Laurence Fishburne

One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.His m...

Born on July 30, 1961

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Height 1.84m / 6' 0"

Biography

One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.His mother transplanted her family to Brooklyn after his parents divorced. At the age of 10, he appeared in his first play, "In My Many Names and Days," at a cramped little theater space in Manhattan. He continued on but managed to avoid the trappings of a child star per se, considering himself more a working child actor at the time. Billing himself as Larry Fishburne during this early phase, he never studied or was trained in the technique of acting. In 1973, at the age of 12, Laurence won a recurring role on the daytime soap One Life to Live (1968) that lasted three seasons and subsequently made his film debut in the ghetto-themed Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975). At 14 Francis Ford Coppola cast him in Apocalypse Now (1979), which filmed for two years in the Phillippines. Laurence didn't work for another year and a half after that long episode. A graduate of Lincoln Square Academy, Coppola was impressed enough with Laurence to hire him again down the line with featured roles in Rumble Fish (1983), The Cotton Club (1984), and Gardens of Stone (1987).Throughout the 1980s, he continued to build up his film and TV credit list with featured roles despite little fanfare. A recurring role as Cowboy Curtis on the kiddie show Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986) helped him through whatever lean patches there were at the time. With the new decade (1990s) came out-and-out stardom for Laurence. A choice lead in John Singleton's urban tale Boyz n the Hood (1991) catapulted him immediately into the front of the film ranks. Set in LA's turbulent South Central area, his potent role as a morally minded divorced father who strives to rise above the ignorance and violence of his surroundings, Laurence showed true command and the ability to hold up any film. On stage, he would become invariably linked to playwright August Wilson and his 20th Century epic African-American experience after starring for two years as the eruptive ex-con in "Two Training Running." For this powerful, mesmerizing performance, Laurence won nearly every prestigious theater award in the books (Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Theatre World). It was around the time of this career hallmark that he began billing himself as "Laurence" instead of "Larry." More awards and accolades came his way. In addition to an Emmy for the pilot episode of the series "Tribeca," he was nominated for his fine work in the quality mini-movies The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) and Miss Evers' Boys (1997).On the larger screen, both Laurence and Angela Bassett were given Oscar nominations for their raw, seething portrayals of rock stars Ike and Tina Turner in the film What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). To his credit, he managed to take an extremely repellent character and make it a sobering and captivating experience. A pulp box-office favorite as well, he originated the role of Morpheus, Keanu Reeves' mentor, in the exceedingly popular futuristic sci-fi The Matrix (1999), best known for its ground-breaking special effects. He wisely returned for its back-to-back sequels. Into the millennium, Laurence extended his talents by making his screenwriting and directorial debut in Once in the Life (2000), in which he also starred. The film is based on his own critically acclaimed play "Riff Raff," which he staged five years earlier. In 1999, he scored a major theater triumph with a multi-racial version of "The Lion in Winter" as Henry II opposite Stockard Channing's Eleanor of Acquitaine. On film, Fishburne has appeared in a variety of interesting roles in not-always-successful films. Never less than compelling, a few of his more notable parts include an urban speed chess player in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993); a military prisoner in Cadence (1990); a college professor in Singleton's Higher Learning (1995); a CIA operative in Bad Company (1995); the title role in Othello (1995) (he was the first black actor to play the part on film); a spaceship rescue team leader in the sci-fi horror Event Horizon (1997); a Depression-era gangster in Hoodlum (1997); a dogged police sergeant in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River (2003); a spelling bee coach in Akeelah and the Bee (2006); and prominent roles in the mainstream films Predators (2010) and Contagion (2011). He returned occasionally to the theatre. In April 2008, he played Thurgood Marshall in the one-man show "Thurgood" and won a Drama Desk Award. It was later transferred to the screen.In the fall of 2008, Fishburne replaced William Petersen as the male lead investigator on the popular CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), but left the show in 2011 to refocus on films and was in turn replaced by Ted Danson. Since then Fishburne has appeared in the Superman film Man of Steel (2013) as Daily Planet chief Perry White.Fishburne has two children, Langston and Montana, from his first marriage to actress Hajna O. Moss. In September 2002, Fishburne married Cuban-American actress Gina Torres.Read More

Known For

TradeMarks

Deep authoritative voice in many of his roles, most often delivering psychological Shakespearian speech

Known for playing very wise and intelligent characters

Gap between his front teeth

Trivia

Children, with Hajna O. Moss: son Langston Fishburne (b. 1987), daughter Montana Fishburne (b. 1991).

His deal for The Matrix (1999) sequels was for a reported $15 million + 3.75% of the gross.

Auditioned for the role of Ben in Night of the Living Dead (1990).

Went to New York's High School of the Performing Arts

He is often mistaken for Samuel L. Jackson and vice versa. According to Jackson, they've stood right next to each other, and people still call them by the wrong names.

Won Broadway's 1992 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for August Wilson's "Two Trains Running."

In Event Horizon (1997) the space suits worn by the actors weighed 65 pounds each. He nicknamed his Doris.

Studied acting at the Lincoln Square Academy in New York.

Engaged to Gina Torres. [2001]

He changed his name from Larry to Laurence in his films in 1991.

Quotes

For the last six months people have been coming up to me and saying, 'I loved you in Pulp Fiction, Mr. Jackson.'" [1996]

I don't believe in acting teachers for me.

It's funny, a lot of people think I take myself seriously because I come off so serious sometimes. But it's not that I take myself seriously, I take what I do seriously. I came up around people who took acting seriously, who cared about acting, cared about the theater and, in the '70s, made movies that said something that mattered. I came up with those people, and I was a kid. Their ethos and credo became mine.

I play characters. I don't think I really have a persona per se. I don't play the same guy every time. I show up, you don't know what I'm gonna do. I like it that way. I've intentionally tried to do it that way. I think that's what's interesting.

[on why he didn't read the complete play of "Othello" before acting in the film version in which more than half of the dialogue was cut:] "Why should I read all those words that I'm not going to get to say?"

I've played a lot of bad guys, 'cause that was the only work I could get. People saw my face and went 'oooh'.

Spouses

Gina Torres Gina Torres September 22, 2002 - present (1 child)
Hajna O. Moss Hajna O. Moss - present (divorced) (2 children)

Salaries

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CSI: Crime Scene Investigation $ 350,000 /episode (2009-10)
Hannibal Hannibal $ 175,000 per episode (2013-2014)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CSI: Crime Scene Investigation $ 350,000 /episode (2010-11)

Filmography

One Life to Live One Life to Live Dr.Joshua"Josh"Hall#1(1973-1976)(unknownepisodes)
M*A*S*H M*A*S*H CorporalDorsey(1episode,1982)
Good Morning America Good Morning America Himself-Guest(1episode,2011)
Trapper John, M.D. Trapper John, M.D. Hobie(1episode,1981)
Apocalypse Now  Apocalypse Now  Tyrone'Clean'Miller(asLarryFishburne)
Fast Break  Fast Break  StreetKid(asLaurenceFishburneIII)
A Rumor of War A Rumor of War Lightbulb(2episodes,1980)
Willie & Phil  Willie & Phil  Wilson(asLawrenceFishburneIII)
Entertainment Tonight Entertainment Tonight Himself/...(8episodes,2008-2015)
Hill Street Blues Hill Street Blues MauriceHaynes(1episode,1986)
Strike Force Strike Force F.T.(1episode,1982)
Rumble Fish  Rumble Fish  Midget(asLarryFishburne)
Miami Vice Miami Vice PrisonGuardKeller(1episode,1986)
The Cotton Club  The Cotton Club  BumpyRhodes(asLarryFishburne)
The Equalizer The Equalizer CaseyTaylor(1episode,1989)
Spenser: For Hire Spenser: For Hire DavidMukende(1episode,1987)
The Color Purple  The Color Purple  Swain(asLarryFishburne)
The Oprah Winfrey Show The Oprah Winfrey Show Himself(1episode,2006)
Band of the Hand  Band of the Hand  Cream(asLarryFishburne)
Quicksilver  Quicksilver  Voodoo(asLarryFishburne)
Cherry 2000  Cherry 2000  GluGluLawyer(asLarryFishburne)
Gardens of Stone  Gardens of Stone  Sgt.Flanagan(asLarryFishburne)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors  A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors  Max(asLarryFishburne)
American Experience American Experience MartinDelany(1episode,1991)
Red Heat  Red Heat  Lt.Stobbs(asLarryFishburne)
The Arsenio Hall Show The Arsenio Hall Show Himself(4episodes,1992-1994)
Live! with Kelly Live! with Kelly Himself/...(6episodes,2005-2014)
The Civil War The Civil War Various/...(9episodes,1990)
King of New York  King of New York  JimmyJump(asLarryFishburne)
Boyz n the Hood  Boyz n the Hood  FuriousStyles(asLarryFishburne)
Cadence  Cadence  Stokes(asLarryFishburne)
Class Action  Class Action  NickHolbrook(asLarryFishburne)
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse  Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse  Himself(asLarryFishburne)
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Himself(4episodes,1993-2003)
Deep Cover  Deep Cover  RussellStevensJr./JohnHull(asLarryFishburne)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself(1episode,2003)
Late Show with David Letterman Late Show with David Letterman Himself(7episodes,1994-2000)
Tribeca Tribeca Martin(1episode,1993)
The Wild West The Wild West NatLove(2episodes,1993)
Searching for Bobby Fischer  Searching for Bobby Fischer  Vinnie
What's Love Got to Do with It  What's Love Got to Do with It  IkeTurner
MADtv MADtv Himself(1episode,1999)
Bad Company  Bad Company  NelsonCrowe
Othello  Othello  Othello
The Tuskegee Airmen  The Tuskegee Airmen  HannibalLee
The Daily Show The Daily Show Himself(1episode,2003)
The Rosie O'Donnell Show The Rosie O'Donnell Show Himself(2episodes,1999-2000)
Fled  Fled  Piper
Event Horizon  Event Horizon  CaptainMiller
Hoodlum  Hoodlum  BumpyJohnson
Hoodlum  Hoodlum 
The View The View Himself/...(4episodes,2003-2014)
The Matrix  The Matrix  Morpheus
The Magic Hour The Magic Hour Himself(1episode,1998)
Live from Lincoln Center Live from Lincoln Center Narrator(1episode,2005)
Welcome to Hollywood  Welcome to Hollywood  LaurenceFishburne
Welcome to Hollywood  Welcome to Hollywood 
Inside the Actors Studio Inside the Actors Studio Himself(1episode,1998)
American Playhouse American Playhouse JimboCollins(1episode,1983)
Film 2016 Film 2016 Himself(1episode,1996)
Apocalypse Pooh  Apocalypse Pooh  Tyrone'Clean'Miller(archivesound)(uncredited)
Getaway Getaway Himself-Celebritytraveller(1episode,2008)
The Matrix Reloaded  The Matrix Reloaded  Morpheus
Michael Jordan to the Max  Michael Jordan to the Max  Narrator(voice)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CSI: Crime Scene Investigation RaymondLangston(61episodes,2008-2011)
Extra Extra Himself/...(4episodes,2014-2016)
Ebony/Jet Showcase Ebony/Jet Showcase Himself(1episode,1992)
Charlie Rose Charlie Rose Himself/...(5episodes,1999-2008)
31st NAACP Image Awards  31st NAACP Image Awards  Himself
1996 MTV Movie Awards  1996 MTV Movie Awards  Himself
Enter the Matrix  Enter the Matrix  Morpheus(voice)
2000 MTV Movie Awards  2000 MTV Movie Awards  Himself/Morpheus(asLawrenceFishburne)
The 68th Annual Academy Awards  The 68th Annual Academy Awards  Himself-Co-Presenter:BestOriginalSong
VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards  VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards  Himself
The Matrix Revisited  The Matrix Revisited  Himself/Morpheus
The Matrix Revisited  The Matrix Revisited 
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Himself(1episode,2009)
Bobby  Bobby  Edward
CSI: Miami CSI: Miami RaymondLangston(1episode,2009)
Mission: Impossible III  Mission: Impossible III  TheodoreBrassel
HBO First Look HBO First Look Himself(4episodes,1999-2005)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself(2episodes,2005-2015)
The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards  The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards  Himself-Co-Presenter:OutstandingLeadActorinaDramaSeries/Nominated:OutstandingLeadActorinaMiniseriesoraSpecialandWinner:OutstandingMadeforTelevisionMovie
Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary  Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary  Himself
Biker Boyz  Biker Boyz  Smoke
Mystic River  Mystic River  WhiteyPowers
106 & Park Top 10 Live 106 & Park Top 10 Live Himself(2episodes,2006)
Filmland Filmland Himself(1episode,2003)
Player$ Player$ Himself(1episode,2003)
What's Going On? What's Going On? (1episode)
Listen Up! Charles Barkley with Ernie Johnson Listen Up! Charles Barkley with Ernie Johnson Himself(1episode,2002)
Making 'The Matrix'  Making 'The Matrix'  Himself
The Soul of a Man  The Soul of a Man  Himself-Narrator
The 57th Annual Tony Awards  The 57th Annual Tony Awards  Himself-Presenter:BestLeadingActressinaPlay
Tinseltown TV Tinseltown TV Himself(1episode,2003)
Shootout Shootout Himself(1episode,2008)
CSI: NY CSI: NY RaymondLangston(1episode,2009)
Tavis Smiley Tavis Smiley Himself(3episodes,2005-2010)
The Matrix Recalibrated  The Matrix Recalibrated  Himself
The 53rd Annual Tony Awards  The 53rd Annual Tony Awards  Himself-Presenter:BestLeadingActorinaPlay
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