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Forest Whitaker's daughter confirms mom Keisha Whitaker's death at 51 – details

The Good Morning Vietnam actor and his wife finalized their divorce two years ago

Forest Whitaker and Keisha Nash Whitaker attend the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz ColonOnline News WriterNew York
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Forest Whitaker is mourning the untimely passing of his ex-wife Keisha Whitaker, who he was married to for 20 years.

The former couple's daughter True, 25, confirmed that her mom had passed aged 51 in a tribute on her Instagram Stories.

Sharing a throwback portrait of her mom, she wrote: "Goodbye mommy. I love you 4ever and beyond. The most beautiful woman in the world... thank you for teaching me every single thing I know. I'll see you in my dreams and I'll feel you in my heart."

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Forest, 62, and Keisha tied the knot in 1996 and share two kids together, daughters True and Sonnet, 27. They also raised together his son Ocean, 33, and her daughter Autumn, 32, from previous relationships. The actor filed for divorce in 2018 and it was finalized in 2021.

Keisha, née Nash, was born in Boston on March 8, 1972, and her cause of death remains unclear. 

She met Forest on the set of the 1994 film Blown Away, though she's not credited in the film as an actress or producer. She later on had a role in 2004's Proud, and executive produced Kassim the Dream in 2008.

Forest's youngest daughter True paid tribute to her mom on December 7© Instagram
Forest's youngest daughter True paid tribute to her mom on December 7

In a 1997 interview with People shortly after their 1996 nuptials in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Keisha recalled how Forest swooned her, telling the outlet: "He is very honest and sensitive and romantic."

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She added: "He swept me off my feet – not with material things, more like the way he displayed his emotions." Keisha recalled in other previous interviews having first seen Forest in his 1991 film A Rage in Harlem, and being drawn to him for his gentle demeanor.

Forest Whitaker, wife Keisha Whitaker and daughter True Whitaker arrive at the 45th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 22, 2014 in Pasadena, California© Getty
The former couple with their daughter True in 2014

Aside from her brief involvement in the entertainment industry, she also ran a cosmetics line, Kissable Couture. In a conversation with The Oprah Magazine back in 2008, she said: "I've always been very ambitious. When my kids were younger, I tried to start a clothing line for children. But you have to be really committed to a new business, and at that time I was more focused on being a mother. Now, with Forest's success and my kids being older, I can set and achieve higher goals." 

John Travolta, who starred alongside Forest in the 1996 film Phenomenon and 2000's Battlefield Earth, took to Instagram to pay tribute to Keisha, writing: "Keisha, take all your beauty, humor, care and insight with you – and know that you will forever be loved," adding: "And Forest, I am here for you friend."

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