Off screen, number 33 of the most powerful celebrities according to
2003 Forbes Top 100 Celebrity List, Jackson confessed he had been addicted to cocaine and alcohol in the mid 1980s. However, he
overcame his problems and is reportedly giving support to singer Whitney Houston as she faces her own drug problems.
Though Jackson suffered from a speech impediment while growing up, he was skillful at playing brass instruments in his school symphony orchestra. He also paid great attention to the films he watched, often noting the absence of black actors on scene. Finding interest in film, Jackson continued his education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in Drama. He graduated in 1972.
Jackson, whose nickname is King of Cool, married actress LaTanya
Richardson (born in 1941) in 1980. They currently reside in Encino, California, with their daughter Zoe (born 1982). During his leisure
time, Jackson enjoys playing golf.
After twenty years experienced, Jackson gained public notice after portraying drug addict Gator Purify in 1991's Jungle Fever. He won both Best Supporting Performance at the Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Critics Circle for Best Supporting Actor.
Jackson went on to have small roles in films such as Fathers & Sons (1992), Juice (1992), White Sands (1992), Patriot Games (1992), and Jumpin' at the Boneyard (1992). The following year, Jackson continued to impress the public with his small, but affective performances in Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), Amos & Andrew (1993), Menace II Society, and True Romance (1993). He also took part in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993).
1994 was Jackson's big breakthrough year. Director Quentin Tarantino handed him the key role of mysterious Jules Winnfield in the psychologically twisted film Pulp Fiction (1994). His spectacular acting handed him an Independent Spirit, Society of Texas Film Critics, and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He also received an Academy Award nomination for the role. Additionally, Jackson's supporting role of a cynical father in the film Fresh (1994), earned critical acclaim. The subsequent year, Jackson was cast in the big-budget Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) and also starred in the adoption drama Losing Isaiah (1995).
After taking part in independent film Trees Lounge (1996), Jackson was involved in popular Hollywood films such as John Grisham's A Time to Kill (1996, played Carl Lee Hailey) and the action-thriller The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996, portrayed Mitch Henessey). The following year, Jackson received a NAACP Image award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his outstanding performance in A Time to Kill.
In 1998, Jackson received double awards: Best First Feature and the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear for his performance in Eve's Bayou (1997, played Louis Batiste) and Jackie Brown (1997, portraying Ordell Robbie).
The transformation from low-key characters to leading man could be seen in The Negotiator (1998), Sphere (1998), and Deep Blue Sea (1999). Jackson also played the role of Mace Windu in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Jackson attracted public attention by playing Elijah Price in Unbreakable (2000), Changing Lanes (2002, as Doyle Gipson), Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and xXx (2002, as Agent Augustus Gibbons). He was also seen also in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), xXx: State of the Union (2005), and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Jackson will play the role of Vann in Les Mayfield comedy/action The Man (2005). He will also lend his voice to 2004: A Light Knight's Odyssey (2006) and will be seen in upcoming Freedomland (2006, as Lorenzo Council) and Pacific Air 121 (2006).
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