Sa­muel L. Jack­son

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He is the coolest ac­tor in Hol­ly­wood — at least that’s what a lot of peo­ple have thought ever since he played the char­ac­ter Jules in the 1994 film Pulp Fic­tion. Jack­son told The New York Times that, af­ter ap­pear­ing in this role, many peo­ple told him he was the coolest man on the planet. “Why?” he asked. “I have no clue. I’m not like Jules. It’s called ‘be­ing an ac­tor.’”

There cer­tainly wasn’t any­thing cool about Jack­son’s child­hood. Born in Wash­ing­ton, DC, he grew up in Ten­nessee in an era of seg­re­ga­tion. His white neigh­bours of­ten used the n-word when re­fer­ring to him, and he went to seg­re­gated schools. While at an African-amer­i­can col­lege in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, he be­came ac­tive in the civil-rights move­ment.

Jack­son be­gan his act­ing ca­reer in New York, of­ten ap­pear­ing in plays with a po­lit­i­cal or racial theme. He was very suc­cess­ful, but Pulp Fic­tion made him a global star. He has been in more than 100 films and is one of the high­est-gross­ing ac­tors of all time, worth about $220 mil­lion. Jack­son’s lat­est film, Glass, comes to Ger­man cin­e­mas in Jan­uary 2019. The ac­tor is 70 on 21 De­cem­ber.

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