This Day in Black History: Feb. 16, 1957

Actor LeVar Burton was born.

Posted: 02/16/2014 12:00 AM EST

Levar Burton, who rose to fame for his role as Kunte Kinte on the mini-series Roots, was born Feb. 16, 1957 in Landstuhl, West Germany. Burton's mother eventually settled in Sacramento, California, where he was raised for the rest of his childhood.

Burton went on to attend the University of Southern California, where he enrolled on a theater scholarship. Soon after graduating, he landed the first role he auditioned for in Alex Haley's Roots. The rest was history. 

This led to an Emmy nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Burton would go on to win 12 Emmys as the host and executive producer of Reading Rainbow, which ran for 23 seasons. Burton also had a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation between 1987 and 1994.

Burton also acted in roles for the Star Trek movies and series and had several directing credits with the show and others, including Charmed and Soul Food: The Series. Burton's most recent roles have been on the series Perception, Adventure Time and The Colbert Report


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(Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

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