LeVar Burton is one of the popular African-American actors who has been on our television screens for over two decades, and the number is growing. His popular roles include those in the sitcom Star Trek: The Next Generation as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, as host of the children’s series Reading Rainbow, and also as the young Kunta Kinte in the ABC mini-series Roots.
Burton is a man of many talents when it comes to the entertainment industry, and as such, he had also ventured into directing over the years, which proved to be a successful path for him as well. Let’s take a look at his biography, his family life, and his fortune.
LeVar Burton Biography
Burton was named Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. at his birth on February 16, 1957, the son of parents Erma Gene, a social worker, and Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, a photographer. Both parents worked for the U.S. Army when they were deployed to Landstuhl, Germany, Burton’s birthplace. However, his family later returned to the U.S. and settled in Sacramento, California, where he and his two sisters were raised by their Roman Catholic mother.
When he was 13 years old, he was accepted into St. Pius X Minor Seminary in Galt, California to become a priest. However, the young Burton failed to do so after reading works by philosophers such as Laozi, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Søren Kierkegaard, which made him sceptical about his Catholic dogma. He later went to the University of Southern California on a drama scholarship in 1974, where he graduated from the School of Theater in 1974.
LeVar Burton is an extraordinary actor who from his few beginnings in the African-American mini-series Roots as Kunta Kinte after Alex Haley’s novel of the same name gained recognition for his acting achievements as he was immediately nominated for an Emmy Award for best actor in a drama series in 1977. Because of his outstanding performance, he also received the role of Kunta Kinte in the Roots 1988 10 years later: The Gifts.
Burton’s other major work is his role as host and executive producer on the children’s series Reading Rainbow, which had 23 seasons on the PBS network. When the sitcom aired, it received more than 200 awards, including a Peabody Award and 26 Emmy Awards. Burton was also nominated and won 12 Emmy Awards as producer and host of the sitcom.
When the show ended in 2006, Burton and Mark Wolfe founded a media company called RRKIDZ for children. The application was launched for the iPad in 2012 and after 36 hours of launch, the RRKIDZ app became the number one educational application. The success of this app prompted him to launch a campaign in 2014 to make the app web-based and accessible to schools in the USA.
In the series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, LeVar Burton is also known for his role as Lieutenant Junior Grade Geordi La Forge, who was initially a blind character, but later on, with the help of an aid called VISOR, which he wears on his eyes, gave him a kind of visual aid that enables him to see. His character began with a small role as helmsman of the USS Enterprise, and when the series moved on to the second season, he became its chief engineer. Burton continued to play in the series until Star Trek: Nemesis 2002, and even directed several episodes of the series.
LeVar Burton Other Works
Burton has also directed episodes of the series Charmed, Las Vegas, NCIS, JAG, Soul Food, and the mini sitcom Miracle’s Boys. In 2003, he was even awarded Best of Fest in the film Blizzard by the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
LeVar Burton’s Family: Wife And Daughter
The actor and presenter married a talented make-up artist named Stephanie Cozart-Burton in 1992, with whom he has a daughter named Michaela Jean Estelle Burton, affectionately known as “Mica”. Burton also has a son named Ian Burton, born in 1980 from his former partner.
His daughter Mica, who is said to love her father very much, also came after him to build a career as an entertainer. Mica, who as a child loved to play cosplay, where people dress up as their favorite video game or comic character, has become one of the most popular cosplay models in the US over the years. She is also known for her sexuality as she openly identifies herself as bisexual and floods her social media sites with photos of her girlfriend.
Is The Movie Star Dead Or Alive?
Death conspiracies are common among celebrities, but the Roots actor has never fallen victim to any of them. There is still no news of the actor’s passing, which means that he is still alive and actively pursuing his career.
How Much Is Star Trek Star Worth?
The popular Star Trek actor, who is also a presenter, director, and author, has accumulated a net worth of 6 million dollars for himself.