Samuel L Jackson
Name: Samuel L Jackson
Hobbies/Interests: golf, music, sport
Endorsements: Barclays; Virgin Media; KFC; adidas; Reebok - 'Classic' Trainers
Charities: AmberWatch Foundation; Whatever It Takes

Samuel L. Jackson was born as Samuel Leroy Jackson Dec. 21, 1948, in Washington, DC. Principally a character actor throughout the 1980s, Jackson has become one of Hollywood's most popular actors, with acclaimed performances in such films as Jungle Fever (1991), Pulp Fiction (1994), A Time to Kill (1996) to name only a few. Raised by his mother and grandparents in Chattanooga, TN, Jackson attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. In 1969, he was briefly suspended for taking several members of the college's board of trustees, including Martin Luther King, Sr., hostage during a sit-in to protest the absence of black trustees and a black studies curriculum. Graduating in 1972 with a degree in theater arts, Jackson remained in Atlanta, finding work in television commercials and regional theatrical productions, as well as a small role in his first feature film, Together for Days (1972).
In 1976, after making a brief appearance in the short-lived television series Movin' On, Jackson moved to New York City, where he became involved with the Negro Ensemble Company, performing in several notable productions. (It was after one of these performances that Jackson was introduced to fellow Morehouse alum Spike Lee, who later cast Jackson in four films.) In 1980, Jackson married his college sweetheart, actress LaTanya Richardson, whom he had met while attending drama classes at Morehouse's sister school, Spelman College. He now has a daughter with her, Zoe.

After another television appearance, this time a part in The Trial of the Moke for public television's Great Performances, Jackson landed a walk-on role in Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981). Jackson returned to TV, working for two years as Bill Cosby's stand-in on The Bill Cosby Show, before being cast as Boy Willie in the original Broadway production of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson. Despite rave reviews and a starring role in Wilson's follow-up, Two Trains Running, large roles in Hollywood features continued to elude him, and a long series of walk-ons in such films as Coming To America (1988), Sea of Love (1989) and Goodfellas (1990) followed.

It wasn't until 1991, when director Spike Lee, who had already directed Jackson in School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989) and Mo' Better Blues (1990), cast him as the crack-addicted Gator in Jungle Fever, a role close to home for the former addict Jackson, that Jackson began to receive international attention. His performance won him a special jury prize at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor. Over the next five years Jackson went on to costar in more than 20 feature films and several made-for-TV movies, often playing the African-American sidekick to white leading men. Jackson is now perhaps best known for his portrayal of Jules, the Jheri-curled, philosophizing hit man in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

Mr. Jackson has starred in big budget-movies like Star Wars, Rules of Engagement and Shaft, but he has also starred in much smaller movies that choose a script over a budget.