Laurence Fishburne Biography

Laurence Fishburne photo

Born: July 30, 1961


Date of Birth: July 30, 1961

About his early start in the acting business, Laurence Fishburne has said, "I didn't have much of a childhood, but that's okay. I have a livelihood." Born the only child of a corrections officer and a schoolteacher, the Atlanta-born Fishburne moved from his native state of Georgia to Brooklyn, New York, where he and his mother lived following her divorce from his father. His English professor godfather recognized his emotive abilities early on, as did his mother, who began shuttling him around to various auditions at the New Federal Theatre and the Negro Ensemble Theater in Manhattan. By 11, he was a regular on One Life To Live (he played the son of the first African-American family to be featured in a daytime drama series) and at 14, he lied about his age and scored a career-forging role in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.

After a few more collaborations with Coppola (1983's Rumble Fish, 1984's The Cotton Club, and 1987's Gardens of Stone), Fishburne took a break from drama to play the recurring comedic role of "Cowboy Curtis" on the offbeat children's TV show Pee-Wee's Playhouse (starting in 1986). He married casting agent Hajna Moss in 1985, and they had two children (son Langston in 1987, daughter Montana in 1991). He proved himself in film roles originally intended for white actors, in 1990's King of New York and in Michael Apted's 1991 courtroom drama Class Action.

Fishburne finally reaped critical and popular acclaim with his affecting performance as a devoted but stern father intent on protecting his son from gang violence in John Singleton's 1991 drama Boyz N the Hood. He earned a Tony the following year for his performance as charming ex-con Sterling Johnson in a Broadway production of August Wilson's Two Trains Running. He put the finishing touches on his newfound popularity with his powerful leading-man turn as an undercover narcotics agent in 1992's Deep Cover, with his role as a street-smart chess champ in 1993's Searching for Bobby Fischer, and with his explosive, Oscar-nominated characterization of drug-addicted, spouse-abusing '60s pop icon Ike Turner in 1993's What's Love Got To Do With It.

In 1995, Fishburne went down in the record books again when he became the first African-American to play the title role of Othello on-screen. That same year, he made his off-Broadway debut as both playwright and director of Riff Raff, the story of an African-American con man's relationship with a white junkie. He made bad choice with the detestable Fled in 1996, but reassured his footing the following year with his performance as captain of a rescue-salvage vessel in Event Horizon, and with his portrayal of legendary Harlem underworld godfather Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson in Hoodlum. The year 1999 brought him a co-starring role alongside Keanu Reeves in the blockbuster sci-fi film The Matrix, that spawned two sequels. He continues to star in major motion pictures such as Mystic River (2003), for which he shared a Best Ensemble Cast award from the Boston Society of Film Critics and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

By 2002, Fishburne was divorced from his first wife and had married actress Gina Torres, who played Cas in the two Matrix sequels. At the 2006 ShoWest Convention, he won a Special Award for "Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film." In 2008, he joined the cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Dr. Raymond Langston.

Fishburne appeared in The Colony (2013) alongside Bill Paxton and Kevin Zegers and in Man of Steel (2013) with Henry Cavill and Amy Adams. In 2016, he starred in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) before playing a supporting role in the sci-fi thriller Passengers (2016). His latest credits include John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Last Flag Flying (2017) and Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018).


Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)
Last Flag Flying (2017)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Passengers (2016)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Standoff (2016)
Khumba (2014)
Rudderless (2014)
The Signal (2014)
Man of Steel (2013)
The Colony (2013)
Contagion (2011)
Predators (2010)
The Last Full Measure (2010)
Armored (2009)
Black Water Transit (2009)
Days of Wrath (2008)
Tortured (2008)
21 (2008)
Bobby (2006)
The Death and Life of Bobby Z (2006)
Mission Impossible III (2006)
Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
Five Fingers (2006)
Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Mystic River (2003)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Biker Boyz (2003)
Osmosis Jones (2001) (voice)
Once in the Life (2000)
Michael Jordan to the Max (2000) (voice)
The Matrix (1999)
Once In the Life (1999)
Hoodlum (1997)
Event Horizon (1997)
Fled (1996)
Othello (1995)
Just Cause (1995)
Bad Company (1995)
Higher Learning (1995)
What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
Deep Cover (1992)
Cadence (1991)
Boyz N the Hood (1991)
Class Action (1991)
King of New York (1990)
Red Heat (1988)
School Daze (1988)
Cherry 2000 (1987)
Gardens of Stone (1987)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Band of the Hand (1986)
Quicksilver (1986)
The Color Purple (1985)
The Cotton Club (1984)
Rumble Fish (1983)
Death Wish II (1982)
Willie and Phil (1980)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Fast Break (1979)
Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975)

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