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Encyclopedia > LeVar Burton
LeVar Burton
Birth name Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr.
Born February 16, 1957 (age 50)
Flag of Germany Landstuhl, Germany
Other name(s) LeVar Burton
Spouse(s) Stephanie
Notable roles Kunta Kinte in Roots (1977)
Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. (born February 16, 1957, in Landstuhl, Germany), professionally known as LeVar Burton, is an African-American actor, director and author who first came to prominence playing Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award winning television miniseries Roots, based on the novel by Alex Haley. February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Landstuhl is a Verbandsgemeinde (administrative unit) in the district of Kaiserslautern in Germany. ... Kunta Kinte (or Kunta Kunte) is the central character of the first half of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, and of the television mini-series Roots, based on the book. ... Roots was a 1977 American television miniseries based on Alex Haleys work Roots: The Saga of an American Family, his critically acclaimed genealogical novel. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... Geordi La Forge is a regular character in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, played by LeVar Burton. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Landstuhl is a Verbandsgemeinde (administrative unit) in the district of Kaiserslautern in Germany. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Christianity (predominantly Baptist), Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke while waiting between takes during location filming An actor or actress is a person who acts, or plays a role, in a dramatic production. ... A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other taped aspects of a television production. ... An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article or the like. ... Kunta Kinte (or Kunta Kunte) is the central character of the first half of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, and of the television mini-series Roots, based on the book. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... Roots was a 1977 American television miniseries based on Alex Haleys work Roots: The Saga of an American Family, his critically-acclaimed genealogical novel. ... Alexander Palmer Haley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer. ...

Contents

Background

Burton was the child of a U.S. military family and was born in Germany at the U.S. Army Landstuhl Regional Medical Center while his father was stationed at a nearby military base. At the age of 13 he entered a seminary to become a priest. He is a graduate of University of Southern California's School of Theatre. He has a daughter, Michaela, born in 1994, with his wife Stephanie, and a son, born in 1980. Burton was awarded joint custody of his son after a paternity suit. The University of Southern California (commonly referred to as USC, SC, Southern California, and incorrectly as Southern Cal[4]), located in the University Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, USA, was founded in 1880, making it Californias oldest private research university. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...


He is an avid poker player, and participant in the World Poker Tour. [1] Currently residing in Nova Scotia, he and his wife Stephanie have worked to raise the awareness of treatments for infertility. A game of Texas holdem, the most popular form of poker, in progress. ... Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit(Latin) One defends and the other conquers Capital Halifax Largest city Halifax Regional Municipality Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Mayann E. Francis - Premier Rodney MacDonald (PC) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 11 - Senate seats 10 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area... Infertility is the inability to naturally conceive a child or to carry a pregnancy to full term. ...


Early career

Following on his Emmy-nominated work in Roots he was something of a household name. He was so well-recognized that he appeared virtually as himself in the late 1970s and early 1980s on a number of television shows that employed "name" actors in guest roles. Thus, largely on the back of a single performance in Roots part 1, he was a visitor to Fantasy Island, participant in Battle of the Network Stars, a guest of the Muppet Show's televised premiere party for the release of The Muppet Movie and a frequent guest on several popular game shows of the day. During these earliest days of MTV, he even appeared on a music video called "Word Up!" by R&B band Cameo. Roots was a 1977 American television miniseries based on Alex Haleys work Roots: The Saga of an American Family, his critically acclaimed genealogical novel. ... Fantasy Island refers to two separate but related American fantasy television series, both originally airing on the ABC television network. ... Battle of the Network Stars was the name of a number of U.S. television specials featuring competitions among teams of popular television performers representing the three major broadcast networks at that time: ABC, CBS, and NBC. The ABC specials were first broadcast in November 1976, with subsequent episodes airing... The Muppet Show is a television program featuring a cast of Muppets (diverse hand operated puppets, typically with huge eyes and large moving mouths) produced by Jim Henson and his team from 1976 to 1981. ... The Muppet Movie is the first of a series of live-action musical feature films starring Jim Hensons Muppets. ... MTV (Music Television) is an American cable television network headquartered in New York City. ... Word Up! is a 1986 album by funk/R&B group Cameo. ... Rhythm and blues (aka R&B or RnB) is a popular music genre combining jazz, gospel, and blues influences — first performed by African American artists. ... Cameos latest album cover: The Definitive Collection Cameo is a funk, R&B and dance group, best known for the 1986 hit Word Up!. Their lead singer is Larry Blackmon. ...


As the 1980s progressed, his interest in bettering the lives of children began to manifest itself. He created and began to host and executively produce Reading Rainbow in 1983 for PBS. The Reading Rainbow logo used between 1999 and 2005. ... The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a non-profit public broadcasting television service with 354 member TV stations in the United States, with some member stations available by cable in Canada. ...


Star Trek: The Next Generation

In around 1986, Gene Roddenberry approached him with an offer of regular series work. Thus, a decade after he had become a celebrity, he joined the regular cast of a dramatic television program for the first time. Burton began playing the role of the then Lieutenant Junior Grade Geordi La Forge in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Gene Roddenberry Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ... Geordi La Forge is a regular character in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, played by LeVar Burton. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ...


Other appearances

Beyond his two most famous series, Burton has enjoyed a wide range of acting work, alternating between serious historical roles and those in more fantastic fiction. It is the historical work that has garnered the most critical attention. On television, he has helped dramatize the last days of Jim Jones' suicide cult in Guyana, the life and times of Jesse Owens, and the life of the 9-year-old Booker T. Washington. More recently in theatres, he has played the character of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 2001 film Ali. This article is about the cult leader; for other people named Jim Jones, see Jim Jones (disambiguation). ... James Cleveland Jesse Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and field athlete. ... Booker T. Washington he was dimb Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856, – November 14, 1915) was an American political leader, educator and author. ... Martin Luther King, Jr. ... 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ali is a 2001 biographical film which tells the story of boxer Muhammad Ali. ...


He has also lent his voice to several animated projects. His most long-lived animated role is probably that of "Kwame", narrator in the cartoon series Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990 – 1993) and The New Adventures of Captain Planet (1993 – 1996). However, he has also contributed to Family Guy, Batman: The Animated Series, and Gargoyles. Captain Planet and the Planeteers is an American animated environmentalist television series, created by Ted Turner and produced by Jane Fonda and Nicholas Boxer. ... The New Adventures of Captain Planet is the sequel of the 1990 - 1993 DiC/TBS Productions animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers. ... Family Guy is an American animated television series about a nuclear family in the suburb of Quahog (IPA or ), Rhode Island. ... The animated Batman shoots his grappling gun from a rooftop in a scene from the episode, On Leather Wings. ... This article is about the animated series. ...


Burton appeared several times as a celebrity guest on the Dick Clark hosted $100,000 Pyramid, which ran from 1985-88. For other persons named Dick Clark, see Dick Clark (disambiguation). ... This article is becoming very long. ...


Burton also was the strongest link in the special Star Trek Episode of The Weakest Link winning approximately $750 000 for his charity. His final opponent was Robert Picardo. It was a record for the show for anyone. Weakest Link UK Version The Weakest Link (now officially titled Weakest Link) is a television game show which first appeared in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 14 August 2000. ... Robert Picardo as The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager Robert Picardo (born October 27, 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American actor. ...


Burton is the voice that asks 'what were the skies like when you were young?' on The Orb track "Little Fluffy Clouds", a sample from Reading Rainbow. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Little Fluffy Clouds is a single released by the ambient house group The Orb. ...


Directing

Like several other actors, Burton leveraged his regular role in Star Trek to launch his directing career. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, he would come to direct episodes for each of the various Star Trek series then in production. He has directed more Star Trek episodes than any other former regular cast member.


That said, a widespread myth about Burton is that he is the only director to have contributed an episode to each of the four live-action Star Trek series which immediately followed after the original Star Trek. This myth was, in part, perpetuated by Burton himself in an interview on the Star Trek: Voyager season 6 DVD extra features. However, Winrich Kolbe has also directed at least one episode of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. The starship Enterprise as it appeared on Star Trek Star Trek is a culturally significant science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s. ... The starship Voyager (NCC-74656), an Intrepid-class starship. ... Winrich Kolbe is a German-born American television, film director and television producer, best known for his work in various Star Trek television series. ... Space station Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9 or STDS9 or DS9 for short) is a science fiction television series produced by Paramount and set in the Star Trek universe. ... The starship Enterprise (NX-01) Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. ...


Burton has also directed episodes of Charmed, JAG, and Soul Food: The Series, as well as the miniseries Miracle's Boys and the documentary The Tiger Woods Story. Charmed is an American television series that ran for eight seasons on The WB. It was produced by Aaron Spelling and is about three sisters who are the worlds most powerful good witches, known throughout the supernatural community as The Charmed Ones but known to everyone else as the... JAG (the American Military acronym for Judge Advocate General) is a popular American adventure and drama television show, that was produced by Belisarius Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television. ... Miracles Boys is a six part mini-series based on a novel of the same name, written by Jacqueline Woodson, and was shown on The N in 2005. ...


His first foray into the world of theatrical film direction was a notable success. Not only did 2003's Blizzard garner him a "Best of Fest" award from the Chicago International Children's Film Festival, but he also picked up a Genie Award nomination for his work on the film's theme song, "Center of My Heart." The Genie Awards are given out to recognize the best of Canadian films and television, by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. ...


Books

Fiction

  • Aftermath, 1997, ISBN 0-446-67960-7

Awards

Nominations

  • 1977 Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Performance in a Drama or Comedy Series — Roots (Part 1, "Kunta Kinte")
  • 1996, 1999 Daytime Emmy — Outstanding Children's Series — Reading Rainbow (Executive Producer)
  • 1999, 2003, 2005 Daytime Emmy — Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series — Reading Rainbow (Self)
  • 2004 Genie Award — Best Achievement in Music-Original Song — Blizzard (Co-composer "Center of My Heart")
  • 2006 Black Reel Award — Best Director-Television — Miracle's Boys

An Emmy Award. ... The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York- based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming. ... The Genie Awards are given out to recognize the best of Canadian films and television, by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. ... The Black Reel Awards began in 2000 and were designed to annually recognize and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans in feature, independent and television films. ...

Victories

  • Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7030 Hollywood Blvd. for television achievement (unveiled 1990)
  • 1993 Peabody AwardReading Rainbow (as executive producer of episode, "The Wall")
  • 1995-1996, 1999, 2002-2003 Image Awardvariously for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series and Outstanding Youth or Children's Series/Special — Reading Rainbow (both as Self and as Executive Producer)
  • 2001-2003, 2005 Daytime Emmy — Outstanding Children's Series— Reading Rainbow (Executive Producer)
  • 2001-2002 Daytime Emmy — Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series — Reading Rainbow (Self)
  • 2003 Television Critics' Association Award — Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming — Reading Rainbow (Executive Producer)
  • 2004 Chicago International Children's Film Festival — Best of Fest — Blizzard (Director) [2]

A band plays on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ... The George Foster Peabody Awards, more commonly referred to as the Peabody Awards, are annual international awards given for excellence in radio and television broadcasting. ... The NAACP Image Award is an award presented annually by the NAACP to honor the top African-Americans in film, television, music and literature. ...

External links

Major Cast Members of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Patrick Stewart | Jonathan Frakes | Brent Spiner | LeVar Burton | Michael Dorn | Gates McFadden | Marina Sirtis | Wil Wheaton | Denise Crosby | Diana Muldaur

  Results from FactBites:
 
LeVar Burton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (865 words)
Burton is a graduate of University of Southern California's School of Theatre.
He has a daughter, Michaela, born in 1994, with his wife Stephanie, and a son, born in 1980 decided by the courts after a paternity suit in which Burton was awarded joint custody.
Burton began playing the role of Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series.
Reading Rainbow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1083 words)
Reading Rainbow is hosted by actor and executive producer LeVar Burton, who is also known for his roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
LeVar Burton, the host of the program, or another presenter, will say the title of the book, the author, the illustrator, then the publisher.
Original production was to have ended in 2005, with the show continuing to air in reruns, but host LeVar Burton said on February 7, 2006 that five new episodes of the show will be shot in 2006 despite the continuing financial troubles of PBS.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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