LeVar Burton Biography
|Born||Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr.
February 16, 1957 (age 65)
Landstuhl, West Germany
|Alma mater||University of Southern, California|
|Occupation||Actor, television host, director, author|
|Spouse(s)||Stephanie Cozart (m. 1992)|
|Children||2, including Mica|
LeVar Burton was born as Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. in 1957, in Landstuhl, West Germany. His father was stationed in Landstuhl as a photographer for the US Army Signal Corps, while his mother was a social worker and educator.
Along with his two sisters, Levar was brought up by his mother in Sacramento, California, and was raised Roman Catholic. As a teenager, Burton attended St. Pius X Minor Seminary in Galt, to become a priest. However, due to his skepticism of the Catholic faith, Burton switched his career goals to acting when he was 17. He subsequently enrolled at the University of Southern California. Also, Check Out Mick Foley’s Biography.
LeVar Burton’s Net Worth
|Net Worth:||$5 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Feb 16, 1957 (65 years old)|
|Height:||5 ft 7 in (1.702 m)|
|Profession:||Actor, Television Director, Author, Presenter, Television producer, Voice Actor, Film director|
|Nationality:||United States of America|
Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. is an American actor and television host, best known for playing Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994).
LeVar Burton House & Real Estate
In 1996 LeVar and Stephanie paid $1.475 million for a home in Sherman Oaks, California. They listed this home in 2009 for $1.85 million.
LeVar Burton Career
After making his feature film acting debut in 1976’s “Almos’ a Man,” Burton had his breakthrough role in the ABC miniseries “Roots,” which was adapted from the eponymous Alex Haley novel. Playing the young Kunta Kinte, the actor received an Emmy Award nomination in 1977.
Burton appeared in the crime drama “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” starring Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, and Tuesday Weld in the same year. At the end of the decade, he had two major leading roles in made-for-television biographical films.
In 1978’s “One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story,” he starred as Ron LeFlore, a troubled kid from Detroit who rose from incarceration to play with the Detroit Tigers in the MLB. Then, in 1979, Levar starred in “Dummy” as Donald Lang, a deaf black man from Chicago who was accused of killing a pair of prostitutes. Costarring Paul Sorvino as Lang’s attorney, the film was honored with a Peabody Award and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Television Movie.
In the early 80s, Levar costarred alongside Powers Boothe, Ned Beatty, and James Earl Jones in the television miniseries “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones,” about the real-life Peoples Temple and the mass suicide of its members. Burton also appeared in “Trapper John, M.D.” episodes and “Fantasy Island.” In 1980, Levar was in the crime thriller “The Hunter,” and in 1981, had a supporting role in the television film “Grambling’s White Tiger,” based on the true story of quarterback Jim Gregory.
Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation
Levar began one of his greatest career successes in 1983 when he became the host and executive producer of the PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow.” The program, which ran for 23 seasons, earned Burton a plethora of accolades, including 24 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and 12 wins. He also received multiple NAACP Image Awards, as well as a Peabody Award in 1992. When the show concluded in 2006, Burton and his business partner Mark Wolfe launched a new children’s media company called RRKIDZ.
In 1986, Levar landed his next biggest part when “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry offered him the role of Geordi La Forge in the “Stark Trek: The Next Generation” television series. Burton starred in the show for all its 178 episodes, and also directed two episodes himself. Later, Burton reprised his role in the four feature films based on the series: “Star Trek Generations,” “Star Trek: First Contact,” “Star Trek: Insurrection,” and 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis.” Additionally, Burton directed numerous episodes of subsequent “Star Trek” television series including “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager.”
LeVar Burton’s Other Television and Film Roles
Among Levar’s other credits in the 80s were the television films “The Jesse Owens Story” and “The Midnight Hour.” He also appeared on episodes of “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Houston Knights,” and was in the zombie horror film “The Supernaturals.” In 1988, Burton reprised his role as Kunta Kinte in the television film “Roots: The Gift.”
Later, from 1990 to 1996, he voiced the character of Kwame on the animated superhero series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers.” Throughout the 90s, he appeared on such shows as “Christy,” “Deadly Games,” “Pinky and the Brain,” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
In the early 2000s, Levar portrayed Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in the Muhammad Ali biopic “Ali.” On television, Levar was in episodes of “Becker” and “Boomtown.” Subsequent credits include “The Jensen Project,” “Community,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Transformers: Rescue Bots,” “Perception,” and “Weird City.” In 2021, following the passing of Alex Trebek, Burton was chosen as a guest host on “Jeopardy!”
LeVar Burton’s Directing Career
In addition to directing several episodes of “Star Trek,” Levar directed the television films “The Tiger Woods Story” and “Smart House.” In 2003, Burton made his feature film directorial debut with “Blizzard,” a Christmas family film in which he also appeared. He subsequently directed episodes of “JAG,” “Miracle’s Boys,” “Las Vegas,” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” In 2008, he directed “Reach for Me,” which won an AARP Movies for Grownups Award.
LeVar Burton’s Personal Life
In 1992, Levar Burton married makeup artist Stephanie Cozart; they have two children, son Eian and daughter Michaela.
Levar joined the AIDS Research Alliance’s board of directors in 2012. In 2016, he was chosen as one of five inaugural honorees on the Sacramento Walk of Stars. Three years later, a park in the city close to where Burton grew up was named in his honor.