Samuel L. Jackson
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com
  • Faith: Christian
  • Career: Actor
  • Birthday:  December 21, 1948

Samuel L. Jackson is an actor. As one of the most widely recognized actors of his generation, the movies he’s appeared in have collectively grossed over $27 billion worldwide, making him the highest-grossing actor of all time. In 2022, he received the Academy Honorary Award as “a cultural icon whose dynamic work has resonated across genres and generations and audiences worldwide.” Jackson made his professional theatre debut in “Mother Courage and Her Children” in 1980 in The Public Theatre.

From 1981 to 1983, he originated the role of Private Louis Henderson in “A Soldier’s Play” off-Broadway. He also originated the role of Boy Willie in August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” in 1987 at the Yale Repertory Theatre. He played Martin Luther King Jr. in the Broadway play “The Mountaintop” and returned to Broadway in the 2022 revival of “The Piano Lesson,” playing Doaker Charles, for which he received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play nomination. His early film roles include “Coming to America,” “True Romance,” “Menace II Society,” and “Fresh.” Jackson’s collaborations with Spike Lee led to more fame with movies like “School Daze,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” and “Do the Right Thing.”

Jackson’s breakout performance was as Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino’s crime drama “Pulp Fiction,” which earned him a BAFTA Award win and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He further collaborated with Tarantino, acting in “Kill Bill: Volume 2,” “Django Unchained,” “Jackie Brown,” and “The Hateful Eight.” He also gained widespread recognition as the Jedi Mace Windu in the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy and Nick Fury in 11 Marvel Cinematic Universe films, starting with “Iron Man,” as well as guest-starring in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Jackson has provided his voice for Lucius Best/Frozone in “The Incredibles” and “Incredibles 2.” He’s also acted in several big-budget films, including “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” “A Time to Kill,” “Coach Carter,” “Shaft,” and “Snakes on a Plane.”

Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., in 1948, the only child of Elizabeth and Roy Henry Jackson. He grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His father lived in Kansas City, Missouri and later died of alcoholism. Jackson only met him twice in his life. His mother, a factory worker, raised him, along with his maternal grandparents, Pearl and Edgar, as well as his extended family. He attended several segregated schools and graduated from Riverside High School in Chattanooga. Initially, Jackson wanted to pursue a degree in marine biology and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After joining a local acting group to earn extra points in a class, he found an interest in acting and switched his major.

What religion is Samuel L. Jackson?

Samuel L. Jackson identifies as a Christian. He doesn’t speak about his faith often, but while receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th Annual BET Awards, in his acceptance speech, Jackson thanked God for his career. He said, “First, I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity even in the beginning. A young man who grew up in a segregated Tennesse, nobody told me I could be this. So, here I am, and here you are. Thank God for that.”

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