Laurence Fishburne has achieved an impressive body of work not only as an actor but also as a producer and director.
Acting since the age of 10, he starred on the daily television drama "One Life to Live" before making his feature film debut at age 12 in "Cornbread, Earl and Me," directed by Joseph Manduke. At 14, he was cast in a show being staged by the Negro Ensemble Company and also accepted to the High School of Performing Arts. At age 15, he was cast in Francis Ford Coppola's classic "Apocalypse Now."
In 1992, he won the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World and Tony Awards® for his portrayal of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson's "Two Trains Running," directed by Lloyd Richards. The following year, his performance as Martin in "The Box" episode of the television series "Tribeca," directed by Michael Dinner, earned him an Emmy® Award. Fishburne was an Academy Award® nominee as Best Actor in 1994 for his portrayal of Ike Turner in Brian Gibson's "What's Love Got to Do With It," opposite Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett. He was also an Emmy Award nominee and an NAACP Image Award winner for his starring role in the 1997 telefilm "Miss Evers' Boys," which he executive produced.
His many motion pictures include Academy Award nominee John Singleton's "Boyz n the Hood"; Francis Ford Coppola's "Gardens of Stone"; Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple"; Spike Lee's "School Daze"; Abel Ferrara's "King of New York"; Robert Markowitz's telefilm "The Tuskegee Airmen," for which he received an NAACP Image Award as well as Golden Globe®, Emmy and CableACE Award nominations; Michael Apted's telefilm "Always Outnumbered," adapted by Walter Moseley from his own book and executive produced by Fishburne; Bill Duke's "Hoodlum," which he also executive produced; Steven Zaillian's "Searching for Bobby Fischer"; Mr. Singleton's "Higher Learning," for which Fishburne won an NAACP Image Award; Oliver Parker's "Othello," opposite Kenneth Branagh and Irène Jacob; the Wachowksis' three blockbuster "The Matrix" movies; Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River"; and Emilio Estevez's "Bobby," for which he shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with his fellow actors from the ensemble.
Fishburne also starred in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," and A&E's miniseries remake of "Roots," alongside Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin. The "Roots" remake premiered with universal acclaim, and Fishburne received a 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Narrator as Alex Haley. In 2017, Fishburne also portrayed Nelson Mandela in the landmark miniseries "Madiba" about the politician's life. Additionally, he appeared alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in the film "Passengers." In addition to his expansive motion picture work, Fishburne's theater credits are just as extensive. In 1999, he starred as King Henry II, opposite Stockard Channing, in the Roundabout Theater Company's Broadway revival of James Goldman's "The Lion in Winter," staged by Michael Mayer. In 2006, he starred in Alfred Uhry's drama "Without Walls," directed by Christopher Ashley, at the Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and was awarded Best Actor at the NAACP Theater Awards. That same year, Fishburne reteamed with his frequent acting partner Angela Bassett at The Pasadena Playhouse in August Wilson's "Fences," directed by Samuel Epps; the production broke the Playhouse' sales record with a sold-out run.
Fishburne received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall in 2011, broadcast as an adaptation of his one-man show, "Thurgood." He originated the role in the Broadway debut of the play, written by George Stevens, Jr. and directed Leonard Foglia, again earning a Tony Award nomination and winning Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He also reprised the portrayal at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
In 2000, Fishburne founded Cinema Gypsy Productions with his longtime manager and producing partner, Helen Sugland. They have produced numerous nominated and award-winning projects, including "Thurgood" (HBO), "Five Fingers" (Lionsgate), "Akeelah and the Bee" (Lionsgate), "Once in the Life" (Lionsgate), "Always Out Numbered" (HBO), "Hoodlum" (United Artists) and "Miss Evers' Boys" (HBO).
He can be seen alongside Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross in ABC's Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series "black-ish," for which he serves as executive producer through Cinema Gypsy. His performance garnered him a Peoples' Choice Award nomination for Favorite Actor in a New TV Show and an NAACP Image Award win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Previously, he starred on the hit series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" for three seasons, and appeared alongside Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen in the NBC thriller series "Hannibal."
Fishburne has also served as an ambassador for UNICEF since 1996. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as Artist of the Year for his Outstanding Contributions to American and International Performing Arts, as well as his humanitarian contributions.