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Samuel L Jackson, John Turturro & Rest of 'Do the Right Thing' Cast 31 Years after Movie Premiered

Bettina Dizon
Mar 01, 2020
01:20 A.M.
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“Do the Right Thing” may have been controversial during its time, but the message it sent viewers will always be remembered in today’s more liberal and accepting time. 


In 1989, “Do the Right Thing” made its way to the big screen and stirred controversy for focusing on a neighborhood’s racial tension that cultivated violence leading to death.

The film was deemed significant to history and culture, paving the way for its success and recognition, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Here’s a look at the stars behind the movie.


“Do the Right Thing” was one of the first few films that contributed to Samuel L. Jackson’s success, “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy was another one that came before.


Samuel L. Jackson attends the CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards. | Source: Getty Images

Jackson later got an Oscar nomination for his role as Jules Winnfield in “Pulp Fiction,” “Jungle Fever,” and made an appearance in the first three episodes of “Star Wars.”


Recently, the actor has been most recognized for his character, “Nick Fury” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise films.

Samuel L Jackson takes part in SiriusXM's Town Hall. | SourceL Getty Images


Among the films he starred in are Tarantino’s six of eight features, “Glass,” “Unicorn Store,” and several others, surpassing 150 credits to his name.


Before starring in “Do the Right Thing,” John Turturro only had small roles in the films “Raging Bull,” “The Color of Money,” and “Hannah and her Sisters.”

John Turturro at the Vanity Fair celebration for the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. | Source: Wikimedia Commons


After being cast by Spike Lee, he went on to appear in at least seven of the director’s other films, yet his most memorable and recent one remains to be HBO’s “The Night Of.”

His other work include “Barton Fink,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Jungle Fever,” “Summer of Sam,” “Mac,” and “Quiz Show.”

John Turturro, 2017. | Source: Wikimedia Commons



Martin Lawrence made his film debut in “Do the Right Thing” as only a minor character but later became a known face in Hollywood.

Lawrence later landed significant Hollywood characters, including “Bad Boys” and “Bad Boys 2,” alongside Will Smith, and the “Big Momma” franchise. 

Martin Lawrence at Netflix Presents Russell Simmons "Def Comedy Jam 25." | Source: Getty Images



By the time Danny Aiello landed a part in the film, he already had much experience in the industry, with films such as “The Godfather: Part II” and “Fort Apache the Bronx.” 

His other notable movies are “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” “Moon Struck,” “Crum Slowly,” and “Once Upon a Time in America.” Sadly, the actor passed away in 2019 at the age of 86.

Danny Aiello during Theodore Atlas Foundation's 15th Annual Teddy Dinner. | Source: Wikimedia Commons



Giancarlo Esposito made it big in the industry with two Oscar Award nominations to date. He starred in “Breaking Bad,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Revolution,” “Waiting to Exhale,” Sherrybaby,” and “Derailed.

Before making a career as a Hollywood actor, Esposito began with a theatrical background and appeared on Broadway shows.

Giancarlo Esposito, 2012. | Source: Getty Images



“Do the Right Thing” was Rosie Perez’s first big-screen role, she was later cast as a supporting character in “Fearless” and got an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Rosie Perez at the "Won't Back Down" NYC Premiere. | Source: Wikimedia Commons



Before the movie, Ruby Dee appeared in “The Man of Mine,” “A Raisin in the Sin,” “The Jackie Robinson Story,” and “Cat People.”

Ruby Dee speaks to attendees at a special luncheon. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 2007, the actress was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “American Gangster.” Sadly, Dee passed away from natural causes in 2014.