If you missed the introduction to Countdown of 10 Amazing Moments from the Year 2011 posted December 12, please click here. The actual countdown begins now with the triumphant actor at number 10:
A lot of good-humored jokes portraying Samuel L. Jackson as one of the hardest working seriously-hustling actors in Hollywood have circulated for years throughout the entertainment industry. Laughter turned into respectful awe when editors of the Guinness World Records announced in October that Jackson had become “the highest-grossing actor of all time” with credits in films that collectively have grossed some $7.42 billion.
While some have challenged this tile, none have been able to dispute the astonishing number of credits that Jackson has in fact racked up on screen, the Broadway stage, and video games since his breakthrough appearance in Spike Lee’s 1991 film, Jungle Fever; and his now classic performance in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 movie, Pulp Fiction. In addition, although many film critics for whatever reason tend to overlook it, he was equally brilliantly captivating as a heart-broken father who kills two men for raping and murdering his ten-year-old daughter in A Time to Kill.
It’s true that not all of his roles over the past seventeen years have been starring ones but the actor’s uncanny knack for dominating a given scene just by inhabiting it has served him extremely well. Most recently, that uncanny knack has secured for him some very visible cameos in the popular Marvel Comics film adaptations.
Work Ethics and Broadway
Jackson, born in Washington D.C. and raised by his grandmother in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a 1972 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is also a veteran civil rights advocate who has been able to channel his political passions into powerhouse performances. He attributes the bulk of his success less to a desire for stardom than to a work ethic derived from his family:
“I grew up in a working class family,” he told interviewers after learning about the Guinness Book announcement. “When I was a kid, all the adults in my house got up and went to work every day. I assumed that’s what grown people do. That’s what I do. I just happen to have a very interesting job that’s kind of cool!”
That cool job in 2011 placed him on Broadway as Martin Luther King, Jr., opposite Angela Bassett in The Mountaintop. The play, by Katori Hall (with Kenny Leon directing and featuring original music by Branford Marsalis) is currently scheduled to run at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre until January 22, 2012.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Jackson either appeared in or completed work on some half dozen films and video game projects in 2011. His current schedule for 2012 going up to 2014 has him set to appear in four more films, including: The Samaritan, The Avengers, Django Unchained, and Nick Fury.
COMING UP NEXT: Countdown of 10 Amazing Moments from the Year 2011: No. 9 Belafonte’s New Song
by Aberjhani, National African American Art Examiner
co-author Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
and ELEMENTAL, the Power of Illuminated Love
A Few Pages from One Reporter’s Journal for 2011
- Countdown of 10 Amazing Moments from the Year 2011 Introduction
- Looking at the World Through Michael Jackson’s Left Eye
- The Approaching 100thAnniversary of the Harlem Renaissance
- What Osama Bin Laden’s Death Indicates about Barack Obama’s Leadership
- Literary Legacies of Savannah Georgia
- Events, Book Highlight Flannery O’Connor Legacy