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.
The Early Life of Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel Leroy Jackson was born on December 21, 1948, in Washington DC. He is the only son of Harriett and Roy Henry Jackson. They moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, as he grew up, but his father lived in Kansas City. Being raised by his mother, Jackson only met his father twice in his entire lifetime. His mother worked in a factory, and Jackson was left to his maternal grandparents and extended family during working hours.
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.Samuel L. Jackson
In his younger years, Jackson played the French horn, trumpet, flute, and piccolo in the school orchestra. He attended several segregated schools while he was in Chattanooga. He graduated from Riverside Highs School. After high school, he intended to pursue a degree in marine biology at the Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After joining a local acting group for extra points, he found himself more interested in that field as opposed to science. He switched his major and graduated in 1972.
Apart from his love of acting, Jackson was very vocal on his stand as an African American. According to DNA tests, Jackson is part Benga. He applied to be a naturalized citizen of Gabon in 2019. Jackson also participated in the protests after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968.
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
How Did Jackson Start His Career?
By 1976, Jackson relocated to New York City. While playing a role in A Soldier’s Play, Jackson met Morgan Freeman. To this day, Jackson says that he owes his success to Freeman.
I’ve always used Morgan as a yardstick of how my career is moving along.Samuel L. Jackson
Jackson also met Spike Lee in the same theater. He got Jackson to act in his early work like School Daze, Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, and Jungle Fever. He won the award for the best supporting actor at the first Cannes Film Festival. His performance as a hard-core druggie blew the judges away. The film also inspired freeman to end his addiction, as he just came out of rehab. (Source: Britannica)
What Does Samuel L. Jackson Do Today?
Samuel L. Jackson is still very active in the film industry as a producer and actor. At 73 years old, he is involved with several TV series and movies. He is currently filming three movies scheduled to come out in 2022 and is in the pre-production phase of two more. (Source: IMDB)