Levar Burton is an American actor, presenter, director, producer, and author. He is notable for his role in Star Trek: The Next Generation as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge. Burton’s first leading career role as young Kunta Kinte in Roots in 1977.
As of 2020, Levar Burton’s estimated net worth is $8 million. He earns income from directing, acting, and producing roles. Burton, who hosted and produced PBS Reading Rainbow, now owns the franchise after the TV series was canceled in 2006. The new company bears Levar Burton Kids, while the iPad app is called Skybrary. He has also written two books.
Levar Burton is renowned for remodeling TV presentation for kids through Reading Rainbow. This article gives Levar Burton’s age, height, net worth, and his role at Reading Rainbow. Most lovers of Star Trek will surely enjoy this.
Levar Burton was born LeVardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr., but he is best known with his stage name Levar Burton. Born on 16 February 1957, though American, his birthplace was Landstuhl Germany. His father, who shares the same name with him, was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps while his mother was a social worker and educator. Burton has two sisters, and they were all raised in California by their mother.
Burton attended St. Pius X Minor Seminary to become a Catholic Priest. At 17 years of age, he decided against being a priest. Burton enrolled for a drama degree at the University of Southern California after obtaining a scholarship. He graduated in B1974, from the University of Southern California School of Theatre. He landed his first acting role two years later appearing in a film The Man Who Was Almost a Man, a movie based on Richard Wright’s short story.
Levar Burton’s breakthrough came in the following year (1977) when is landed and featured as young Kunta Kinte in Roots. He got nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in Drama or Comedy Series Category. Subsequently, Burton played a visiting role in Fantasy Island. In 1983, he started hosting Reading Rainbow, a multicultural TV Series designed for young people. The show was produced by WGBH for PBS, focusing on teens ranging from 9 – 15 years of age. The show stood out as one of the longest-running children’s programs on the network.
As the host and producer of Reading Rainbow, Burton won 12 Emmy awards while the series received numerous broadcast awards. In 1986, Burton featured as Geordi La Forge in the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Series. He reprised the role in the following features of the films – Star Trek: Generation (1994) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). Burton is also a director. Burton’s directed his first theatrical film in 2003. The film was Blizzard for which he won Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
He also directed some episodes of Star Trek, making him the only regular cast to have done so. He directed episodes of Charmed, Las Vegas, Miracle Boys, and Tiger Woods Story. He is on the board of directors for the Directors Guild of America.
Burton has been featured in some films and TV series as an actor. He was in these films Murder, She Wrote, Soul Food, Smart House, The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, Batman: The Animated Series, Perception, Hell’s Kitchen, and Ali as Martin Luther King Jr. and so on.
Levar Burton: Religion, wife, and children
LevarBurton was born into a Roman Catholic family, but currently, he does not identify with any religion. According to him, ‘I walked away from the Seminary. I walked away from Catholicism; I walked away from organized religion because I felt that there was more for me to explore in the world that I could do without adhering to one specific belief system or another.’
Burton lives in Sherman Oaks, California, with his wife, – Stephanie Cozart Burton. Stephanie Cozart is a professional make – up artist. Burton started dating his current wife in 1991, and they got married the following year. He has two children, a son Eian Burton from his former marriage and a girl Michaela’ Mica’ with Stephanie Cozart. He dated Joyce Dewitt around 1980. The trend of divorced among celebrities didn’t affect Burton’s marriage to Stephanie Burton. They have been married for 28 years; this is very rare among Nollywood celebrities. However, it was rumored that he was gay but no evidence to prove it.
Burton is one of the directors for a non-profit medical research organization AIDS. Burton is also a writer with two published works – Aftermath (1997) and The Rhino Who Swallow a Storm (2014). His childhood neighborhood honored him by naming a park Sacramento after his name in 2019. The park is located near his childhood house.
Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow
Burton accepted to host Reading Rainbow, and starting the hosting and producing if the series in 1983. Reading Rainbow was designed for young people between the ages of 9 – 15 years of age. WGBH produced it for PBS. The series ran for 23 seasons of creating quality content for youngsters hence why it lasted for 23 good years. The TV series won numerous awards and turned Burton into a star.
The series was canceled in 2006. In 2014, Burton and other workers in Reading Rainbow started a campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow make it accessible to all children globally. When Reading Rainbow was canceled, he partnered with Mark Wolfe to acquire the global rights to the brand leading to the formation of a new media company for children. The name of the company was RRKIDZ.
In 2017, Western New York Educational Television (WNED-TV) sued Burton for copyright infringement by the use of Reading Rainbow brand to advertise and market their new iPad App and other online media. Burton’s new company had rebranded Reading Rainbow into an iPad, which instantly become a hit. Therefore, Burton the names from RRKIDZ to LeVar Burton Kids and the iPad app to Skybrary.
Levar Burton: net worth, height, and age
Levar Burton’s net worth is $8 million. He earns income from directing, acting, voicing, and producing roles. Burton, who hosted and produced PBS Reading Rainbow, now owns the franchise after the TV series was canceled in 2006. The new company is called Levar Burton Kids, while the iPad app is called Skybrary. Also, he earns from the sales of his two books, Aftermath (1997) and The Rhino Who Swallow a Storm (2014). Burton stands at 5 ft. 6 inches (1.7m) and weighs 75kg. He is 63 years old.