LeVar Burton

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Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr. (born February 16, 1957) professionally known as LeVar Burton, is an American actor, director, producer and author who first came to prominence portraying Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries Roots, based on the novel by Alex Haley. He is also well known for his portrayal of Geordi La Forge on the syndicated science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation and as the host of the PBS children's program Reading Rainbow.


Early life

Burton was born to American parents at the U.S. Army Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in West Germany. His mother, Erma Jean (née Christian), was a social worker, administrator, and educator. His father, Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and at the time was stationed at Landstuhl.[1][2][3] Burton and his two sisters were raised by his mother in Sacramento, California.[4] Burton was raised Catholic and, at the age of thirteen, entered a seminary to become a priest.[5] He attended Christian Brothers High School and graduated in the class of 1974. He is a graduate of University of Southern California's School of Theatre.

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