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Profile of the Day: LeVar Burton

Happy birthday to LeVar Burton! Today the actor turns 66.

Image: LeVar Burton / Mike Muegel, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Burton was born Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr. on February 16, 1957 in Landstuhl, West Germany. His mother, Erma Gene Christian, was a social worker and educator. His father, Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was stationed at Landstuhl at the time of his birth. As a teen, Burton entered St. Pius X Minor Seminary with the intention of becoming a priest. However, he later chose to leave the seminary to study theater and drama at the University of Southern California.

Burton got his big break in the groundbreaking miniseries, Roots, based on the Alex Haley novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. His performance earned Burton a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Signle Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series. In 1983, Burton became the host and executive producer of the PBS educational children’s show Reading Rainbow. The series was designed to encourage a love of reading and books among children. It ran for over 21 seasons and was the third-longest running children’s series in PBS history.

In 1986, Burton landed his most iconic role of his career as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The show ran for seven seasons and spawned four feature films. Burton will once again reunite with his Next Generation co-stars in the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. In a happy coincidence, the first episode of the season is being released on his birthday today.

LeVar Burton is not yet connected to the World Family Tree. Perhaps you can help connect him to over 175 million people on Geni.

View LeVar Burton’s Geni Profile

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