SAMUEL L. JACKSON
Dec. 21, 1948, in Washington, D.C.
In Chattanooga, Tenn.
Morehouse College in Atlanta, dramatic arts degree
Drug of choice:
Golf (His handicap is 12)
Jackson has a daughter, Zoe, with wife, LaTanya Richardson, an actress and producer.
CAREER IN BREIF
Samuel L. Jackson appeared to burst onto the scene in 1994 as Jules, the Scripture-quoting hitman, in Quentin Tarantino’s "Pulp Fiction."
Or at least until one thinks back to two years before, when judges at the Cannes Film Festival created a special award – the first and only ever for best supporting actor – for his portrayal of a crack addict in "Jungle Fever."
It was a role hauntingly similar to a life Jackson knew not too long before being cast in the Spike Lee film. Like the character he played, Jackson smoked crack – until the day his wife and friends found him passed out at the kitchen table clutching his stash and pushed him into rehab.
Jackson bounced back, adding to an already long list of film credits established since his days of doing theater at Morehouse College. He’s played a wide range of characters, bringing dignity to some of the most unusual suspects.
“I don’t just look at a role and say, ‘OK, the guy is a killer,’” Jackson explained in an interview for USA Weekend. "I’m interested in why. All my characters have lives outside the things you see them doing onscreen. When I show (onscreen), I’m coming from somewhere, and when I leave, I’m going somewhere else."
The result has been some of the highest-grossing films of the decade and a trove of awards, among them the New York Film Critics Circle Award for best supporting actor, “Jungle Fever”; the Society of Texas Film Critics Award for best actor, “Pulp Fiction”; the Independent Spirit Award for best actor, “Pulp Fiction”; and an Image Award for outstanding supporting actor, "A Time to Kill."
Like those characters he plays, Jackson appears to be headed somewhere – the top of his trade.
– Brandye Alexander, sacbee staff
DID YOU KNOW
… that his contracts include the “Jackson clause” allowing the actor at least three rounds of golf per week while on location? (He sponsors the Samuel L. Jackson Celebrity Golf Classic to raise money for charities.)
… that Jackson went to Morehouse College with the intention of becoming an oceanographer until a speech professor offered extra credit to students who acted in a production of “The Threepenny Opera”?
… that Jackson is the co-founder of the Atlanta-based Just Us Theatre Co.?