Samuel L. Jackson, born on December 21, 1948, is an American actor and film producer. After becoming active in the Civil Rights Movement, Jackson began performing in theater at Morehouse College and then in films. Before meeting his mentor, Morgan Freeman, and the director Spike Lee, he had several minor roles, such as in the films “Goodfellas” and “Def by Temptation.” After receiving great acclaim for his role in “Jungle Fever,” he went on to appear in films such as “Patriot Games,” “Amos & Andrew,” “True Romance,” and “Jurassic Park.” In 1994, he was cast as Jules Winnfield in “Pulp Fiction,” and his performance received multiple award nominations and critical acclaim.
Samuel Leroy Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was raised by his mother, Elizabeth Jackson, as his father lived away from the family and later passed away from alcoholism. He attended many segregated schools before graduating from Riverside High School in Chattanooga. He graduated from the institute in 1972 and, at the same time, co-founded the theatre group, Just Us Theatre. He made his film debut in the blaxploitation film “Together for Days” in 1972, after performing in several plays, including “The Threepenny Opera” and “A Soldier’s Play.” Four years later, he appeared on the television series “Movin’ On.” He moved to New York City and spent some years appearing in stage plays, such as “Two Trains Running” and “The Piano Lesson.” Morgan Freeman is thought to have mentored him in his early years. In 1980, he married LaTanya Richardson, and the couple now has a daughter, named Zoe.
Later on in his career, he began to play notable roles in films like “School Daze” and “Do the Right Thing,” which were released in 1988 and 1989, respectively. In 1990, he appeared in “Goodfellas” in a minor role and then worked as a replacement on “The Cosby Show” for three years. From 1995 to 1996, he appeared in a string of box office flops, such as “Kiss of Death,” “Losing Isaiah,” and “The Great White Hype.” However, he quickly recovered by participating in popular films such as “Die Hard with a Vengeance” (1995) and “A Time to Kill” (1996), which reestablished him as a bankable star. In 1998, he played important roles in films like “Sphere,” “The Negotiator,” “The Red Violin,” and “Out of Sight.” In 1999, he starred in “Deep Blue Sea” and “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” At the beginning of the new millennium, Jackson was part of successful films like “Rules of Engagement,” “Shaft,” and “Unbreakable.” From 2003 to 2005, he starred in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” “The Incredibles,” “The Man,” and “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”
In 2006, he starred in one of the year’s biggest offbeat films, “Snakes on a Plane.” To raise interest in the film, he was cast in the promotional music video for the movie. From 2008 to 2011, he played in different genres of films, such as “Iron Man,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Unthinkable,” “Iron Man 2,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Arena.” One of his greatest hits in the year 2012 was the Quentin Tarantino film “Django Unchained,” in which he played Stephen. In 2014, he portrayed the main villain in the action spy-comedy film “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Jackson reprised his role as Nick Fury in the “Avengers” sequels, “Infinity War” and “Endgame.” Also in 2019, he again played Fury in the Marvel film “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Jackson collaborated with Talib Kweli, Sticky Fingaz, Mad Lion, and K.R.S.-One on the song ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ which is about social justice and brutality in America.
He features in “Together for Days” as his film debut in the indie blaxploitation film.
He plays important roles in “Sphere,” “The Negotiator,” “The Red Violin,” and “Out of Sight.”
Jackson receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He signs a nine-picture deal to play Fury in Marvel's “Avenger” movies.
He receives an Academy Honorary Award as an actor whose work resonates across genres, generations, and audiences worldwide.
Why We Love Samuel L. Jackson
He fights for his rights
After the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackson served as an usher at his funeral in Atlanta. He then flew to Memphis to join a march for equal rights.
He is a humanitarian
He started his own charity organization called Prizeo as part of a campaign to gather funds to battle Alzheimer’s disease. He also launched a campaign called One for the Boys to raise awareness about testicular cancer.
He is hardworking
Abandoned by his father when he was a child, Jackson survived a difficult childhood to become one of Hollywood’s most successful stars. Though he suffered from stuttering, he went on to pursue a career in acting with determination and hard work.
5 Surprising Facts
Jackson used to play the trumpet
Between the third and 12th grades, he played the French horn and trumpet in the school orchestra.
He almost became a marine biologist
He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, as he initially wanted to pursue a degree in marine biology.
Jackson is an Otaku
He also loves watching anime series like “Ninja Scroll” and “Black Lagoon,” and he is also an avid comic book collector.
He is an avid golfer
He has a provision in all his movie contracts that guarantees him easy access to golf courses no matter where the filming takes place.
He worked for Bill Cosby
He worked as a camera stand-in for Cosby during the filming of “The Cosby Show.”
Samuel L. Jackson FAQs
What disease does Samuel L. Jackson have?
Jackson says his family has a history of Alzheimer’s.
How did Samuel Jackson get rid of his stutter?
Through reading about breathing exercises, Jackson was able to improve his stutter, which is pretty remarkable.
What is Samuel L. Jackson's catchphrase?
His catchprhase is: “You ain’t got but one life. You ought to live it the way you want.”
Samuel L. Jackson’s birthday dates