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Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Birthday: 1948-12-21 · Known For: Acting

184 Movies · 13 TV Series

Biography

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Personal Life

In 1980, Jackson married actress and producer LaTanya Richardson, whom he met while attending Morehouse College. The couple have a daughter named Zoe (born 1982). In 2009, they started their own charity to help support education. Jackson has said that he watches his own films in cinemas: "Even during my theater years, I wished I could watch the plays I was in—while I was in them! I dig watching myself work." He also enjoys collecting the action figures of the characters he portrays in his films, including Jules Winnfield, Shaft, Mace Windu, and Frozone.Jackson is bald but enjoys wearing wigs in his films. He said about his decision to shave his head, "I keep ending up on those 'bald is beautiful' lists. It's cool. You know, when I started losing my hair, it was during the era when everybody had lots of hair. All of a sudden, I felt this big hole in the middle of my afro. I couldn't face having a comb over so I had to quickly figure what the haircut for me was." His first bald role was in The Great White Hype. He usually gets to pick his own hairstyles for each character he portrays. He poked fun at his baldness the first time he appeared bald on The Tonight Show, explaining that he had to shave his head for one role, but then kept receiving more and more bald roles and had to keep shaving his head so that wigs could be made for him. He joked that "the only way [he's] gonna have time to grow [his] hair back is if [he's] not working". He is noted for often wearing a Kangol hat in public.Jackson has a clause in his contracts that allows him to play golf during film shoots. He has played in the Gary Player Invitational charity golf tournament to assist Gary Player in raising funds for children in South Africa. Jackson is a keen basketball fan, supporting the Toronto Raptors and the Harlem Globetrotters. He has supported English soccer team Liverpool FC since appearing in The 51st State, which was shot in Liverpool. He also supports Irish soccer team Bohemian FC.Jackson campaigned during the 2008 Democratic Primary for Barack Obama in Texarkana, Texas. He said, "Barack Obama represents everything I was told I could be growing up. I am a child of segregation. When I grew up and people told me I could be president, I knew it was a lie. But now we have a representative... the American Dream is a reality. Anyone can grow up to be a president." He also said, "I voted for Barack because he was black. That's why other folks vote for other people—because they look like them". He compared his Django Unchained character, a villainous house slave, to black conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, saying that the character has "the same moral compass as Clarence Thomas does".In June 2013, Jackson launched a joint campaign with Prizeo in an effort to raise money to fight Alzheimer's disease. As part of the campaign, he recited various fan-written monologues and a popular scene from the AMC series Breaking Bad. In August 2013, he started a vegan diet for health reasons, explaining that he is "just trying to live forever", and attributed a 40 lb (18 kg) weight loss to his new diet. He had largely abandoned the diet by March 2017, but still praised it. He launched a campaign called "One for the Boys", which teaches men about testicular cancer and urges them to "get themselves checked out".

Early Life

Samuel Leroy Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. on December 21, 1948, the only child of Elizabeth Harriett (née Montgomery) and Roy Henry Jackson. He grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His father lived away from the family in Kansas City, Missouri, and later died of alcoholism. Jackson met him only twice during his life. He was raised by his mother, a factory worker and later a supplies buyer for a mental institution; he was also raised by his maternal grandparents, Edgar and Pearl Montgomery, as well as extended family. According to DNA tests, Jackson partially descends from the Benga people of Gabon, and he became a naturalized citizen of Gabon in 2019. He attended several segregated schools and graduated from Riverside High School in Chattanooga. He played the French horn, piccolo, trumpet, and flute in the school orchestra. His stutter started during childhood. He learned to "pretend to be other people who didn't stutter". He still uses word "motherfucker" to get through a speech block. He still has days where he stutters. Initially intent on pursuing a degree in marine biology, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After joining a local acting group to earn extra points in a class, he found an interest in acting and switched his major. Before graduating in 1972, he co-founded the Just Us Theatre.After Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968, Jackson attended King's funeral in Atlanta as one of the ushers. He then travelled to Memphis, Tennessee, to join an equal rights protest march. In a 2005 Parade interview, he revealed, "I was angry about the assassination, but I wasn't shocked by it. I knew that change was going to take something different – not sit-ins, not peaceful coexistence." In 1969, Jackson and several other students held members of the Morehouse College board of trustees (including Martin Luther King Sr.) hostage on the campus, demanding reform in the school's curriculum and governance. The college eventually agreed to change its policy, but Jackson was charged with and eventually convicted of unlawful confinement, a second-degree felony. He was then suspended for two years for his criminal record and his actions. He would later return to the college to earn a BA in drama in 1972. While he was suspended, he took a job as a social worker in Los Angeles. He decided to return to Atlanta, where he met with Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, and others active in the Black Power movement. He began to feel empowered with his involvement in the movement, especially when the group began buying guns. However, before he could become involved with any significant armed confrontations, his mother sent him to Los Angeles after the FBI warned her that he would die within a year if he remained with the group. In a 2018 interview with Vogue, he denied having been a member of the Black Panther Party.

Movies & TV Series

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