Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Samuel L. Jackson
Birthdate: December 21, 1948
Famous Years: 1989-Present
Currently Known For: Avengers: Infinity War
|Networth: $200 Million||Famous For: Iron Man, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard with a Vengeance|
December 21, 1948
Avengers: Infinity War
Iron Man, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard with a Vengeance
Not many people could take a curse word and truly make it their own, but that’s because there aren’t many people that you’ll find as cool as Samuel L. Jackson. For the past 30 years, Jackson’s charisma and strong presence have helped him land just about more film roles than anybody else in Hollywood, and he’s still going strong as he approaches 70 years old.
Jackson was born on December 21, 1948 in Washington, D.C., but would end up growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee solely by his mother. While he was growing up, it didn’t seem that Jackson had much of an interest in acting, instead taking a shine to music. He also had a stutter when he was a child, which made it even more difficult to speak in public. Jackson was an excellent student, though, thanks to his grandmother.
After he graduated from high school, Jackson was set on a career in biology, attending Morehouse College in Georgia. Interestingly enough, he learned to quelch his stutter by uttering his famous expletive (that starts with an ‘m’) and decided on a whim to join an acting class in school. At the time, Jackson just wanted to get extra credit, but fell in love with it and switched from biology to drama.
Jackson’s first role would come in the 1972 blaxploitation film “Together for Days”, and he had two very minor appearances in film over the next several years. Meanwhile, he’d pop up on television in a handful of TV films in the late 1970s, but was running into problems with addiction. For this reason, much of the 1980s saw Jackson go without work, In the late 1980s, he’d start to see more roles in films such as “Coming to America” and “Do the Right Thing”, and in the early 1990s started to get clean.
The newfound sobriety for Jackson saved his career, as his roles in movies became more expanded, starting with the Spike Lee film “Jungle Fever”. All of a sudden, Jackson would get on a tear during the decade, appearing in blockbuster films like “Patriot Games” and “Jurassic Park” in supporting roles. The real turning point for Jackson came in 1994, when he starred in the Quentin Tarantino film “Pulp Fiction” that earned him his only Oscar nomination to date.
The role opened up a lot of new doors for Jackson, who would quickly become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood thanks to subsequent roles in films that included “Die Hard with a Vengeance”, “The Long Kiss Goodnight” and “Jackie Brown”. By the end of the decade, Jackson had become part of one of the biggest film franchises of all-time, playing Mace Windu in the “Star Wars” prequels.
Since then, Jackson has maintained his status as an A-lister, starring in comedies such as “The Other Guys”, thrillers such as “Lakeview Terrace” and action films such as “Jumper”. Of course, Jackson would join the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it debuted in 2008, playing the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury, recruiting Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man to The Avengers.
“I’m sort of the glue that holds all these guys together,” he said about one of his most famous roles to date. “I got them into the organization, into S.H.I.E.L.D., and every now and then I show up to remind them that S.H.I.E.L.D. has a purpose. It’s been a good job. It was a nine picture deal. I did it. It was good.”
To name how many films Jackson has been in over the past 30 years would be impossible, but the list is beyond impressive. So far, Jackson has appeared in more than 70 movies, with the films grossing nearly $32 billion at the box office when accounting for the wide release films. On average, a Jackson movie will pull in almost $80 million in the United States alone thanks to being part of some major franchises.
Every year since 1987, Jackson has been on the big screen at least twice in a given year, with the upcoming future being no exception. On top of the 2018 that Jackson enjoyed with another entry in “The Avengers” series, as well as “Life Itself” and “Incredibles 2”, Jackson has a big 2019 ahead of him. He’s scheduled to play Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe twice in the year alone, with “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and a main character role in “Captain Marvel”. He’s not listed for the fourth “Avengers” movie, but you can be that he’s likely to pop up.
On top of that, Jackson will be playing the titular characters in “Shaft”, which was adapted from the TV show and in “Glass”, the long awaited sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable”. Add in “The Last Full Measure” and a remake of “The Last Dragon” in the future, and Jackson continues to be one of the busiest actors in all of Hollywood.
Some actors would get burnt out from taking on so many roles each year, but that hasn’t been the case for Jackson at all. “It’s one of those dream jobs,” he said of acting. “I always liked the movies, from the time I was a kid. I did a lot of pretending with my friends and I did plays and all this other stuff. It just kept going until I finally reached the point where I figured it was a viable occupation to have….it just became my obsession.”