Jungle FeverBackground: A late-blooming actor, Samuel L. Jackson finally attracted public attention after playing the role of drug addict Gator Purify in 1991'sJungle Fever. His performance as a supporting actor won the Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize and the New York Film Critics Circleaward. In the year of 1994, Jackson experienced his breakthrough moment after starring as the mysterious Jules Winnfield in thepsychologically twisted film Pulp Fiction. His sparkling performance won Independent Spirit, Society of Texas Film Critics, and BAFTAAwards. He also received an Academy Award nomination for the role.Off screen, number 33 of the most powerful celebrities according to2003 Forbes Top 100 Celebrity List, Jackson confessed he had been addicted to cocaine and alcohol in the mid 1980s. However, heovercame his problems and is reportedly giving support to singer Whitney Houston as she faces her own drug problems.King of CoolChildhood and Family: In Washington D.C., Samuel Leroy Jackson was born on December 21, 1948. He spent his childhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee, under thestrict guidance of his grandfather (Janitor) and his aunt (Edna, teacher). Jackson's mother (Elizabeth Jackson, supply buyer) livedapart from him until he was ten.Though Jackson suffered from a speech impediment while growing up, hewas skillful at playing brass instruments in his school symphony orchestra. He also paid great attention to the films he watched,often noting the absence of black actors on scene. Finding interest in film, Jackson continued his education at Morehouse College inAtlanta, Georgia, majoring in Drama. He graduated in 1972.Jackson, whose nickname is King of Cool, married actress LaTanyaRichardson (born in 1941) in 1980. They currently reside in Encino, California, with their daughter Zoe (born 1982). During his leisuretime, Jackson enjoys playing golf.TransformationCareer: Often considered an outstanding actor, Samuel L. Jackson began his acting career in the early 1970s. After college, he toured with theBlack Image Theatre Company. In 1972, Jackson debuted on the big screen playing the role of Stan in Together for Days. He was laterseen on television's The Displaced Person (1976) and The Trial of the Moke (1978). In 1981, Jackson met fellow actors Morgan J. Freeman andSpike Lee. Both provided Jackson encouragement. Jackson played roles in Lee's early film School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), andMo' Better Blues (1990).After twenty years experienced, Jackson gained public notice afterportraying drug addict Gator Purify in 1991's Jungle Fever. He won both Best Supporting Performance at the Cannes Film Festival and theNew York Film Critics Circle for Best Supporting Actor.Jackson went on to have small roles in films such as Fathers & Sons(1992), Juice (1992), White Sands (1992), Patriot Games (1992), and Jumpin' at the Boneyard (1992). The following year, Jackson continuedto impress the public with his small, but affective performances in Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), Amos & Andrew (1993), Menace II Society, andTrue Romance (1993). He also took part in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993).1994 was Jackson's big breakthrough year. Director Quentin Tarantinohanded him the key role of mysterious Jules Winnfield in the psychologically twisted film Pulp Fiction (1994). His spectacularacting handed him an Independent Spirit, Society of Texas Film Critics, and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He also received anAcademy Award nomination for the role. Additionally, Jackson's supporting role of a cynical father in the film Fresh (1994), earnedcritical acclaim. The subsequent year, Jackson was cast in the big-budget Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) and also starred in theadoption drama Losing Isaiah (1995).After taking part in independent film Trees Lounge (1996), Jacksonwas involved in popular Hollywood films such as John Grisham's A Time to Kill (1996, played Carl Lee Hailey) and the action-thriller TheLong Kiss Goodnight (1996, portrayed Mitch Henessey). The following year, Jackson received a NAACP Image award for Best Supporting Actorin a Motion Picture for his outstanding performance in A Time to Kill.In 1998, Jackson received double awards: Best First Feature and theBerlin Film Festival Silver Bear for his performance in Eve's Bayou (1997, played Louis Batiste) and Jackie Brown (1997, portraying OrdellRobbie).The transformation from low-key characters to leading man could beseen in The Negotiator (1998), Sphere (1998), and Deep Blue Sea (1999). Jackson also played the role of Mace Windu in Star Wars:Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).Entering the new millennium, Jackson attracted public attention byplaying Elijah Price in Unbreakable (2000), Changing Lanes (2002, as Doyle Gipson), Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) andxXx (2002, as Agent Augustus Gibbons). He was also seen also in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), xXx: State of the Union (2005), and Star Wars:Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).Jackson will play the role of Vann in Les Mayfield comedy/action TheMan (2005). He will also lend his voice to 2004: A Light Knight's Odyssey (2006) and will be seen in upcoming Freedomland (2006, asLorenzo Council) and Pacific Air 121 (2006).Awards: Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear: Best Actor, Jackie Brown, 1998. Independent Spirit: Best First Feature, Eve's Bayou; shared award, 1998. NAACP Image: Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, A Time To Kill, 1997. BAFTA Award: Best Supporting Actor, Pulp Fiction, 1995. Society of Texas Film Critics: Best Actor, Pulp Fiction, 1994 Independent Spirit: Best Actor, Pulp Fiction, 1994. Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize: Best Supporting Performance, Jungle Fever, 1991. New York Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actor, Jungle Fever, 1991.