Samuel L. Jackson profile

Samuel L. Jackson in "Black Snake Moan"

Samuel L. Jackson

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Much like his revered character in the updated edition of “Shaft,” Samuel L. Jackson is one bad motherfucker. The veteran actor has proven time and again that along with his more dramatic work in films like “A Time to Kill” and “The Caveman’s Valentine,” he can also play some of the best badass roles in the business, and the audience eats it up like sugar-coated Twinkies. Samuel wasn’t always this way though, and has even admitted to being a lot closer to the fragile outcast he plays in “Unbreakable” during his early childhood days. Born in 1948, Samuel grew up experiencing the hard censorship of blacks in film. After graduating from Morehouse College in 1972 with a degree in drama and some prior involvement with political activism, Samuel began touring the country with the Black Image Theater group.

It was during one of his productions in New York one year where he met Morgan Freeman, who encouraged him to move to Los Angeles and begin the arduous audition process. Taking roles in four successive Spike Lee “joints” - one in which he received a Best Supporting Actor honor at Cannes - Samuel continued to become recognized for his knack of playing interesting minor roles in films like “True Romance” and “Menace II Society.” After working as a small-time actor for nearly a decade, Samuel received the chance of a lifetime when a hotshot director named Quentin Tarantino cast him in one of the lead roles for his upcoming film, “Pulp Fiction.” The film became an instant cult classic and Samuel was even nominated for an Academy Award, but more importantly, the success of the movie opened the doors for the up-and-coming actor. Since then, Samuel has pretty much taken control of his own destiny and has become one of the biggest male stars in Hollywood today, appearing in nearly three films a year. There’s not much persuasion involved when it comes to enjoying Sam Jackson on the big screen, but if you’re still not convinced, maybe movies just aren’t your thing.

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Sam on the Web

IMDB
An online database of Samuel's film and TV career.

Sam on the Screen

Samuel's film career runs long and far, and for every one good film he makes, he probably appears in two bad ones. Regardless, his contribution to the film industry has been extraordinary over the years, whether it's his award-worthy performance in films like "Pulp Fiction" and "Unbreakable," or his much cooler roles in "Shaft" or "Jackie Brown." Along with appearing in two of Tarantino's much bigger productions, he has also made short cameos in "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" and in the Tarantino-scribed "True Romance." His earlier work in films like "Jurassic Park" "and The Negotiator" gained him the respect he needed in securing his most beloved role yet, the Jedi Master Mace Windu in the prequel trilogy to George Lucas' "Star Wars." Samuel has most recently appeared in the action-adventure flick "XXX," the TV-to-film adaptation of "SWAT," and the superhero family satire "The Incredibles."

Oh, You Were Finished. Well Allow Me to Retort...

On "Star Wars":
"Yoda, the Dick Clark of the Universe-ageless."