe.

So, if Hollywood will not give him his just due, RegalMag.com will.

Check out the list of top 10 films starring Tate.

  1. “Girl’s Trip”—When an actor stars in the first film written, directed and produced by an African-American (and starring African-Americans) to earn more than $100 million at the box office, it must make the list of his top 10 films. “Girl’s Trip” centers on the “Flossy Posse,” a group of female friends who have grown apart because of adult responsibilities. However, when one friend gets an opportunity to give a keynote speech at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, she views it as an opportunity for the group to bond again. (“Girl’s Trip” trailer courtesy of Universal Pictures)
  1. “A Man Apart”—Tate played Demetrius Hicks in “A Man Apart,” which starred Vin Diesel. The 2003 F. Gary Gray directed movie centers on Demetrius (Tate) and Sean Vetter (Diesel), two DEA agents who must fight an ongoing drug war at the border between California and Mexico. Demetrius and Sean find success as DEA agents because of their connection to the streets before they became law enforcement. (“A Man Apart” trailer courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers)
  1. “Crash”—Movie lovers might forget that the good brother starred in an Academy Award-winning film. But Tate starred as Peter in a movie about race, loss and redemption that won the Best Picture and Best Screenplay Oscar in 2006. People sleep on “Crash” because it beat out “Brokeback Mountain,” amongst other contenders for Best Picture. “Crash” also starred Loretta Devine, Matt Dillon, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Keith David and Tony Danza. Talk about an all-star cast. (“Crash” trailer courtesy of Lionsgate Movies)
  1. “Waist Deep”—In “Waist Deep,” Tate went back to the thugged out characters that made him a legend in Black Hollywood. “Waist Deep” featured a star-studded cast as well with Meagan Good, Tyrese Gibson, rapper The Game, Kimora Lee Simmons and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons, who directed “Eve’s Bayou,” “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Harriet,” “Black Nativity” and “Talk to Me,” which starred Don Cheadle and Taraji P. Henson. In “Waist Deep,” O2 (Gibson) gets caught up in gang activity after his automobile is carjacked with his young son inside. (“Waist Deep” trailer courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers)
  1. “Ray”—Although Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx deservedly got all the accolades for his portrayal of Ray Charles, Tate did his thing as fellow musical genius Quincy Jones in “Ray.” It was Jones who played a significant role in Charles not performing in the South until the audiences were integrated. Tate recently revealed that although fans want him to revive his role as Darius in a “Love Jones” sequel, the “character” he would love to reprise is his role as Jones. A “Q” biopic would definitely be bananas. (“Ray” trailer courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers)
  1. “The Inkwell”—While many people look to the differences between “Love Jones” and “Menace II Society” (1993) to highlight Tate’s acting range, many seem to forget that he had shown range going from “Menace” directly into the coming-of-age film “The Inkwell,” (1994) set on Martha’s Vineyard. In “The Inkwell,” Tate portrayed a character very relatable to many awkward teenage boys. Drew Tate was nerdy, lusting for a girl out of his league and totally ignorant to sex and romance. (“The Inkwell” trailer courtesy of Jimmy Jump)
  1. “Dead Presidents”—The Hughes Brothers obviously had chemistry directing Tate in “Menace II Society.” So, why not bring him back for Albert and Allen Hughes’ sophomore feature film “Dead Presidents,” which also starred Chris Tucker in his first dramatic role. In the movie, Tate stars as Anthony Curtis. “Dead Presidents” centers on Vietnam War veterans who resort to crime when they see it as a better means of taking care of their families. (“Dead Presidents” trailer courtesy of Street Cinema Trailers)
  1. “Why Do Falls Fall in Love”—One of the most tragic and intriguing stories in African-American music history is what happened to Frankie Lymon. The lead singer of the 1950s boy band The Teenagers might be the first African-American teen idol. He could sing, dance and write. And he had the ladies, and in his case three wives, and a heroin addiction. With his youthful appearance, Tate was able to play Lymon in all phases of his public life. (“Why Do Fools Fall in Love” trailer courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers)
  1. “Love Jones”—Although Tate became a household name in 1993 thanks to “Menace II Society” with his portrayal of the stone-cold killer O-Dog, when moviegoers saw a totally different persona in “Love Jones” they knew the brother was different. When an actor can become the character and moviegoers forget they are watching an actor, then that performer has done a superb job. Tate did such a wonderful job in “Love Jones” that he had brothers trying to channel their inner Langston Hughes. (“Love Jones” trailer courtesy of Warner Bros.)
  1. “Menace II Society”—Back in the 1990s, Hollywood was obsessed with hood films. However, when “Boyz ‘N The Hood” dropped in 1991, many gangsters from Los Angeles deemed it as too soft. However, no such criticism came to “Menace II Society” thanks to characters like O-Dog, America’s worst nightmare. O-Dog was young, Black and did not give a F. The brother even wanted to sell a robbery/murder tape in the hood for $59.99. Now, that’s a hardcore killer. (“Menace II Society” trailer courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers)
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