Samuel L. Jackson is an American actor and film producer.
His full name is Samuel Leroy Jackson.
He was born on December 21, 1948 in Washington, D.C.
Jackson grew up as an only child in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
He was raised by his mother, who was a factory worker and later a supplies buyer for a mental institution, and by his maternal grandparents and extended family.
His father lived away from the family in Kansas City, Missouri, and later died from alcoholism. Jackson only met his father twice during his life.
According to DNA tests, Jackson partially descends from the Benga people of Gabon.
Jackson attended several segregated schools and graduated from Riverside High School in Chattanooga.
He attended the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he became involved in the Black Power movement. He was expelled in 1969 for having locked several school board members in a building for two days to protest the composition of the mostly white board.
After he spent two years in Los Angeles as a social worker, Jackson returned to Morehouse to study acting, having been inspired by a Negro Ensemble Company production. He graduated in 1972 and then joined the Black Image Theatre Company, touring the country and performing in politically charged skits, primarily to white audiences.
He appeared in several television films, and made his feature film debut in the blaxploitation independent film Together for Days (1972).
In 1976 Jackson moved to New York City and began working in the theatre there.
In 1981, while appearing in Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier’s Play, Jackson met actor Morgan Freeman and aspiring film student Spike Lee. Both offered Jackson encouragement, and Lee cast Jackson in some of his early films, including School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), and Jungle Fever (1991), for which Jackson garnered the first best supporting actor award ever bestowed by the Cannes film festival judges for his riveting performance as a hard-core drug addict.
He also played a minor role in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas as real-life Mafia associate Stacks Edwards and also worked as a stand-in on The Cosby Show for Bill Cosby for three years.
Than Jackson became involved with multiple films, including Strictly Business (1991), Juice (1992) Patriot Games (1992), Amos & Andrew (1993), True Romance (1993) and Jurassic Park (1993).
Jackson’s breakthrough came in Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction (1994) , in which Jackson portrayed a loquacious Bible-verse-spewing killer. For that part he earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. In addition, he received a Golden Globe nomination and won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Role.
Then he appeared in a string of average films such as Kiss of Death (1995), Losing Isiah (1995) and The Great White Hype (1996). However, he bounced back with better films that once again established him as a bankable star with Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) and A Time to Kill (1996).
In 1997, he played the role of Trevor Garfield in One Eight Seven and then starred in other films including, Eve’s Bayou and Jackie Brown.
In 1998, he worked with other established actors such as Sharon Stone and Dustin Hoffman in Sphere and Kevin Spacey in The Negotiator, playing a hostage negotiator who resorts to taking hostages himself when he is falsely accused of murder and embezzlement.
In 1999, Jackson starred in the horror film Deep Blue Sea, and as Jedi Master Mace Windu in George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
He began the next decade in his film career as a Marine colonel put on trial in Rules of Engagement (2000), co-starred with Bruce Willis for a third time in the supernatural thriller Unbreakable (2000), and starred in the 2000 remake of the 1971 film Shaft.
In 2001 he starredwas in The Caveman’s Valentine, a murder thriller in which he played a homeless musician. He also starred in film The 51st State.
In 2002, Jackson starred opposite Ben Affleck in Changing Lanes. He also starred in Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones and in the spy thriller xXx.
In 2003, Jackson again worked with John Travolta in Basic and then as a police sergeant alongside Colin Farrell in the television show remake S.W.A.T.
From 2003 to 2005, he appeared in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), No Good Deed (2014), Twisted (2004), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), In My Country (2004), Coach Carter (2005), The Man (2005) and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sit. He also lent his voice to the computer-animated film The Incredibles (2004).
Next starred opposite Julianne Moore in Freedomland (2006), this charismatic thespian tirelessly proceeded to maintain his solid position in Hollywood for the whole 2006 with other performances in Snakes on a Plane.
In 2007, he appeared in the drama Home of the Brave, the psychological horror 1408, the sport drama Resurrecting the Champ, and the thriller Cleaner.
In 2008, Jackson reprised his role of Mace Windu in the CGI film, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, followed by Lakeview Terrace where he played a racist cop who terrorizes an interracial couple.
With Jackson’s permission, his likeness was used for the Ultimate version of the Marvel Comics character, Nick Fury. He later did a cameo as the character in a post-credits scene from Iron Man (2008), and went on to sign a nine-film commitment to reprise this role in future films, including major roles in Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and minor roles in Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
One of his greatest hits in the year 2012 was the Quentin Tarantino film, Django Unchained, where he played the role of Stephen.
In 2015 Jackson gained accolades for his roles in Lee’s Chi-Raq, a satire on gang violence in Chicago, and Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, in which Jackson starred as a black bounty hunter encountering racism and extreme violence in the aftermath of the American Civil War.
In 2016 he appeared in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Jackson’s films in 2017 included Kong: Skull Island and The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
Jackson has achieved critical and commercial acclaim, surpassing Frank Welker as the actor with the highest-grossing film total of all time in October 2011, and he has received numerous accolades and awards.
Samuel L. Jackson is ranked as the highest all-time box office star with over $4.9 billion total box office gross, an average of $69.1 million per film.
Samuel L. Jackson has an estimated net worth of $200 million.
In 1980, Jackson married actress and sports channel producer LaTanya Richardson, whom he met while attending Morehouse College. The couple have a daughter, Zoe (born 1982). In 2009, they started their own charitable organization to help support education.
Jackson lives in Beverly Hills, California.
The 2009 edition of The Guinness World Records, which uses a different calculation to determine film grosses, stated that Jackson is the world’s highest grossing actor, having earned $7.42 billion in 68 films.
Jackson is bald but enjoys wearing wigs in his films. He said about his decision to go bald: “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.”
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7020 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on June 16, 2000.
After the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackson attended the funeral in Atlanta as one of the ushers.
In real life, he was once a New York high-rise doorman, in 1408 (2007), he was a New York high-rise manager.
His character from Pulp Fiction (1994), Jules Winnfield, ranked second in the “coolest movie characters of all time”, in a poll by the UK’s Empire Magazine (the winner was Tyler Durden of Fight Club (1999)).
He was an admitted drug user until he completed drug rehab two weeks before playing a drug addict in Jungle Fever (1991). The film was so acclaimed that the 1991 Cannes Film Festival created a special “Supporting Actor” award just for him.
Jackson is an avid golfer. Due to his prominent stature within the film industry, he is accorded a clause in all his movie contracts that guarantees him easy access to golf courses, no matter where the location shoot happens to be.
He is an avid Liverpool FC supporter and fan after his work in the city on 51st State and often tweets on twitter when they win a game with simply ‘Liverpoooool’.
Jackson is a vegetarian.