LeVar Burton celebrates his fifty-fourth birthday today, and in addition to reminiscing about his good fortune in landing the role of Kunta Kinte in Roots, he shares several things about himself that fans might not know.
Burton was a young and aspiring actor who lucked out when offered the role of Kinte. “Mine is truly one of those unbelievable Hollywood stories,” Burton explained. “Roots was my first professional audition. I was a sophomore at USC, working towards my BFA in Theater. My goal at the time was Broadway, not Hollywood. The producers had been on an exhaustive search all over the country and still had not found what they were looking for so they came back to LA and broadened the casting net. They contacted Drama schools in the area. I was in the right place at the right time.”