Date of Birth: December 21, 1948
Raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Samuel L. Jackson was accepted at Atlanta's Morehouse College as an architecture student. Following a speech therapist's advice for his stutter, he auditioned for a college musical. Upon landing a part, he discovered he enjoyed performing enough to pursue further acting gigs, and eventually switched his major to drama. After graduating from college in 1972, he moved to New York to ply his craft in more serious projects.
Attracting the eye of a young, hungry director named Spike Lee during a 1981 stage performance of A Soldier's Story, he would eventually play Wesley Snipes' crack-addicted brother in Lee's Jungle Fever (1991). His brief performance was so authentic that the Cannes Film Festival jury created an award in his honor, Best Supporting Actor—a category it had never respected in the past. It was when Quentin Tarantino picked Jackson from the ranks of the semi-obscure and cast him in Pulp Fiction in 1994 that his role as a Bible-thumping hit man earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and some long-deserved acclaim.
By 1996, Jackson had his first taste of movie star status with the summer blockbuster A Time To Kill. The next year brought a mixed bag of supporting and starring roles, including Eve's Bayou, Hard Eight and the eagerly anticipated Jackie Brown. His roles continue to grow more varied and interesting: 1999 saw him as Jedi Master Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace, and reprised the role in two more films. He has also played leading roles in films such as Unbreakable (2000), S.W.A.T. (2003), Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004) and Coach Carter (2005).
His role as Colonel Nick Fury in the 2010 film Iron Man 2 led to him having the opportunity to reprise the character in other comic book films, like Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and The Avengers (2012). He also starred in the thriller The Samaritan (2012) as a man released after spending 25 years in prison and played Nick Fury in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) alongside Chris Evans. In 2015, he reprised his role as Nick Fury in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and played a bounty hunter in The Hateful Eight (2015).
The legendary actor continues to work nonstop and can be seen in a slew of films, including the thriller Cell (2016) alongside John Cusack, the epic reboot The Legend of Tarzan (2016) starring Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie, the fantasy adaptation Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) opposite Eva Green, the action sequel xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017), the action comedy The Hitman's Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds and the fantasy reboot Kong: Skull Island (2017), alongside Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson. He also reprised his Unbreakable role in the sequel Glass (2019), co-starring with Bruce Willis and James McAvoy and he teamed up again with Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019). He was also featured in Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and most recently, he reprised his role in the sequel The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021).
He also does voicework, including providing the voice of Frozone/Lucius Best in The Incredibles (2004), reprising his role 14 years later in Incredibles 2 (2018).
Samuel resides in Encino, California with his wife of many years, LaTanya Richardson. They have one daughter, Zoe.