Ahmed Best (born August 19, 1973) is an American voice actor and musician. He rose to prominence in the 2000s for providing the voice of Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars franchise. He later turned to television, where he played Jar Jar Binks in the Robot Chicken Star Wars special. He also created, wrote, directed and produced his own TV show called This Can't Be My Life. He has collaborated with director George Lucas in 3 films and five episodes of the cartoon show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He has won the Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production.
Ahmed Best was born in New York City on August 19, 1973. He lived the majority of his formative years in the Soundview section of the Bronx. He moved to Maplewood, New Jersey in 1984. He attended Columbia High School. He then studied percussion at the Manhattan School of Music.
In 1994, Ahmed joined the acid jazz group The Jazzhole. He contributed to the success of the group for two years. He co-wrote and co-produced three albums for the group including The Jazzhole, And the Feeling Goes Around and The Beat is the Bomb. In 1995, he co-wrote and co-produced Escape by Bill Evans.
In 1995, he joined the cast of the Obie Award winning cast of Stomp. He toured with the cast of Stomp throughout the US and Europe.
In 1997, Ahmed was cast as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005). He was cast after casting director Robin Gurland observed his flexible, athletic movements in Stomp.
Best reprised the role on the Star Wars themed episode of Robot Chicken (as well as its sequel), Star Wars: The Clone Wars and on an episode of Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report.
Best has also appeared with fellow Star Wars alumni Dee Bradley Baker, James Arnold Taylor and Daran Norris on the TV show Big Time Rush.