LeVar Burton is one of the popular African American actors who has graced our TV screens for over two decades now and counting. His popular roles include that in the sitcom Star Trek: The Next Generation as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, as the host of the children’s series Raeading Rainbow and also as young Kunta Kinte in the ABC miniseries 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 also proved to be a successful path for him. Let’s take a peek into his bio, family life, and his net worth.
LeVar Burton’s Biography
Burton was given the name Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. at birth on February 16, 1957. He was born to parents Erma Gene, a social worker and Levardis Robert Martyn Burton a photographer. Both his parents worked for the U.S. Army when they were on assignment at Landstuhl, Germany which was where Burton was born. However, his family later returned the U.S. and settled in Sacramento, California where he was raised alongside his two sisters by their Roman Catholic mother.
When he turned 13, he was admitted into St. Pius X Minor Seminary located in Galt, California, in the bid to become a priest, however, this did not materialise for young Burton who after reading works by philosophers like Laozi, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Søren Kierkegaard made him to skeptical about his Catholic dogma. He later proceeded to the University of Southern California on a drama scholarship in 1974 where he graduated from their School of Theater.
LeVar Burton is an exceptional actor who from his days of little beginning in the African-American miniseries Roots as Kunta Kinte based on Alex Haley’s novel of the same title started gaining recognition for his acting as he was nominated instantly for an Emmy award for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 1977. Due to his outstanding performance, he also landed the role of Kunta Kinte 10 years later in the 1988 Roots: The Gifts.
Burton’s other major work is his role as host and executive producer in the kid’s series Reading Rainbow which had 23 seasons on the PBS network. The sitcom landed more than 200 awards when it was being aired which included a Peabody award and 26 Emmy Awards. Burton also got nominated and won 12 Emmy awards as a producer and host of the sitcom.
When the show ended in 2006, Burton partnered with Mark Wolfe to start a media company named RRKIDZ for children and the application was launched for iPad in 2012 and after 36 hours of launching it, RRKIDZ app became the number one educational application. The success of this app prompted him in 2014 to start a campaign to make the program web-based and accessible to schools in the U.S.
On 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 granted a sort of sight using an aid called a VISOR which he wears on his eyes to enable him to see. His character started off with a small role as the USS Enterprise’s helmsman and as the series moved on to the second season, he became its Chief Engineer. Burton continued to feature in the series through to the 2002 Star Trek: Nemesis and even directed several episodes in the series.
Burton has also directed episodes in the series Charmed, Las Vegas, NCIS, JAG, Soul Food and the mini sitcom Miracle’s Boys. In 2003 he even received the award for Best of Fest in the film Blizzard from the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
The actor and presenter got married in 1992 to a talented make-up artist named Stephanie Cozart-Burton with whom he has a daughter named Michaela Jean Estelle Burton who is fondly called “Mica”. Burton also has a son named Ian Burton who was born 1980 by his previous partner.
His daughter Mica who is said to be very fond of her father also took after him to build a career as an entertainer. Mica, who enjoyed going for Cosplay as a kid in which people dress up as their favorite video game or comic character has over the years turned into one of the popular cosplay models in the U.S. She is also known for her sexuality as she openly identifies as bisexual and floods her social media pages with her girlfriend’s photos.
Is The Movie Star Dead Or Alive?
Death hoaxes are commonplace with celebrities but the Roots actor has not been a victim to any of such yet. There is no news of the actor’s demise yet so it means 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 writer has garnered for himself a net worth of $6 million.