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Monday, July 9, 2012

Who is Laurence John Fishburne III?

Who is Laurence John Fishburne III? The entertainment and acting world knows Laurence Fishburne as an American film and stage actor, playwright, director, and producer. He is perhaps best known f or his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, as Cowboy Curtis on the 1980s television show Pee-wee's Playhouse, and as singer-musician Ike Turner in the Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got to Do With It. He became the first African American to portray Othello in a motion picture by a major studio when he appeared in Oliver Parker's 1995 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play. From 2008 to 2011, he starred as Dr. Raymond Langston on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Fishburne has won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Two Trains Running (1992) and an Emmy Award for Drama Series Guest Actor for his performance in TriBeCa (1993).

Early years

Fishburne was born July 30, 1961 in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Hattie Bell (née Crawford), a junior high school mathematics and science teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.[2] His parents divorced during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Brooklyn, New York, where he was raised. Fishburne's father saw him once a month.[3][4] He is a graduate of Lincoln Square Academy in New York, which closed in the 1980s.

Career

1970s

Fishburne on One Life to Live
Fishburne started acting at age eleven (according to his January 13, 2012 interview on The View which commemorated One Life to Live) getting his first job in 1973 as a short-lived member of the Mod Squad followed by portraying Joshua Hall on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live. He was initially cast in the hit television series Good Times, but the role was eventually given to Ralph Carter. Fishburne's most memorable childhood role was in Cornbread, Earl and Me in which he played a young boy who witnessed the police shooting of a popular high school basketball star. Fishburne later earned a supporting role in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, in which he played a 17-year-old sailor nicknamed 'Mr. Clean'. When production began in March 1976 he was just fourteen, apparently lying about his age to get the part. Filming took so long that he was seventeen upon its completion. Fishburne was also a guest star on Mash as "Corporal Dorsey" in "The Tooth Shall Set You Free" (episode 1014).

1980s

Fishburne in The Color Purple
Fishburne spent much of the 1980s in and out of television and periodically on stage. In the early 1980s, he worked as a bouncer at punk rock clubs.[5] He had a minor role in the critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg film The Color Purple. He also had a role in the 1984 movie The Cotton Club. Fishburne had a recurring role as Cowboy Curtis on Paul Reubens' CBS children's television show Pee-wee's Playhouse. He also appeared in the M*A*S*H episode, "The Tooth Shall Set You Free", as Corporal Dorsey (billed as Larry Fishburne in the credits). In Spenser: For Hire, he was a guest star for the 2nd season episode "Personal Demons". He appeared as a thug named Cutter in Death Wish 2 (1982). He also appeared alongside Kevin Bacon in Quicksilver. His stage work during the 1980s included Short Eyes (1984), and Loose Ends (1987), both produced at Second Stage Theatre in New York City. Also in 1987 he played a part in the third Nightmare On Elm Street film as a hospital orderly. Fishburne played as Lt. Charlie Stobbs (under Larry Fishburne) in Red Heat (1988) beside Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi. Fishburne also starred as "Dap" in Spike Lee's School Daze (1988). Fishburne's character was the depiction of an African American, culturally inclined college student at an HBCU (Historically Black College/University).

1990s

Fishburne in Boyz n the Hood
In 1990, he played Jimmy Jump in the controversial King of New York, and in 1991, Fishburne starred in Boyz n the Hood. The following year, in 1992, he won a Tony Award for his stage performance in the August Wilson play, Two Trains Running and an Emmy Award[6] for his performance in the opening episode, "The Box," of the short-lived anthology series television drama TriBeCa. He also starred in "Deep Cover" along side Jeff Goldblum.

Fishburne & Angela Basset in What's Love Got to Do With It
Fishburne in The Matrix.
In 1993, he received his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Ike Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It. In an 1995 American drama film, starring an ensemble cast, Laurence Fishburne won an Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture" for his performance in Higher Learning as West Indian Professor Maurice Phipps. He played the title role in Othello, the second African American actor, behind Paul Robeson to be so cast. In 1997, Fishburne starred in the science fiction horror Event Horizon alongside Sam Neill. Fishburne is perhaps best known for his role as Morpheus, the hacker-mentor of Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, in the 1999 blockbuster science fiction film, The Matrix.

2000s – 2010s

Fishburne provided the voice of Thrax in Osmosis Jones in 2001. Fishburne reprised his role as Morpheus in the Matrix sequels, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003. He briefly featured as a stretcher-bearer in one version of the video for The Spooks' song "Things I've Seen" (2000) and appeared with Tom Cruise as Theodore Brassell, IMF superior of Cruise's character in Mission: Impossible III.
Fishburne has worked with actress Angela Bassett on four projects. He said that "An electrifying thing happens when the two of us work together. I haven't experienced it with anyone else. A freedom happens when we work together."[cite this quote] In 2006, they appeared onstage in a Pasadena Playhouse production of August Wilson's Fences.[7]
He provided the voice of the narrator in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) movie, which was released on March 23, 2007.[8] The same year, he provided the voice of the Silver Surfer in 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
On February 24, 2007, Fishburne was honored with the Harvard Foundation's Artist of the Year award at the annual show Cultural Rhythms. He received this honor for his prowess as an actor and entertainer and for his humanitarian pursuits. Fishburne is a UNICEF ambassador.[9] The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mayor Kenneth Reeves awarded him the key to the city and declared February 24 "Laurence Fishburne" day in the city of Cambridge.[10]
Fishburne in Thurgood
In April 2008, Fishburne returned to the stage in the Broadway production of Thurgood, a new play by George Stevens, Jr. Thurgood opened at the Booth Theatre on April 30, 2008.[11] He won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show for his performance. On February 24, 2011, HBO screened a filmed version of the play performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[12][13] On February 16, 2011, the White House hosted a screening of the film as part of its celebrations of Black History Month.[14]
Fishburne on CSI
On August 18, 2008, it was reported that Laurence Fishburne would join the cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation after William Petersen (aka Gil Grissom) left the series. John Malkovich was also considered for the role prior to the announcement.[15] Fishburne joined the show on the ninth episode of the 9th season as a college professor and former pathologist whose area of expertise involves some criminals' predisposition to commit acts of violence.[16] The character was introduced as a consultant on a case ("19 Down"), who winds up joining the CSI team ("One to Go").
In May 2009, Fishburne performed on-stage in the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C.[17]
Fishburne starred in 2010's Predators.[18] He co-starred with Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, and Marion Cotillard in Steven Soderbergh's Contagion (2011).[19]
On June 7, 2011, Fishburne announced that he was leaving C.S.I. to return to movies and theatre, opting not to renew his contract and would not appear in Season 12.
On August 2, 2011 it was announced that Fishburne had been cast in the role of Perry White in the Christopher Nolan produced, Zack Snyder directed Superman reboot Man of Steel.[20] This will mark the first time that the character has been played by an African American actor.

Personal life

Montana Fishburne
Hajna O. Moss
Fishburne married actress Hajna O. Moss in 1985, in New York. They have two children together: a son, Langston, born in 1987, and a daughter, Montana, born in 1991. Hajna and Laurence divorced in the 1990s. In 2010, it was reported that Fishburne had cut ties with his daughter Montana Fishburne after she started starring in hardcore pornographic films.[21][22][23]
Gina Torres
Fishburne met actress Gina Torres while filming The Matrix Reloaded. He and Torres were engaged in February 2001 and married on September 22, 2002,[24] at The Cloisters museum in New York City. On January 8, 2007, Fishburne's spokesman Alan Nierob announced the couple were expecting their first child together.[25][26] A daughter, Delilah, was born to the couple in June 2007.[27]
Fishburne lives in Hollywood[28] and also maintains a residence in New York City, in the Castle Village Co-Op in the Hudson Heights section of Washington Heights.[29] He is a big fan of Paulo Coelho and plans to produce a movie based on the novel The Alchemist.[30]

Stage and screen credits

Stage

Awards and nominations

Film







Academy Awards
Year Award Category Title Result
1994 Academy Award Best Actor in a Leading Role What's Love Got to Do with It Nominated






Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
Year Award Category Title Result
2000 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor The Matrix Nominated






Acapulco Black Film Festival
Year Award Category Title Result
1997 Black Film Award Best Actor Hoodlum Nominated






BET Awards
Year Award Category Title Result
2004 BET Award Best Actor The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
Mystic River
Nominated






Black Movie Awards
Year Award Category Title Result
2006 Black Movie Award Outstanding Motion Picture (Producer) Akeelah and the Bee Nominated
2006 Black Movie Award Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Akeelah and the Bee Won






Black Reel Awards
Year Award Category Title Result
2000 Black Reel Award Best Actor The Matrix Nominated
2007 Black Reel Award Best Supporting Actor Akeelah and the Bee Nominated
2007 Black Reel Award Best Motion Picture (Producer) Akeelah and the Bee Nominated






MTV Movie Awards
Year Award Category Title Result
2000 MTV Movie Award Best Fight (shared with Keanu Reeves) The Matrix Won
2000 MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Keanu Reeves) The Matrix Nominated

Television







Emmy Awards
Year Category Title Result
2011 Outstanding Actor in a Mini-Series or Television Special Thurgood Nominated
1997 Outstanding Made for Television Movie Miss Evers' Boys Won
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or Television Special Miss Evers' Boys Nominated
1996 Outstanding Actor in a Mini-Series or Television Special The Tuskegee Airmen Nominated
1993 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series TriBeCa Won






NAACP Image Award
Year Category Title Result
2011 Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
2010 Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
2009 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
1999 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series Always Outnumbered Nominated
1998 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series Miss Evers' Boys Won
1996 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series The Tuskegee Airmen Won

Theatre







NAACP Theatre Awards
Year Category Play Result
2007 Best Male Lead – Equity Without Walls Won
2005 Lifetime Achievement Award N/A Won






Tony Awards
Year Category Play Result
1992 Best Actor in a Featured Role Two Trains Running Won


 

 

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