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LeVar Burton Starred in African-American TV Series 'Roots' — Inside His Personal Life

Edduin Carvajal
Jun 08, 2020
02:20 P.M.

LeVar Burton, best known as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek," has been married to the same woman, Stephanie Burton, for almost three decades!


Born in February 1957 in Germany, LeVar has been active in the entertainment industry since 1976, when he starred in the TV short film "Almos' a Man."

LeVar Burton's wife is an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist.

LeVar Burton on November 03, 2019 in Mountain View, California | Photo: Getty Images

LeVar Burton on November 03, 2019 in Mountain View, California | Photo: Getty Images


In 1977, only one year later, the actor landed his breakthrough role as Kunta Kinte in "Roots," the miniseries that has been labeled by many as one of the most important TV shows ever.

The series, based on the 1976 novel "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," displays some of the challenges that Kunta faced throughout his life after being abducted from his village in Africa and taken to America as a slave.


Initially, executives of ABC thought that the eight-episode miniseries would be a complete failure, which is why they decided that it would run for eight consecutive nights as a way to get it over with as quickly as possible.

The first episode was released on January 23, 1977, and against all the odds, 29 million households watched it. As the week progressed, more and more people tuned in.


What surprised the executives the most was how many people watched the series finale: 36 million households (roughly 100 million people).

At the time, that episode of LeVar Burton's "Roots" became the most-watched one in TV history in the US, leaving behind classic shows like "Good Times," "The Brady Bunch," and "The Jeffersons."



In 2016, History Channel released a remake of the miniseries with the same title. However, when the idea was brought to LeVar for the first time, he was skeptical. Eventually, he changed his mind. He explained:

"It was time — almost 40 years had passed. It made sense. If we want to keep these stories alive in the cultural consciousness, we have to reinvent them and retell them."

Fortunately, LeVar Burton served as the executive director of the new "Roots." Apart from that, famous actors like Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, and Laurence Fishburne were part of the cast. The four-episode miniseries received critical acclaim.


While "Roots" was definitely important in LeVar's career, it is not the project for which he is remembered the most. If fact, that would be "Star Trek," where he has portrayed Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge. Actress Nichelle Nichols is also known for her role in "Star Trek."



As per the actor's love life, he has been married to Stephanie Cozart Burton since 1992. They have been together for almost 28 years already, which is especially noteworthy because both of them work in the entertainment industry.

LeVar Burton's wife is an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist who has been in the business for more than 30 years in projects like "The Facts of Life," "The Royal Family," "In Living Color," and "The Talk."


The couple shares a daughter, Mica Burton, who is a beautiful cosplayer, actress, and model with over 112,000 followers on Instagram.

In 2016, Mica and her dad appeared together in an Overwatch League YouTube video in which they shared some details of her childhood, revealing that she practiced piano, violin, ballet, taekwondo, horseback riding, and archery.

LeVar also has a son, Eian Burton Smith, from a previous relationship with Pamela Smith. LeVar and Pamela supposedly spent one night together in 1979, and it was enough for her to get pregnant.

Even though the actor had to pay almost $9,000 in overdue child support payments in 1984, he and Eian have a good relationship nowadays. At the moment, Eian is a dad himself and works as a basketball coach.

As per LeVar Burton's career, he has not slowed down a bit. His most recent project is "Weird City," but he is expected to appear in the upcoming "Definition Please."

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