Samuel L. Jackson


Photo: Samuel L. Jackson

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Biography of Samuel Jackson

Samuel L. (Leroy) Jackson – film actor, theater artist, producer. Hollywood superstar thanks to years of collaboration with the iconic Quentin Tarantino. Awarded the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for his role as Jules in Pulp Fiction. At the Cannes Film Festival, he won the Palme d’Or for his brilliant performance as Gaithor in the dramatic thriller Tropical Fever by Spike Lee, and his role as Ordell in Jackie Brown (directed by Quentin Tarantino) won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

In the photo: Samuel L. Jackson (Samuel L. Jackson)

Childhood: Washington-Chattanooga

The year 1948 was ending. In one of the Washington families, almost on Christmas day (December 21), a boy was born, who was named Samuel Leroy Jackson. The big city did not bring happiness to young parents – the father began to drink, and soon left for Kansas City in search of work, where he later died of alcoholism. As a result, his wife Elizabeth with a small child moved to Tennessee, closer to her relatives. Here, in the industrial city of Chattanooga, Samuel spent his childhood. A strong shock was for him the placement of his mother in a psychiatric hospital, after which the grandparents took over the care of the grandson. Somewhat shy due to constant stuttering, the boy spent all his time studying and was fond of music lessons. For playing in the school orchestra, he chose two instruments: a trumpet and a horn. And from the third to the twelfth grades, he diligently took part in all the performances of the team.

Samuel L. Jackson as a child

After graduating from school with a good attestation in school subjects, Samuel chose the profession of an architect for himself and left for Atlanta.

Youth: Atlanta – Los Angeles – Atlanta

Morehouse College Atlanta accepted Jackson into the architecture department, where he studied until 1972. The first thing the student did was to sign up with a local speech therapist to get rid of his stuttering. Then he transferred to the drama department of the same educational institution and organized a theater troupe mainly from black fellow students. After the first performances in the amateur theater, artists from other groups also appeared.

Samuel L. Jackson in his youth and now

While studying, Samuel took part in the filming of a fast food commercial. He so appetizingly consumed Krystal Hamburgers products on the TV screen that sales immediately went uphill, and a good fee was paid to a capable student. Only then did the relatives agree with his choice of a future profession: before that, the family had little faith that the guy was able to earn money by acting.

Jackson soon had to interrupt his studies, as he became a violent participant in protest marches after the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, was expelled from the college and convicted of organizing an illegal action aimed at the leadership of the educational institution. Samuel worked for two years in Los Angeles as a social worker, then rehabilitated at Atlanta College, and in 1972 received a bachelor’s degree in dramatic arts and decided to move to New York, where he saw more prospects for himself in the acting field.

Maturity: New York – Los Angeles

The big city was in no hurry to shower the novice actor with benefits. For the first ten years, Jackson worked in the theater, tried his hand at cinema, but the films Together Forever (1972) and Ragtime (1981) did not bring the expected popularity. Participated in television projects, performed at the Shakespeare Festival as Othello. Significant for Samuel was the play “Soldier’s Story”, after which he met the film director Spike Lee, who directed the actor’s life in a new, more interesting creative way.

Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee

But before embarking on a new path, Jackson had to defeat his inner dragons: a passion for alcohol and cocaine. Because of these addictions, Samuel missed a great opportunity to take part in a musical on Broadway, play several major interesting roles and almost lost his family – his wife and daughter.

Samuel L. Jackson in Tropical Fever

During this difficult period, the actor met Morgan Freeman, who became his mentor. After spending a rather difficult year in the clinic, the actor plunged into Spike Lee’s proposed role of Gator from Tropical Fever (1991). Having himself experienced what drug addiction is, Samuel shocked the audience with his penetrating frankness.

Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg noticed him and invited him to Jurassic Park (1993). Jackson in the role of computer scientist Ray worked on the set with already eminent actors: Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dern. As Samuel admitted later in an interview, it was very important for him to participate in the film, as it was a serious cinematic experience.

Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction

The reward for patience and loyalty to the profession was for Sam the role of the gangster Jules from Pulp Fiction (1994), which the viewer fell in love with from the first viewing of the film. It was a triumph, after which the actor’s fate showered favors on Jackson, and he stood on the same level with the first Hollywood stars.

Samuel L. Jackson with Bruce Willis in the action movie “Die Hard 3”

In 1997, Samuel played in the third part of the action movie “Die Hard” starring Bruce Willis. In the same year, he received another job in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, for which he was awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino

In 2000, Jackson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Samuel began the new decade by working on the sequel to Die Hard, as well as the role of the Jedi Mace Windu in the epic Star Wars film, in the continuation of which he subsequently starred until 2008.

Samuel L. Jackson in The Avengers

Samuel was interested in working on fantasy characters, so he signed a contract with Marvel that landed him the role of Nick Fury. From now on, among fans of films about the Avengers and other Marvel superheroes, Jackson was associated with the head of the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization.

Trailer of the film with the participation of Samuel L. Jackson “Django Unchained”

For Quentin Tarantino, Samuel has become an integral character in almost all films. So, in 2012, the actor again got a role in the film of the eminent director – the butler in Django Unchained, which critics called one of Jackson’s best works. The tandem of Tarantino and Jackson could be seen again on the set of the film The Hateful Eight in 2015, where Samuel received one of the key roles.

Personal life of Samuel L. Jackson

Despite the frantic pace of work, Samuel Jackson always put family comfort in the first place and still loves his wife Latanya Richardson and daughter Zoe dearly. They had known Latanya since college, but they decided to get married only in 1980 and since then they have been inseparable, despite the problems that arose in family life due to the actor’s addictions.

Samuel L. Jackson with his wife and daughter

Daughter Zoe (1982) did not follow in her father’s footsteps and works as a producer on a sports channel.

Samuel Leroy Jackson now

In 2019, three films with the participation of Samuel were released at once: Captain Marvel, Shaft and Glass. In Night Shyamalan’s thriller Glass, Samuel L. Jackson played Elijah Price, a terrorist criminal with multiple personality disorder. On the set, he was accompanied by Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, James McAvoy.

Trailer of the film with the participation of Samuel L. Jackson “Glass”

This year, the Avengers fans waited for the release of the 4th part about the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the incredible ending of the previous part. Jackson returned to the role of Nick Fury in the sequel to Spider-Man with Tom Holland. In 2024, the biographical drama The Banker was released, in which Samuel played one of the main roles along with Nicholas Hoult. Several premieres with the participation of the actor are planned for 2024 at once. Among them are Saw: Spiral, Shining Samurai and The Killer’s Wife’s Bodyguard.

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