Talk about blockbuster specialists. Samuel L Jackson belongs to the small bracket of Hollywood celebrities who seem to have the Midas touch. The veteran actor and film producer have a significant number of box-office-shattering movie titles under his belt. He came into the limelight for his endeavors in the early 90s and has not looked back once since then.
In his early career, he appeared in hit movies such as Goodfellas, 1990; Steven Spielberg’s Jurrasic Park, 1993 and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, 1994. More recently in his career, he brings his acting prowess to the screen in movies such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; 2012’s Django Unchained; and in a plethora of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Samuel L Jackson: Full Bio, Age, and the Civil Rights Movement
Born in Washington, on December 21, 1948, Samuel Leroy Jackson grew up in a time when people who shared the same pigmentation density as him didn’t have equal opportunities as others. Jackson went to several schools for colored kids. He eventually graduated from Riverside High School located in Chattanooga. He was an active member of his school’s orchestra between the third and twelfth grades, during which time he played the French Horn.
Jackson was not initially interested in an acting career. In fact, he went to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was studying marine biology. His bid to gain extra points for a class saw him join a local acting group and his love for acting was born. This led him to switch his major to architecture and finally, Drama.
The veteran actor in his early days was and still is a big supporter of the civil rights movements and other related issues. In his younger days, he idolized the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jackson also served as an usher during the activist’s funeral in Atlanta.
He eventually graduated from Morehouse college in 1972 but this was after serving a two-year suspension for his part in a successful protest demanding curriculum and governance reform at Morehouse College. Jackson and a group of other students demonstrated their aggravation by holding members of the school’s board hostage on campus. The hostages included his idol’s father, Martin Luther King, Sr.
Jackson had begun to involve himself more and more with the Black Power movement, who were more about violent opposition. A warning concerning her son’s life from the FBI caused Jackson’s mother to ship him off to Los Angeles. Here, he took up employment as a social worker.
Samuel L Jackson’s Acting Career Before the New Millennium
Jackson’s acting career saw him involved in a myriad of stage plays over the next decade and a half, following his graduation in 1972. This period of his life took in plays like Home, A Soldier’s Play, and indie movies like 1972’s Together For Days. It was during this period that he fell into alcohol, heroin, and subsequently, cocaine. This cost him his roles in the two plays The Piano Lesson and Two Trains Running.
However, his skills continued to open doors for him, landing him roles, albeit small ones in the 1988 movies, Coming to America, Do The Right Thing, and Goodfellas. He also served as a stand-in for Bill Cosby in The Bill Cosby Show for three years. Samuel L Jackson credits a lot of his success to another veteran Morgan Freeman, who coached him throughout his early career.
The Hollywood superstar would finally get rid of his vices after members of his family checked him into a rehab clinic in New York City. His first movie role post-rehab seemed almost divinely orchestrated. He played the part of a crack cocaine addict in the movie Jungle Fever. A role the actor described as “cathartic” for him. He handled the part so well a special “Supporting Actor” award was made specifically for him at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.
Following the success of Jungle Fever, Jackson appeared in several movies throughout the 90s. He was involved in Steven Spielberg’s Jurrasic Park, Quentin Tarantino’s True Romance, and Pulp Fiction. For the latter, the character he played was written specifically for him; a performance for which he earned a BAFTA award for “Best Supporting Role”.
Jackson’s reputation began to slip and receive poor reviews following a string of underwhelming movies such as Losing Isaiah. However, he turned the tide after his roles in two box office successes in the form of Die Hard with a Vengeance and A Time to Kill. For the latter, he received an NAACP Image Award for “Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture”.
The late 90s were a time to remember for the increasingly recognized Jackson. He had several starring roles in movies such as 187, Eve’s Bayou, Jackie Brown, Deep Blue Sea and The Negotiator. He even got in on the Star Wars action movie series, playing Mace Windu in George Lucas’ 1999 installment, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
Samuel L Jackson’s Career Since the Turn of the Millennium
If the late 90s were a good time for Jackson’s career, the period after the turn of the second millennium, proved even more fruitful. In 2000, Jackson attained rubber-stamped cult status by getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Blvd. The early 2000s saw him work on movies like Rules of Engagement, Unbreakable, xXx, Basic, and Changing Lanes. He also saw his minor role as Mace Windu bloom into a major role in the two Star Wars sequels that followed in 2002, and 2005, respectively.
The mid-2000s saw him work with accomplished acts such as Whoopi Goldberg, Ashley Judd, Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, and Julian Moore. During this period, he got involved in movies such as XXX: State of the Union, Snakes on a Plane, Home of the Brave, and Freedomland. He also voiced the role of the superhero Frozone, in the animated film, The Incredibles and also had a cameo in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 2.
Jackson rounded off the decade, with movies like Black Snake Moan, the horror film 1408 which was an adaptation of a Stephen King novel. He also reprised the role of Mace Windu in the 2008 film, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Soul Men, The Spirits, and Lakeview.
Samuel L Jackson continued to build on the success of the past decade with more movies like The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Kong: Skull Island, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Legend of Tarzan, Big Game, and Kingsman: The Secret Service. In 2002, Marvel Comics had designed the character “Nick Fury” after Jackson. Seven years later, in 2009, the actor signed a deal with Marvel that would see him appear as Nick Fury in nine movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has already played the character in movies like Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and all the Avengers movies.
For his efforts, Samuel L Jackson has received a myriad of nominations. The Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA awards, Academy Awards, Black Reel Awards, MTV Movie Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a few others.
Samuel L Jackson’s Family, Wife, and Kids
Jackson who is an only child was raised primarily by his mom, Elizabeth, and his maternal grandparents. She worked at a factory and later as a supplies agent for a mental institution. Young Jackson only met his father twice, until he died from alcoholism.
The successful actor has managed to build a better family than the one he grew up in. He has been married to Latanya Jackson since 1980. The pair met while Jackson was at Morehouse College. She also went on to become an actress and producer for a sports channel.
The couple has also worked together on some movie projects such as Juice, Losing Isaiah and Freedomland. However, Latanya’s biggest movie came in 2003 when she played the main antagonist Paulina Pritchett in the musical The Fighting Temptations, along with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce Knowles.
Jackson and his wife have one child, a daughter, Zoe Jackson, who was born in 1982. She followed in her parent’s footsteps by pursuing a career in the entertainment industry as a freelance film and TV producer.
As stated earlier, Jackson has remained at the top of the heap when it comes to creating high-grossing movies. The actor who says he only chooses to play characters that are interesting to watch has seen his movies gross over $5 billion. And that is only for his leading actor and supporting co-star roles. Factor in all his efforts as a supporting actor and that figure rises significantly to over $11 billion.
He has also been in many television series, a good number of high-profile commercials, and even music videos. Everything that has contributed to elevating his status in the film and entertainment industry has certainly also helped to boost his paycheck over the years. The most recent calculations by Celebrity Net Worth place Jackson’s wealth at $220 million.
Samuel L Jackson’s Height and Body Measurements
The long-time Hollywood celebrity may have the skills to contend on any level within the industry but he also has the looks to go with it. Jackson stands at an impressive height of 6 feet 2 inches, translating to 1.89m. This puts him among the ranks of American males categorized as tall.
His trademark bald hair has constantly seen mentioned in published lists of men that are bald and sexy. A recognition that the actor is aware of and enjoys. He also has dark brown eyes and manages to maintain a healthy body weight of about 94kg (207 lbs). Apart from the above mention features, his exact body measurements remain unknown.