Levar Burton

Actor, TV host, Producer
At the age of 19, actor LeVar Burton was catapulted to stardom as the lead in the monumental television miniseries "Roots" (ABC, 1977), only to be confronted by a dearth of satisfying roles for over a decade. That is ... Read more »
Born: 02/15/1957 in Germany

Filmography

Actor (86)

Becker 1994 - 1995, 2000 - 2001, 2012 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Christy 1994 - 1995, 2012 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Community 2011, 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Murder, She Wrote 1986 - 1987, 1994 - 1995, 1998 - 2001, 2010 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Perception 2012 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Reading Rainbow 1982 - 2003, 2010 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Shatner's Raw Nerve 1994 - 1995, 2000 - 2001, 2010 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Star Trek: Voyager 1986 - 1987, 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 2001, 2010 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Big Bang Theory 2011, 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Pioneers of Television 2013 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

And They're Off 2011 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Jensen Project 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

United Negro College Fund: An Evening of Stars 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 9th Annual Family Television Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

The ACLU Freedom Files 2005 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Mission: Space 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Host

ABC 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

TV Revolution 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Boomtown 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Star Trek: Nemesis 2002 (Movie)

Lt Commander Geordi La Forge (Actor)

The 29th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Ali 2001 (Movie)

Martin Luther King, Jr (Actor)

Dancing in September 2001 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

SnowFest 2000 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2nd Annual Family Television Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 30th NAACP Image Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Trekkies 1999 (Movie)

(Actor)

Star Trek: Insurrection 1998 (Movie)

Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge (Actor)

The 29th NAACP Image Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1996 Emmy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 28th NAACP Image Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Screen Actors Guild Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Deadly Games 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Star Trek: First Contact 1996 (Movie)

Geordi (Actor)

The 27th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The New Adventures of Captain Planet 1990 - 1996 (TV Show)

Voice

Star Trek: Generations 1994 (Movie)

Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge (Actor)

Star Trek: The Next Generation 1987 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Firestorm: 72 Hours in Oakland 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Television Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 19th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 18th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 23rd Annual NAACP Image Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 19th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Midnight Hour 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Supernaturals 1985 (Movie)

Private Michael Osgood (Actor)

Emergency Room 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

I Love Liberty 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Celebrity Football Classic 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hunter 1980 (Movie)

Tommy Price (Actor)

Battered 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars V 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Dummy 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars II 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Looking For Mr. Goodbar 1977 (Movie)

Captain Jackson (Actor)

The Paul Lynde Comedy Hour 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

A Special Friendship (TV Show)

Actor

And the Children Shall Lead (TV Show)

Actor

Booker (TV Show)

Actor

Caribbean Music Awards (TV Show)

Actor

Gargoyles (TV Show)

Voice

Grambling's White Tiger (TV Show)

Actor

Our Friend, Martin (TV Show)

Voice

Parallel Lives (TV Show)

Actor

Rise of the Zombies (TV Show)

Actor

Roots (TV Show)

Actor

Roots: The Gift (TV Show)

Actor

Taken in Broad Daylight (TV Show)

Actor

The Acorn People (TV Show)

Actor

The Jesse Owens Story (TV Show)

Actor

The N-Word (TV Show)

Actor

Yesterday's Target (TV Show)

Actor
Director (11)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1986 - 1987, 1992 - 2001, 2010 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Reach for Me 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Charmed 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

Las Vegas 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

Enterprise 2001, 2003 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Miracle's Boys 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Blizzard 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

JAG 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Soul Food 2001 (Tv Show)

Director

The Tiger Woods Story 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Director

Smart House (TV Show)

Director

Biography

At the age of 19, actor LeVar Burton was catapulted to stardom as the lead in the monumental television miniseries "Roots" (ABC, 1977), only to be confronted by a dearth of satisfying roles for over a decade. That is, until he took on the iconic character of Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndicated, 1987-1994). In the few years that followed the airing of "Roots" - a landmark in television history and American culture - the young actor found himself blessed with several starring roles in telepics such as "Billy: Portrait of a Street Kid" (CBS, 1977) and "One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story" (CBS, 1978). However, by the early 1980s those choice parts had all but disappeared, and Burton was forced to reconcile himself with series guest spots and supporting roles in television movies. Although his lengthy commitment to the children's educational program "Reading Rainbow" (PBS, 1982-2005) provided personal satisfaction, it was not until he landed the integral role of the U.S.S. Enterprise's Lt. Commander La Forge on "The Next Generation" that Burton truly made his pop culture comeback. In an industry known for its paucity of affirming characters for African-Americans, and in which landing one, much less two, career-making roles was all but unheard of, Burton's talent, diversity and perseverance served him exceptionally well in Hollywood.

Relationships

Levardis Robert Burton

Father

Erma Christian Burton

Mother

Michaela Burton

Daughter
born in July 1994

Stephanie Cozart

Wife
met in 1988 during filming of "Roots: The Gift" married in October 1992

Joyce DeWitt Actor

Companion

EDUCATION

University of Southern California

Los Angeles , California
attended on scholarship; cast in landmark TV minseries "Roots" during his sophomore year

University of Southern California

Los Angeles , California
attended on scholarship; cast in landmark TV minseries "Roots" during his sophomore year

Milestones

2002

Again played the role of Geordi La Forge in the feature "Star Trek: Nemesis"

2001

Was briefly seen as Martin Luther King Jr in "Ali"

1999

Directed "Smart House" for The Disney Channel

1998

Helmed the Showtime biopic "The Tiger Woods Story"

1998

Reprised role of Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: Insurrection"

1996

Once again portrayed Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: First Contact"

1994

Reprised the role of Geordi La Forge for the feature "Star Trek: Generations"

1994

Directed a "Star Trek: The Next Generation" seventh season episode entitled "The Pegasus" (date approximate)

1993

Hosted "The American Television Awards" on ABC

1993

TV directorial debut, "Second Chances", a sixth season episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (date approximate)

1990

Provided the voice of Kwame for "Captain Planet and the Planeteers"

1988

Reprised the role of Kunta Kinte for "Roots: The Gift", an ABC TV-movie Christmas special

1987

Co-starred as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, part of the futuristic ensemble of the syndicated sci-fi series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

1982

Served as host and producer (began as contributing producer and evolved to co-executive producer) of "Reading Rainbow", a multi-award-winning children's educational series

1980

First substantial feature role, "The Hunter", starring Steve McQueen (in his final film)

1978

Played title role in the TV biopic, "One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story" about a street kid who becomes a convict before making it as a major league baseball player

1977

Feature debut, "Looking For Mr. Goodbar"

1977

First TV special, guest on "The Paul Lynde Comedy Hour"

1977

Acting debut, played Kunta Kinte, the first American progenitor of author Alex Haley's family, in the acclaimed landmark ABC miniseries, "Roots"

1977

TV-movie debut, starred in "Billy: Portrait of a Street Kid"

1974

Left the seminary to become an actor (date approximate)

1969

Entered a Catholic seminary to study for the priesthood at age 13 (date approximate)

Joined the CBS period drama, "Christy", as a recurring character

Feature directorial debut. "Blizzard" (lensed 2002)

Directed episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" spin-offs, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager" and later "Enterprise"

Bonus Trivia

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On his success in the landmark miniseries "Roots", LeVar Burton told the Los Angeles Times (January 18, 2002): "Well, let's just say that because of 'Roots,' I know what it feels like to be a rock star, and just leave it at that. Look, I was 19. I have no apologies for how I reacted. Am I a better person having gone through that? Absolutely. A lot of who I am was forged by that experience."

.

Burton is the president of the production company Eagle Nation Films.

.

In a TV broadcast from the early 1980s bemoaning the paucity of film roles for Black actors, reviewers Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel of "Sneak Previews" revealed that Burton's supporting role in "The Hunter" (1980), Steve McQueen's swan song, was originally written for a dog.

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Burton established a scholarship at the University of Southern California.

.

"I will always want to act, but I plan to do a lot more writing, producing and directing in the future. I want to be one of those people who always does some acting, but I don't plan to give myself the lead in every one of my projects, nor do I want to." --Burton quoted in an Web interview posted at www.fortunecity.se/spockholm/plutosvag/16/levar.htm

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