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 intesity he brings to each film makes him a sough-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 (released 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.
Caption TK
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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