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Samuel L. Jackson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (9) | Trivia (54) | Personal Quotes (41) | Salary (4)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 21 December 1948Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Birth NameSamuel Leroy Jackson
Nicknames Sam
King of Cool
Mr Cool
Height 6' 2½" (1.89 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Samuel L. Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., to Elizabeth (Montgomery) and Henry Jackson. He was raised by his mother, a factory worker.

Samuel usually played bad guys and drug addicts before becoming an action hero, as the character Mitch Henessey, in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) and in Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995). From character player to leading man. His performance in Pulp Fiction (1994) gave him an Oscar nomination for his character Jules Winnfield. He was active in the black student movement. In the seventies he joined the Negro Ensemble Company (together with Morgan Freeman). In the eighties he became well known by three movies made by Spike Lee - Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990) and Jungle Fever (1991). He received a Silver Berlin Bear for his part in the movie Jackie Brown (1997) as Ordell Robbi.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: wladimir van Heemst

Spouse (1)

LaTanya Richardson (14 January 1980 - present) (1 child)

Trade Mark (9)

Deep authoritative voice
Rebellious characters who are disliked or considered strange by others in the story
Often plays police officers or government officials. Both prone to intimidation or violence
Often plays very wise and intelligent characters with great capacities for violence
Frequently plays tough characters who swear a lot
Frequent use of swearing, particularly using the phrase "motherfucker"
Often sports a moustache or goatee in his films
Shaven head
Kangol hats

Trivia (54)

Daughter - Zoë Jackson (b. 1982).
Grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
One of Jackson's jobs as a struggling actor in New York was as a doorman at the popular Manhattan Plaza subsidized apts, home to hundreds of actors and artists, including Giancarlo Esposito, who co-starred with Jackson in Amos & Andrew (1993).
Ranked #44 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Was an admitted drug user until he completed drug rehab two weeks before playing a drug addict in Jungle Fever (1991).
Accomplished at playing brass instruments (french horn, trumpet) in school symphony orchestras from grade 3 to grade 12.
Graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972.
Was offered his role in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) after mentioning in an interview on UK television show TFI Friday (1996) that he would really like to work with George Lucas.
Daughter Zoe attends Vassar College. [January 2002]
Briefly suspended in 1969 from Morehouse College after taking hostage several members of the board of trustees, including the father of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, during a protest of the failure of the university to have black trustees or a black studies program.
Worked as a camera stand-in for Bill Cosby during the filming of The Cosby Show (1984).
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)).
In 2003, he spoke out against rappers turned actors, saying that as a classically trained thespian it was not his job to lend credibility to rappers by appearing in movies with them. But in reality, he has worked with more rappers than most actors in Hollywood, eleven times as of this writing: Juice (1992) (Tupac Shakur and Queen Latifah), Menace II Society (1993) (MC Eiht), One Eight Seven (1997) (Method Man), Deep Blue Sea (1999) (LL Cool J), Shaft (2000) (Busta Rhymes), S.W.A.T. (2003) (Eve and LL Cool J), xXx: State of the Union (2005) (Ice Cube and Xzibit), Black Snake Moan (2006) (David Banner) and Home of the Brave (2006) (50 Cent).
His characters often feature the color purple: Mitch Hennessy wore a purple-violet gem ring in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), Mr. Glass wore purple clothing in Unbreakable (2000); Jackson chose to have Doyle Gipson wear a purple hat in Changing Lanes (2002); Mace Windu, upon request by Jackson to George Lucas, wielded a purple lightsaber in Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005); and Lazarus, his character in Black Snake Moan (2006), plays a purple Gibson guitar.
The commencement speaker at his daughter's graduation from Vassar College (May 2004).
Is an avid golfer.
Was the first choice for "Fallon" in Judgment Night (1993).
He suffered from a stutter while growing up. A speech therapist suggested he audition for a play and it might help his speech. It did and he changed his major.
One of the late bloomers of Hollywood, he was already 46 years old when Pulp Fiction (1994) premiered and has acted in an average of 3-4 films a year since.
Says that people who recognize him often mistake him for Laurence Fishburne and vice versa.
Hosted the 1998 MTV Movie Awards (1998).
Was an usher at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral.
His performance as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction (1994) is ranked #41 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Made Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2002 and 2003 with earnings of $34 million and $30 million respectively.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.
Is a vegetarian.
To date (2006), his films have grossed more money at the box office than the work of any other actor in cinematic history.
The success of The Incredibles (2004) enabled Jackson to surpass Harrison Ford as the actor whose movies have grossed the most money in the world - in excess of $3 billion. (January 2005).
Before superstardom, he played a very minor role in Goodfellas (1990), starring Robert De Niro. After superstardom, he co-starred in Jackie Brown (1997), this time with Robert De Niro playing a supporting role.
During filming of Black Snake Moan (2006), grew close with co-star Christina Ricci. The two remain good friends to this day.
Was member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995.
His Pulp Fiction (1994) diner scene with John Travolta, was re-enacted by Dark Horse Comics' mid-2000 issue of "Star Wars Tales". In it (with modifications), his Mace Windu character talks about the Jedi Academy and current Senate politics with Master Yoda, during a meal on Coruscant.
Gave his consent for Marvel Comics to design their "Ultimate" version of the character Nick Fury after his likeness. He later went on to play Nick Fury in Iron Man (2008).
In real life, he was once a New York high-rise doorman, in 1408 (2007), he was a New York high-rise manager.
He participated in Model United Nations during his years in school.
Lives in Beverly Hills, California.
Has the rare distinction of having played characters that have been eaten by both a shark and a dinosaur.
Is an Anglophile, being fond of English culture and England in general.
Like Christopher Walken, he makes films for the pleasure he gets out of acting, regardless of how the film turns out.
While visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2003, he stayed at the world-famous Copacabana Palace Hotel.
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.
Is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons football club. He appears in their "Rise Up" campaign (2010).
The Jury of the Cannes Film Festival were so impressed with his performance as Gator in Jungle Fever (1991), that they decided to create the Award for Best Supporting Actor in that year, honoring him with the award. To date (2011), he's the only actor to receive such an honor.
Auditioned for a role in Mississippi Burning (1988), but director Alan Parker told him he did not sound Southern, even though he was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Growing up, his idol was Errol Flynn and dreamed about being a movie swashbuckler someday.
In a 2012 interview with "Nuts" magazine, he cites The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) as a favorite film.
The Guinness World Records named Samuel L. Jackson as the highest-grossing film actor of all time, taking in more than $7.4 billion at the box-office. The residuals alone earn him about $300,000 a year.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7020 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on June 16, 2000.
He originally intended to become a marine biologist before discovering acting in college.
Although he had been acting in small roles and in theatre productions, it was not until he was 40 years old that he received his first major role in Do the Right Thing (1989) and he was 45 when he became a star with Pulp Fiction (1994).
Has appeared in four films with Bruce Willis: Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) and Unbreakable (2000).
Has appeared with Brad Dourif in four films: Ragtime (1981), The Exorcist III (1990), Jungle Fever (1991) and Amos & Andrew (1993).

Personal Quotes (41)

[When asked about his character in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)] "He's black."
[on the subject of his character's inevitable death in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)] "I don't mind dying, I just don't wanna go out like some punk."
People mistake me for Laurence Fishburne all the time. And he always gets mistaken for me. (And why not? We've both starred in Spike Lee movies, haven't we?) Even when we're standing together, people have called him by my name and me by his. A woman recently ran up to him and said, 'My daughter loved you in Pulp Fiction (1994)! Could she have your autograph?' So he signed it, 'Respectfully yours, Samuel Jackson.'
To be frank, I am as passionate about golf as I am about acting. I very seldom get angry at golf. The year I started golf I had a caddie and one day I did get angry with myself and threw a club. My caddie told me, 'You're not good enough to get mad'. I have never thrown a club since. I enjoy my golf, it does not matter whether I play great or badly. I let it go.
I've played Loch Lomond - that's the one with the bogs isn't it? I played the one with the lighthouse. When we were in Liverpool we used to take the ferry and go to Northern Ireland. Films get in the way of my golf, but they have afforded me the chance to play a lot of golf.
On playing Othello - "I didn't realise how much I hated that play until I agreed to do it. I don't mind Shakespeare so much, but I really hate Othello. Here was a guy who had been all over the world, kicking ass, looting, plundering and probably raping the baddest babes on the planet. Then he falls in love with some teenager and loses his fucking mind. I don't like that idea at all. I mean, how stupid was he?"
People shout at me "Hey, loved that The Matrix (1999), man!" Yeah - me too. I was actually on a plane last year and this guy sat down next to me. Finally he said something to me, and we started talking about _Pulp Fiction (1994)_. He couldn't remember the actor's name, so I tried to help and said "I think it might have been Samuel Jackson." He jumped in "No, no, it's the other guy, that Fishburne guy". We rode the whole flight having that coversation and then, right at the end, he looked hard at me and said, "You sure look familiar, you're sure you're not Laurence Fishburne?" I said "No, and I definitely am not in Pulp Fiction (1994) either'."
I think everyone who says they don't like watching themselves in movies should stop lying.
People like the Ezekiel speech. I have to say that speech about three times a week to people, just to prove that I still know it.
I was a square for so long and it totally amazes me that people think I am cool.
[on how his look was created in Pulp Fiction (1994)] "Quentin Tarantino wanted Jules to have a big afro. He sent this PA out to buy a wig. She went to South Central and bought this jeri-curl wig. And Quentin was going off, saying, 'It's got to be an afro because he had this whole blaxploitation thing'. I told him, 'That's the South Central look.' You look at Ice Cube and NWA. Guys had all this shit dripping down their necks. I had already grown the sideburns out and the mustache. It was perfect. Total Gangster."
A movie is just a movie to me. They open, they close.
I have a place that's pretty much cemented in Hollywood in terms of liability, box-office viability and everything else. The only thing an Oscar would do is jack my check up maybe $1 million.
What kills me is that everybody thinks I like jazz.
I can't say to myself, 'I haven't had a drink in 15 years, I could have a glass of champagne and be OK'. That might be true, but history says when I opened that bottle of champagne, I sat there and drank it until it was gone. People who've been through what I went through are always going to be tempted. I enjoyed drinking and I enjoyed taking drugs. But I have to remind myself every day that I can't have a drink.
I feel like I have a kinship to England. I go about three or four times a year because you guys love me. Seriously, that's it right there. I just need to feel that love every once in a while. I like England because I can go anywhere on the tube and buses. So when I'm there I go to all the places where I used to hang out.
Hollywood people tend to think that because one is successful in one aspect of entertainment they can bring them into this particular world and make a success out of them. They ask people like me to be in a film with those people that they are kind of headlining and your name ends up behind them. If you do that, it sanctions the fact that these people come into this world and you think they are worthy of you sharing your time on screen with them. I don't particularly think that. A month or so ago, someone called me about the 50 Cent movie and I'm like, 'What are you calling me for?'. I don't even need to read that because that's not something I want to do. I like listening to 50 Cent and I can groove to his music but I don't want to groove to him on screen, just yet. Maybe if he does five movies and he shows some talent. I mean how does he get to work with Jim Sheridan and I don't. What is it about 50 Cent that makes Jim Sheridan say, 'I'd really like to make a movie with him.'?
Definitely. And I always do - I love me on-screen! (On if he watches his own films)
When I came to New York, it was bubbling. We watched each other, we encouraged each other, we went to auditions together, we rode trains together, and every Monday we had great parties. But it was also a time of, you know, drugs.
I don't understand how people live without creating. You know? I don't know how you do one picture a year.
I was the crackhead in Jungle Fever. I was two weeks out of rehab. I'd been smoking cocaine for a year and a half, two years, and I understood the nature of the disease. I had done the research. So when I started talking to Spike about it, I said, "You don't see him high that much. You always see him when he needs something. He's on a mission to get some shit. That's what I wanna do." And that was my breakthrough. That got me into Hollywood. It was the perfect marriage of experience and opportunity.
I was raised to be cautious. I went to work with my grandfather, who cleaned office buildings and furnaces, and there would be twenty-year-old guys callin' him Ed, and he called 'em Mister. My grandfather was this old guy, very dignified, but he never looked 'em in the eye. He'd look at me like, "Turn your head down! Don't look the white men in the eye 'cause they'll think you being uppity or arrogant." Now the name of my production company is Uppity.
I never asked for anything except a purple light saber. George said, "Well, light sabers are either red or green." I said, "Yeah, but I would like a purple one."
I've never been to jail. I've never been arrested. I've never been locked up. I'm a good son, a good father, a good husband--I've been married to the same woman for thirty years. I'm a good friend. I finished college, I have my education, I believe in education, I donate money anonymously. So when people criticize the kind of characters that I play onscreen, I go, "You know, that's part of a story.'
I went to the movies a lot when I was a kid. That was my joy. Saturday mornings, my mom kicked me out of the house, I went to the movies at nine in the morning and watched cartoons and serials and the double-feature horror picture, and then I would meet her later for the adult stuff. So I love movies that way. So I'll do a movie like Snakes on a Plane, and I'll do a film that's very serious. And I'll do a comedy, because it's there.
I haven't had a drug dream in ten or twelve years. All of a sudden, I had one, like, two weeks ago. Even in the dream, you're hiding shit from people! People that you know pop up in the dream and you got this big-ass ball of cocaine in your hand and you stick it behind your back and go, "Yeah, I'm all right." And then you wake up and you feel as bad as if you'd actually done it.
(1992) A few years ago Morgan Freeman's granddaughter-she's a friend of my daughter-says, 'We're going to England. My grandfather's doing Robin Hood.' I got on the phone: 'How the hell did Morgan get Robin Hood?' They said the part was written for him. So I said, 'Are there any more black people in it?' I want to do a pirate. I want to swing from ship to ship with a knife in my teeth. I want to kick some butt. I would love to do that stuff. I don't want to ruin my artistic facade or anything, but I love splatter movies. I love stuff like Scanners. I've always liked to be freaked-out and I love to freak people out.
(1992, on early film auditions) I've been told I wasn't African enough. And sometimes you don't get jobs because you're too good-'We wouldn't want to waste your talent on this meager part,' they say, and I'm sitting there thinking, 'I got a daughter who goes to school. She needs to eat, I need to eat.' When I auditioned for Mississippi Burning the director told me I didn't sound Southern. I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee! And this guy tells me I don't sound Southern! See, he was British.
Want to know what the 'L.' in Samuel L. Jackson means? None of your fucking business.
I heard that you can do what ever you want in International Waters, that's why I filled my jacuzzi with International Water.
I don't understand these actors who talk about how difficult it is to act with nothing there. I was an only child so most of the time I was always playing against something that didn't exist. It's called using your imagination.
(2013, on his father) Once, when we were performing in Topeka, Kansas, my wife, my three-month-old daughter and I went to see my other grandmother, and it just so happened my father was living in her house again. I was in my 30s, and there was this woman and this older lady, and then this teenage girl comes downstairs with a little baby in her arms as young as my daughter. He's like, "Hey, I want you to meet your sister." I think he's talking about the girl, but he's talking about the fucking baby. I'm like, "You're a grown-ass, old-ass man doing this shit?" Then the older lady's like, "So when's the last time you saw your dad?" And it was like, "I haven't seen this motherfucker since I was three months old." We go outside and he gets angry, going, "Why'd you have to tell her that?" I said, "Do you want me to tell her we hang out, that you've been taking care of me all these years? You're not my father; you're just a guy who happened to be my mom's sperm donor. I'm here to see your mother, not you." He passed not long after that. He was an alcoholic with cirrhosis and all that other shit. They had called me from the hospital: "Mr. Jackson, your father's ­really ill now. If we have to take drastic measures, do you want us to keep him alive?" I said, "Are you calling to ask if I want you to put him on life support, or are you calling to see if I'm going to be responsible for his medical bill?" They're like, "Well...." I said, "He's got a sister in Kansas City-you should call her." Click. It's done.
(2013) I was not the cool guy growing up. I was bookish. I had a stutter. I wasn't in the streets with all the other kids. I didn't dress cool or do cool shit. I played the trumpet, flute and French horn in the marching band and had great style on the field when we performed, but that wasn't the cool thing to do. I was popular because I was funny. I definitely didn't have the hot chicks.
(2013, on his signature role) If there were one movie I wanted people to look at, it would be A Time to Kill... It's an American story and a very Southern story. I'd like people to look at that one and say, "Oh my God."
(2013) W. Kamau Bell's FX show [Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell] had this whole segment where he was criticizing Django. He's a young black man with nappy hair and very dark skin, but he also has a very white wife and an interracial child. You can't tell me you know what people in the South did if you never spent time down there. He can say there had to be words Quentin (Tarantino) could use other than nigger. Well, what are they? These 20-somethings can't turn around and tell me the word nigger is fucked-up in Django yet still listen to Jay Z or whoever else say "nigger, nigger, nigger" throughout the music they listen to. "Oh, that's okay because that's dope, that's down, we all right with that." Bullshit. You can't have it one way and not the other. It's art-you can't not censor one thing and try to censor the other. Saying Tarantino said "nigger" too many times is like complaining they said "kike" too many times in a movie about Nazis.
(2013, on white directors doing films based on black history) There is this whole thing of "Nobody can tell our story but us," but that's apparently not true, because the Jackie Robinson movie finally got made as 42. Spike (Lee) didn't make it, but people still went to see it. When Boaz Yakin did Fresh in 1994, all of a sudden it was like, "Who is this Jewish motherfucker telling our stories?" He's the Jewish motherfucker who wrote the story, that's who. If you got a story like that in you, tell it. We'll see when [director] Steve McQueen's movie 12 Years a Slave comes out, if it'll be like, "What's this British motherfucker know about us?" Somebody's always going to say something.
(2013) I'm not trying to change the world. I'm just trying to entertain people.
(2013, on directing) I don't have that directing thing. I don't want to be out there setting up shots all day. I like to act. I read the script and sign the contract. I like hanging out in my trailer watching Judge Judy and eating sandwiches.
(2013, on maintaining sobriety) What's it been now, 22 years or something? There's all kinds of shit in my house that I've never tasted in my life, like Cristal-stuff I couldn't afford back when I was drinking. All I'd have to do is walk in the closet, open a beer, and no one would know, but I know that I probably wouldn't stop at one beer. So I drink nonalcoholic beer. I'm not looking for the kick.
(2013, on Jungle Fever and staying sober) I got out of rehab, and about a week or something later, I was shooting the movie. I had a modicum of fame because I'd done other Spike Lee movies, so when I'd go buy coke or something, the guys sitting around would go, "Hey, man, Do the Right Thing! Yeah, sit down!" and I sat right down and got high with them. All of a sudden with Jungle Fever I'm traveling in a different circle, which brought the next challenge because that circle has some darkness too-drink, drugs, only now they're offering them to you free. Now you have the chance to really get fucked-up. You know how it is. Make a wrong turn at a party and there's a bunch of people sitting around a table with more cocaine in front of them than you saw the entire time when you were using. I said to myself, Do you want to be fucked-up and think you're having a good time, or do you want to be satisfied artistically and spiritually in another way? I chose the other way.
(2013, on quitting drugs & alcohol and re-establishing his career) In 1990 my wife said, "Look, you're going to rehab," and the very next day I was in rehab. I didn't go kicking and screaming. I was tired, burned-out and at that low point of like, What the fuck is going on with me? They ask you in rehab to take an assessment of how you got to the point you're at, and I said, "I guess I could have gone to that audition without my eyes red, without smelling like the beer I had or the weed I'd smoked." I never blamed anybody else for not being successful or not getting to the places I saw everybody else I worked with, like Wesley Snipes, get to. I had no problem doing roles like Black Guy in Sea of Love or Hold-Up Man in Coming to America or going to Boston once a year to get killed on Spenser: For Hire or A Man Called Hawk. LaTanya asked, "Why are you doing these piddly-ass jobs?" I told her, "Well, this or that guy I worked with is probably going to be something somewhere down the line." I always left an impression in an audition. I was memorable. In rehab I saw that I owed it to myself to see things another way and try it the other way. I opened my mind to what was being said... Like the petals were closed and, all of a sudden, the sun hit the flower and opened it up. People looked at it and it smelled great, it looked great to them. I'm like, Oh Jesus, this is not bad at all. I wondered whether I was going to be as much fun as I used to be, wondered whether people were going to think I was as good an actor. But the clarity and professional satisfaction that came with sobriety-couldn't beat it.

Salary (4)

White Sands (1992) $75,000
Shaft (2000) $10,000,000
Unbreakable (2000) $7,000,000
No Good Deed (2002) $6,000,000

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