From college demonstrator
to "Shaft."
Meet "The Man"



Samuel L. Jackson



Born: Samuel Leroy Jackson, in Washington, DC on December 21, 1948 (Sagittarius). Raised in Chatanooga, TN.
Height: 6ft 3in
Family: Father: Roy Jackson, left the family when Sam was two; Mother: Elizabeth, dept. store clothing buyer; No brothers or Sisters. Raised with maternal Grandparents Pearl and Edgar Montgomery.
Spouse: LaTanya Richardson, 1980.
Children: daughter, Zoe, born 1982.
Education: Riverside High School in Chatanooga, TN; Graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.
Hobbies: Loves golf so much that his contracts stipulate he be given tee time during shoots. Also loves comic books and Hong Kong films.
Residence: Los Angeles
Awards:
2000: Star #2,159 on Hollywood Blvd's. Walk of Fame
1994: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor Acadmeny Awards for Pulp Fiction
1994: Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Actor for Pulp Fiction.
1994: Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor for Pulp Fiction.
1991: Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize Award for Best Supporting Performance for Jungle Fever.
1991: New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor for Jungle Fever.

Film Credits Include:
Star Wars: Episode II (2002)...Mace Windu
Unbreakable (2000)
Caveman's Valentine (2000)
Mefisto in Onyx (2000)
Shaft (2000)...John Shaft
From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of Industrial Light & Magic (1999)... Host
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)...Mace Windu
Deep Blue Sea (1999)...Russell Franklin
Rules of Engagement (1999)...Colonel Terry L. Childers
Negotiator, The (1998)...Danny Roman
Out of Sight (1998) (uncredited)...Hejira
Sphere (1998)...Harry Adams
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (1998) (TV)...Himself
All Saints: The First Video (1998) ...Himself
Violon rouge, Le (1998)...Charles Morritz
Jackie Brown (1997)...Ordell Robbie
One Eight Seven (1997)...Trevor Garfield
You're Still Not Fooling Anybody (1997)...Jules Winnfield
Eve's Bayou (1997)...Louis Batiste
Long Kiss Goodnight, The (1996)... Mitch Henessey
Time to Kill, A (1996)...Carl Lee Hailey
Search for One-eye Jimmy, The (1996) ...Col. Ron
Great White Hype, The (1996)...Rev. Fred Sultan
Sydney (1996)...Jimmy
Trees Lounge (1996)...Wendell
Fluke (1995) (voice)...Rumbo
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)... Zeus Carver
Kiss of Death (1995)...Calvin
Losing Isaiah (1995)...Kadar Lewis
Films of John Frankenheimer, The (1995) ...Himself
Mob Justice (1995) (TV)
Pulp Fiction (1994)...Jules Winnfield
Fresh (1994)...Sam
Against the Wall (1994) (TV)... Jamaal
Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker (1994) (TV)... Richard Greener
Hail Caesar (1994)...Mailman
New Age, The (1994)...Dale Deveaux
Jurassic Park (1993)...Ray Arnold
Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)...Wes Lugar
Simple Justice (1993) (TV)...The Steward
Amos & Andrew (1993)...Andrew Sterling
Menace II Society (1993)...Tat Lawson
True Romance (1993)...Big Don
Patriot Games (1992)...LCDR Robby Jackson
White Sands (1992)...Greg Meeker
Fathers & Sons (1992)...Marshall
Juice (1992)...Trip
Johnny Suede (1991)...B-Bop
Jumpin' at the Boneyard (1991)...Mr. Simpson
Jungle Fever (1991...Gator Purify

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Samuel L. Jackson (cont.)

Strictly Business (1991)....Monroe
Mo' Better Blues (1990)...Madlock
Betsy's Wedding (1990)...Taxi Dispatcher (Mickey)
Def by Temptation (1990)... Minister Garth
Exorcist III, The (1990)...Dream Blind Man
GoodFellas (1990)...Stacks Edwards
Return of Superfly, The (1990)... Nate Cabot
Shock to the System, A (1990) ... Ulysses
Do the Right Thing (1989)...Mister Senor Love Daddy
Dead Man Out (1989) (TV)...Calvin Fredricks
Sea of Love (1989)...Black Guy
Coming to America (1988)...Hold-Up Man
School Daze (1988)...Leeds
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1987) (TV)... George
Eddie Murphy Raw (1987)...Eddie's uncle (sketch)
Magic Sticks (1987)...Bum
Ragtime (1981)...Gang Member No. 2
Trial of the Moke, The (1978) (TV)
Displaced Person, The (1976) (TV)

Produced:
Caveman's Valentine (2000)
Mefisto in Onyx (2000)
Eve's Bayou (1997)


   Though born in Washington, DC, Samuel L. Jacson was raised in Chatanooga, Tennesse in an all black neighborhood. Though segregation was nearing its end, when five year-old Sam whistled at a passing white girl, it was enough to send the entire family onto the porch to both protect and explain to him that, as a black person, there were some things you just shouldn't do.
   Despite the problems of a very racially-minded upbringing, Sam has often said "I was raised in the south and that's something I'm proud of."
   With the exception of his grandfather, Sam grew up as the family showoff in a house full of women. He recounts one of his early embarrassing moments as the result of his love for showing off. Being young and not knowing any better, he got into the women's box of Kotex and made phony bandages, complete with fake blood, so he could pretend being injured. He recalls that it sent the older women of the neighborhood into a fit. When his mother and grandmother found out, they took young Sam aside to explain the facts of life and what the fuss was all about.
   As a young boy, Sam also enjoyed performing in his Aunt Edna's school plays, despite a slight stutter in his speech that finally disappeared sometime around the fourth grade. He also liked to read and watch television and was known as the neighborhood daredevil by his friends. As a daredevil, it seems appropriate that one of Sam's early heros was Errol Flynn.
   In high school, Sam was an honor student, was well liked by his classmates and even served as student council president. It was during this time that teacher, Mabel Scruggs, first sparked the thought of acting in Sam's mind. Sam liked acting, but went through the rest of high school with thoughts of perhaps becoming an oceanographer some day. Although Sam was an excellent student, this was also the time he first began drinking -- a fact he kept well hidden from his family.
   In 1966, Sam was accepted to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After the Martin Luther King, Jr. assasination in 1968, Sam participated in the campus memorial service and became politically active in the civil rights an Vietnam issues. In 1969, at the age of twenty, Sam and a group of other students took over a college board of trustees meeting, chaining the doors shut and holding the board members hostage (one whom was Martin Luther King Sr.) for 29 hours to demand more black members on the board and more community involvement. While the board eventually acquiesced and everyone was let go, at the end of the school year, all the students involved, including Sam, were suspended.
   Sam moved to Los Angeles and worked for a time in a department store and as an assistant social worker. He also joined the Navy but the discipline of military life did not suit him and he was granted an early discharge.
   During this time, Sam began to recall his love of acting and became intriqued by the possibility of actually acting for a living. In addition to his experience in high school, Sam had once auditioned for a play at Morehouse's sister school, Spellman College and had enjoyed the experience, so in 1971 he reapplied and was accepted back at Morehouse College, this time as a drama major.
   He recalls, "When I told my mother that I had changed my major to acting, she wanted to know what I was going to do for a living."
   But he followed through on his decision and soon found a drama tutor in Spellman drama student LaTanya Richardson. The two were both passionate about the theater and in 1971 Sam was cast in his first commercial. In 1972 Sam graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in drama. He and LaTanya stayed in Atlanta for a few years working in local theater groups that, because of their racial overtones, Sam

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Samuel L. Jackson (cont.)

sometimes referred to as "Hate Whitie Theater."
   Sam and LaTanya arrived in Greenwich Village on Holloween night 1976. They settled in Harlem and Sam began knocking on audition doors throughout the city. He worked for about six months as a security guard but then decided to make his living by doing whatever he could in the theaters -- everything from hanging lights to building sets to acting -- anything to make a living at what he had grown to love.
   While Sam was a perfectionist on stage, he continued his college habit of drinking and taking drugs on a daily basis off stage.
   Despite his addiction, work came first for Sam. He began showing up at auditions for non-race specific parts asking confused producers "Where does it say 'white guy' in the script?" In time, the producers became less confused and more taken by Sam's acting ability, casting him in more and more parts.
   In 1981 Sam played opposite Denzel Washington in the Negro Ensemble Company production of "A Soldier's Play." He also began acting in the New York Shakespere Festival, on TV detective shows and even landed the job as Bill Cosby's stand in for a while.
   Jackson also landed minor work in movies, and made his screen debut in the 1976 television movie, "The Displaced Person." It was another five years, however, before Jackson logged his second on-screen credit as Gang Member No. 2 in 1981's "Ragtime." Jackson continued to work on screen in small roles over the next few years in movies such as "Coming to America" and "Sea of Love."
   In 1987 Sam was cast in the Yale Repertory Company production of "The Piano Lesson," but when the production moved to Broadway, Sam's role was given over to Charles Dutton.
   With such lost opportunities and his insecurities mounting, Sam added crack cocaine to the alcohol and other drugs he was already addicted to. It was finally too much for his system to handle. One morning LaTanya found Sam lying on the kitchen floor of their Harlem brownstone. When he finally woke up, LaTanya was relieved but also angry, really angry that his drug problem had gotten so out of control.
   So, at age 42, Sam checked himself into a drug rehab clinic paid for by LaTanya's actors insurance. When he came out clean and sober, Sam found himself worried that he might not be able to act without the drugs, but he was determined to try.
   Spike Lee had seen Sam perform in the past and had originally considered him for the role of "Gator," a drug addict in his upcoming movie "Jungle Fever," but after hearing about Sam's drug rehab he was having second thoughts. Even Sam's drug rehab counsellor advised against the role, fearing it could cause Sam to relapse. But Sam lobbied hard to keep the role because he knew he could play it, knew he could play it better than anyone else. His passionate fight for the job finally convinced Lee to let him keep the part. It was a decision neither man would regret because Lee got the performance he had hoped for and Sam came out of it with his sobriety intact and his confidence in himself reestablished.
   At the Cannes Film Festival, the judges were so taken with Sam's performance in "Jungle Fever" that they created a best supporting performance award, just so they could give it to him.
   "It changed it all," Sam recalled. "After they created that award for me at the Cannes Film Festival, it got the attention of the decision makers in Hollywood. Suddenly I was going to those lunches and meetings that everyone talks about."
   Respectable roles soon followed in "Patriot Games," "White Sands" and "Jurassic Park." And Sam's fee for film making finally began to look respectable as well. But when he refused to work for scale in Spike Lee's "Malcom X," Lee took it personally and made Sam audition.
   It wasn't the only audition Sam would still have to go through, however. In his first try for Quintin Tarentino's "Pulp Fiction," Sam's effort didn't go well. But on his second try Sam showed the producers a unique use of language and delivery that captivated them, and in the end, his portrayal of Jules, the Bible quoting hit man, earned Sam a nomination for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
   The nomination transformed Sam into a hot property, and after starring roles in "Die Hard With A Vengance" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight," Sam was fast becoming a true Hollywood movie star.
   Clean and sober, friends comented that work had become Sam's drug of choice, but the casual observer may be forgiven if they believe he's addicted to golf instead. Sam admits to his love of golf. He loves it so much in fact, that he requires tee times to be written into his film contracts.
   He explains his love of golf by saying where else could he dress like a pimp in lime-green pants and alligator shoes and not have a cop on his tail. He also loves the challenge of the changing greens, the weather and the wildlife on the golf courses.
   When asked if he has any message for young people about drug use because of his own experience, Sam is refreshingly frank.
   "I don't go around preaching about