Feb. 16th, 1957
Landstuhl, West Germany
LeVar Burton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2003 - Blizzard
2002 - Star Trek: Nemesis
2001 - Ali
1998 - Star Trek: Insurrection
1997 - Trekkies
1996 - Star Trek: First Contact
1994 - Star Trek: Generations
1986 - The Supernaturals
1980 - The Hunter
1977 - Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Host
Reporter Dave Robinson
War Machine (Voiced)
Himself - Guest Judge
Burton was born to American parents at the U.S. Army Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in West Germany. His mother, Erma Jean (née Christian), was a social worker, administrator, and educator. His father, Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and at the time was stationed at Landstuhl. Burton and his two sisters were raised by his mother in Sacramento, California. Burton was raised Catholic and, at the age of thirteen, entered St. Pius X seminary in Galt, California to become a priest. He attended Christian Brothers High School and graduated in the class of 1974. He is a graduate of University of Southern California's School of Theatre.
Burton played a role as a visitor to Fantasy Island, was a 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 game shows. In 1986, he appeared in the music video for the song "Word Up!" by the funk/R&B group Cameo.Burton accepted an invitation to host Rebop, a multicultural series designed for young people ages 9–15, produced by WGBH for PBS.
On television, Burton has helped dramatize the last days of Jim Jones's suicide cult in Guyana, the life and times of Jesse Owens, and the life of the nine-year-old Booker T. Washington. He portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 2001 film Ali. He also portrayed Detroit Tiger Ron LeFlore in the television movie One in a Million, The Ron LeFlore Story.
In 1987, Burton played Dave Robinson, a journalist (sports writer), in the third season of Murder, She Wrote, episode 16 - "Death Takes a Dive", starring Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher.In 1992, a clip of Burton's Voice was sampled by DC Talk for the track "Time is..." on their album Free at Last. The sample is at the very end of the song, in which Burton can be heard saying: "Whoa, wait a minute."
He has also lent his voice to several animated projects including Kwame in the cartoon series Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990–1993) and The New Adventures of Captain Planet (1993–1996), Family Guy, Batman: The Animated Series, and Gargoyles. Burton is on the audio version of The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis.
- His character Geordi La Forge on _"Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987)_ (qv) was named after George La Forge, a Star Trek fan who died from muscular dystrophy.
- On _"Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987)_ (qv), his character's parents were played by two of his _"Roots" (1977)_ (qv) co-stars: 'Ben Vereen' (qv) played his father on "Star Trek TNG" and his grandson in _"Roots" (1977)_ (qv) and 'Madge Sinclair' (qv) played his character's wife in _"Roots" (1977)_ (qv) and his mother on "Star Trek TNG".
- At age 13, entered a Catholic seminary to study for the priesthood.
- Graduated University of Southern California School of Theatre
- Met his wife, 'Stephanie Cozart Burton' (qv), in 1988 during the filming of _Roots: The Gift (1988) (TV)_ (qv) and married in October 1992.
- LeVar Burton's father, Levardis Robert Burton Senior, was a career Army NCO from 1954 to 1976. Levardis Burton retired in the rank of Sergeant First Class, just as his son's acting career was beginning to gain notoriety.
- While co-starring in _"Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987)_ (qv), was also continuing his role as host of _"Reading Rainbow" (1983)_ (qv).
- As of November 2003 holds the record for the most number of Star Trek episodes directed by a Star Trek actor. He has directed more than two-dozen episodes for every one of the four "modern era" Trek series.