Respectfully labeled as one of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson is an undisputed star. He has made an indelible mark on American cinema in his riveting roles in hits such as Django Unchained, Jurassic Park, the Star Wars films and Pulp Fiction, the last of which earned him Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Jackson inspired a cult following with the horror film Snakes on a Plane, which gained fame as an internet phenomenon before its release due to its incredible title and premise.
However, Jackson is not just a film star -- he is a thespian. The mesmerizing stage presence that first won him praise in college and in New York is still apparent on camera. Known for his volatile performances in The Long Kiss Goodnight, Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, and Jackie Brown, it was his performance as a crack addict in Jungle Fever that won him the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Turning his attention to action roles, Jackson starred in S.W.A.T., Shaft, and appeared with Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance, the top-grossing movie internationally in 1995. His intense performances in Rules of Engagement, Changing Lanes, and A Time to Kill garnered further critical acclaim, earning him another Golden Globe nomination and an NAACP image award.
As part of the cast in the legendary series of Star Wars films, Jackson portrays the Jedi master Mace Windu. He continues to produce a diverse body of work including In My Country, based on the best-selling novel by South African writer Antije Krog, and the Disney Oscar-winning animated film, The Incredibles (2004), in which he voices the superhero Frozone. He also voiced Frozone's character in the 2018 sequel The Incredibles 2.
Jackson began acting in college while attending Morehouse College in Atlanta. During his time there, he became deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement, solidifying his interest in challenging racial issues.
In 1969, he was briefly suspended for taking several members of the college's board of trustees, including Martin Luther King, Sr., hostage during a sit-in to protest the absence of black trustees and a black studies curriculum at the school.
Jackson's likeness inspired the design of Marvel Comics character Nick Fury, who he has played in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films including 2008's Iron Man, 2011's Thor, 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, 2012's The Avengers, 2019's Avengers: Endgame and 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home.
In addition to his highly impressive body of work as an actor, Jackson supports research and awareness surrounding Alzheimer's, a form of dementia. Jackson has lost six relatives to the tragic disease and has stated that his mother and grandfather both forgot who he was. "It is so cruel having someone who has nurtured you and taken care of you reach a point where they can’t even recall your name,” he said.
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