Samuel L. Jackson. Date unknown
 
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Samuel L. Jackson
Forecourt Ceremony held on Monday, January 30, 2006
 
Born: December 21, 1948, in Washington D.C.
Age at the time of the ceremony: 57
 
Samuel L. Jackson has become one of filmdom's most beloved figures. After years of supporting roles, his breakthrough performance in Pulp Fiction made him one of the most recognized players in films. The intensity he brings to each film makes him a sought-after player in almost every kind of film being produced.

Jackson grew up an only child with his mother Elizabeth in Chattanooga Tennessee, where young Samuel attended segregated schools. He excelled playing wind instruments in the school orchestras, masking a tendancy to stutter. To overcome this, he began to act like people who didn't stutter.

Jackson attended Morehouse College with the intension of becoming a marine biologist. After switching his major to architecture, Jackson was an usher at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. He took part in holding the college trustees hostage, demanding reforms at the school. He was convicted of unlawful confinement, and was suspended from Morehouse for two years. Jackson became a social worker in Los Angeles during his suspension. Returning to Morehouse, Jackson discovered that he needed extra credits to graduate and joined the acting program, switching his major to theatre arts. He graduated in 1972.

Atlanta-based director Michael Schultz gave Jackson a part in his low-budget film Together for Days (released in 1973) with Clifton Davis. Moving to New York City in 1976, Jackson got small roles in television shows shooting there. Director Milos Forman cast him as a thug in his film of Ragtime (released in December 1981) with James Cagney.

In the meantime, Jackson became busy in the New York off Broadway world, appearing as Private Louis Henson in the original 1983 production of A Soldier's Play with Denzel Washington. On television, he played George in Uncle Tom's Cabin with Avery Brooks in the title role, aired over Showtime in June 1987. During this time, Jackson was mentored by Morgan Freeman, who introduced him to director Spike Lee.

In November 1987, he originaled the role of Boy Willie in August Wilson's The Piano Lesson at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven Connecticut. Director Lee put him in the small role of Leeds in his wild musical School Daze (released in February 1988) with Laurence Fishburn; he had a small role as a stickup man in Coming to America (which played the Chinese in in June 1988) with Eddie Murphy, then returned to the Spike Lee joint as Mister Señor Love Daddy in Do the Right Thing (released in July 1989) with Danny Aiello.

On Broadway, Jackson was on hand as an understudy for male roles in The Piano Lesson in April 1990. Struggling with drugs and alcohol problems, Jackson took a job as a stand-in for Bill Cosby on The Cosby Show for its last three seasons.

After appearing in small roles in Mo' Better Blues (released in August 1990) with Denzel Washington, and Goodfellas (released in September 1990) with Robert De Niro, Jackson's family intervened, sending him to a rehab facility in New York. His performance as a crack cocaine addict in Jungle Fever (released in June 1991) with Wesley Snipes, was a transformative experience, winning him a specially created award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Now, Samuel L. Jackson was hot. Spike Lee's cameraman, Ernest R. Dickerson put him in his rap drama Juice (released in January 1992) with Omar Epps; he wandered into Tom Clancy land in Patriot Games (released in June 1992) with Harrison Ford, and got a minor role in Menace II Society (released in May 1993) with Tyrin Turner.

Finally, he got to work with Steven Speilberg in Jurassic Park (released in June 1993) with Sam Neill. He played played Big Don in True Romance (which played the Chinese in September 1993); writer Quentin Tarantino tapped Jackson to play a part written specifically for him: Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction (released in October 1994) with John Travolta. A hit worldwide, Pulp Fiction made Jackson a household name.

Suddenly, he was playing Bruce Willis' sidekick in Die Hard with a Vengeance (released in May 1995); he found himself in director Renny Harlan's The Long Kiss Goodnight (released in October 1996) with Geena Davis. But Jackson didn't care for this type of thing.

He bacame a producer and starred in the small-scale Eve's Bayou (released in November 1997) with Lynn Whitfield. He returned with Tarantino for his follow-up to Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown (released in December 1997) with Pam Grier. He played a violin dealer in Le violon rouge - The Red Violin (released in June 1999). But enough of smaller films.

For George Lucas, he played Mace Vindu in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Meanace (which played the Chinese in May 1999) with Liam Neeson, co-starred in the Marine Corps puzzle Rules of Engagement (played the Chinese in April 2000) with Tommy Lee Jones, and took the title role in a remake of Shaft (released in June 2000) with Vanessa Williams.

Jackson played Elijah Price for the first time in Unbreakable (released in November 2000), and was a producer and starred in Formula 51 (released in October 2002). He returned to Mace Vindu in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (which played the Chinese in May 2002) with Ewan McGregor, and played an NSA agent in xXx (released in August 2002) with Vin Diesel.

Jackson voiced Isaiah Wears in Freedom: A History of Us aired over PBS in February, 2003. He did the voice for Frozone in The Incredibles (released in November 2004), and played the title role in Coach Carter (which played the Chinese in January 2005). His last appearance as Mace Vindu was in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (released in May 2005) with Natalie Portman.

Jackson has done comedy. Snakes on a Plane (released in August 2006) with Julianna Margulies, made people see air travel in a whole new way. Jackson became an executive producer and did the title voice for Afro Samurai, aired over Spike TV in January 2007.

He was also a producer and starred as a crime scene restorer in Cleaner (released in December 2007) with Ed Harris, and took a role in the multi-generational Mother and Child (released in September 2009) with Naomi Watts. After doing the voice for Zog in Astro Boy (released in October 2009), Jackson began playing Nick Fury in Iron Man 2 (released in May 2010) with Robert Downey Jr.; he continued with Capatin America: The First Avenger (released in July, 2011) with Chris Evans.

In October, 2011, Jackson returned to Broadway to star as Martin Luther King, Jr. in The Mountaintop with Angela Bassett, running for 117 perfs. He was executive producer and starred in The Samaritan (released in January 2012) with Luke Kirby, then appeared as Nick Fury again in the mega-hit The Avengers (released in May 2012).

In Tarantino's Django Unchained (released in December 2012) with Jamie Foxx, Jackson played a decidedly double-dealing slave. One more time for Nick Fury in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which played the Chinese in April 2014), led to him playing a rich philanthropist in Kingsman: The Secret Service (released in February 2014) with Colin Firth. He narrates Chi-Raq (released in December 2015) with Nick Cannon for director Lee, then teamed with Tarantino once more in The Hateful Eight (released in December 2015) with Kurt Russell.

Jackson played the heavy in the fantasy Miss Peregrine's Home for Paculiar Children (released in September 2016) with Eva Green, and played a military man exploring Kong: Skull Island (which played the Chinese in March 2017) with Tom Hiddleston; he played a — uhh — hitman in The Hitman's Bodyguard (released in August 2017) with Ryan Reynolds, reprised his role as Frozone in Incredibles 2 (released in June 2018), and has returned as Elijah Price in Glass (which played the Chinese in January 2019) with James McAvoy.

Jackson took the title role in the second remake of Shaft (released in June 2019), and headlined in The Banker (released in March 2020) with Anothony Mackie.
 
 
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Samuel L. Jackson Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Monday, January 30, 2006. 48 x 36 inches.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Samuel L. Jackson Forecourt ceremony, Monday, January 30, 2006. Samuel L. Jackson shows the crowd his mitts after dipping them in the wet cement.
 
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