Samuel L. Jackson is known for his iconic roles in various films. He plays Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mace Windu in Star Wars, Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and Frozone in the Incredibles. These are just some of the roles he is known for. But did you know that Samuel L. Jackson is regarded as the richest and most popular actor of his generation?
Samuel L. Jackson has filmed 140 movies, appeared in 55 TV shows and voiced over six video games and two audiobooks. His films alone grossed about $27 billion, thus making him the all-time highest-grossing live-action actor.
Samuel Jackson’s childhood
Samuel Leroy Jackson was born on December 21, 1948, in Washington, D.C., as the only child of Elizabeth Harriett and Roy Henry Jackson. He was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
His father lived apart from the family in Kansas City, Missouri, and died of alcoholism later in life.
Jackson only met him twice in his life.
His mother, a factory worker who later became a supplies buyer for a mental institution, raised him, as did his maternal grandparents, Edgar and Pearl Montgomery, as well as other extended family.
During his childhood, Jackson developed a stutter and learned to pretend to be other people who didn’t stutter. To get through a speech block, he still cusses out motherfucker.
He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, initially intending to pursue a degree in marine biology. However, after joining a local acting group to earn extra points in a class, he discovered an interest in acting and switched his major. Before graduating in 1972, he co-founded the Just Us Theatre. (Source: Film Reference)
Samuel L. Jackson was A Civil Rights Activist
Following Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, Jackson served as an usher at King’s funeral in Atlanta. He then traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to participate in a march for equal rights.
I was angry about the assassination, but I wasn’t shocked by it. I knew that change was going to take something different, not sit-ins, not peaceful coexistence.Samuel L. Jackson
In 1969, Jackson and several other students held members of the Morehouse College board of trustees, including Martin Luther King Sr., hostage on the campus, demanding curriculum and governance reform.
Although the college eventually agreed to change its policy, Jackson was charged with and later convicted of unlawful confinement, a second-degree felony. He was then suspended for two years for his criminal record and actions. He would later return to college to earn a Bachelor of Arts in drama in 1972.
During his suspension, he worked as a social worker in Los Angeles. He returned to Atlanta, where he met with Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, and other Black Power activists.
He began to feel empowered due to his involvement in the movement, mainly when the group started purchasing guns. However, before becoming involved in any significant armed confrontations, his mother sent him to Los Angeles after the FBI warned her that he would die within a year if he remained with the group. He denied being a member of the Black Panther Party in a 2018 interview with Vogue. (Source: Matt Pomroy)