Feb. 16th, 1957
Landstuhl, West Germany
LeVar Burton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
LeVar Burton (born February 16, 1957) 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.
- Graduated University of Southern California School of Theatre
- 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.
- Is a strong supporter of literacy in children.
- 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.
- Met his wife, 'Stephanie Cozart Burton' (qv), in 1988 during the filming of _Roots: The Gift (1988) (TV)_ (qv) and married in October 1992.
- 1 son named Ian, 1980, decided by the courts after paternity suit. He won joint custody.
- In the original Next Generation script, Burton's character, Geordi LaForge, was going to be gay.