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Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne is an acclaimed actor who has captivated audiences and critics alike with such diverse roles as Ike Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It, Vinnie in Searching for Bobby Fischer, and Morpheus in the blockbuster Matrix trilogy. He is also an accomplished producer and director.

Fishburne appeared in numerous films in 2008, including 21 alongside Kevin Spacey, Days of Wrath opposite Amber Valletta and Wilmer Valderrama, Tortured and Black Water Transit. Additionally, he returned to Broadway for a limited engagement of the one-man show Thurgood, about the life of Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.

The actor had a remarkable run in 1992-1993 when he was awarded a Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Theater World Award for his 1992 work on Broadway as Sterling Johnson in August Wilson's Two Trains Running. A television appearance in the 1993 premiere episode of Tribeca landed him an Emmy and Fishburne was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor that same year for his portrayal of Ike Turner in the film What's Love Got to Do with It.

In 2006 he was reunited with his What's Love Got to Do with It co-star Angela Bassett in Lionsgate's Akeelah and the Bee. Laurence starred as Professor Larabee in this drama that follows a young inner city girl on her path to win the national spelling bee. For his performance, he was awarded a Best Actor Award at the 2006 Black Movie Awards. The film swept the show with three other wins including Best Picture. Fishburne also produced the film through his Cinema Gypsy production banner.

Later that year, he produced and starred in Five Fingers and co-starred with Tom Cruise and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Mission: Impossible III. Also in 2006, Fishburne joined the impressive cast of Bobby, which was nominated for a SAG Award for best ensemble.

On stage in 2006, Fishburne portrayed an inspirational teacher in the drama Without Walls by Alfred Uhry, directed by Christopher Ashley, at the Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. For this performance he was awarded Best Actor at the NAACP Theater Awards. He then starred opposite Angela Bassett at The Pasadena Playhouse in August Wilson's play Fences, which broke the playhouse record for sales with a sold-out run.

Fishburne's numerous notable film credits include Apocalypse Now, Assault on Precinct 13, Mystic River, Bad Company, Higher Learning, Just Cause, Event Horizon, Hoodlum, Boyz N the Hood, Deep Cover, The Color Purple..

In 2000, Fishburne made his directorial debut with Once in the Life, which he also starred in, wrote and produced. The screenplay is based on the 1994 one-act play Riff Raff, which he also starred in, wrote and directed. The play received critical praise and was later brought to New York's Circle Rep Theater. The initial run in Los Angeles was the first produced under his own banner, L.O.A. Productions.

In 1997, Fishburne received an Emmy nomination (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special) and an NAACP Image Award for his starring role in the HBO drama Miss Evers' Boys, which he executive produced. The telefilm was awarded five Emmys, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and the coveted President's Award, which honors a program that illuminates a social or educational issue.

In 1996, Fishburne starred in the critically acclaimed Shakespeare adaptation Othello in the title role, co-starring with Kenneth Branagh and Irene Jacob. He was the first African American to play the Moorish king in a major screen release and follows a noble tradition of such actors in the role as Sir Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles.

In 1995, Fishburne starred in an original HBO film, Tuskegee Airmen, for which he received an NAACP Image Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries, and Golden Globe, Emmy and Cable Ace nominations for Best Actor in a Miniseries. His television performances also include Decoration Day for Hallmark Hall of Fame, For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story for PBS, Rumor of War for CBS, and numerous other starring or guest-starring roles.

Fishburne has been acting in films and on stage since he was 10, starting on the soap opera One Life to Live, then making his feature film debut in Cornbread, Earl and Me at 12. At 14, he was cast in a show for the Negro Ensemble Theater and accepted into the High School of Performing Arts.

His early film credits include Class Action, King of New York, Red Heat, School Daze, Cherry 2000, Gardens of Stone, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Band of the Hand, Quicksilver, Cotton Club, Rumble Fish, Death Wish II, Willie & Phil and Fast Break.

Fishburne continues to give back, serving as an Ambassador for UNICEF. In 2007, Harvard University honored Fishburne with an Artist of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to American and international performing arts, as well as his many humanitarian contributions.

Fishburne can currently be seen starring in the hit TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as Dr. Raymond Langston.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Laurence Fishburne Facts

Birth NameLawrence Fishburne III
BirthdayJuly 30, 1961 (62)
BirthplaceAugusta, Georgia, USA
Height6' 1" (1m85)  How tall is Laurence Fishburne compared to you?
Awards2000 MTV Movie Awards: Best Fight (for The Matrix)

Selected Filmography

Searching for Bobby Fischer
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
The Snowy Day
The Tuskegee Airmen
The Matrix
Biker Boyz
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