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Samuel L Jackson & Wife of 41 Years Were College Sweethearts Who Vowed to Stay Together No Matter What

Olawale Ogunjimi
Jul 18, 2022
06:05 A.M.
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Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson met while they were both college students. After years of courtship which eventually led to a marriage and a daughter, the pair vowed always to stay together no matter what, and they have done so for decades now.

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Samuel L. Jackson met LaTanya Richardson in the 60s while he was a student at Morehouse College, and she was enrolled at Spelman College, both in Atlanta.

Jackson had attended Morehouse to study Marine Biology. Still, after joining a theatre club for extra credit, he fell in love with the stage and switched his major to drama. Jackson often went to Spelman to act in plays; this was how he met Richardson, who was majoring in theatre.

Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson attend the 2022 Apollo Theater Spring Benefit at The Apollo Theater on June 13, 2022 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson attend the 2022 Apollo Theater Spring Benefit at The Apollo Theater on June 13, 2022 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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The pair connected while they both starred in a drama program and started dating afterward. Atlanta, at the time, served as the city where most African-Americans demanded racial justice, and Jackson was one of those who took part.

Jackson graduated in 1972, and the duo courted for a long time and even dated other people during that time. In 1976, the duo moved to New York to pursue acting careers. Eventually, when Richardson had to choose who to marry, a rich boy or a smart boy, she chose Jackson. She noted:

"I married the smart boy."

WHO IS LATANYA RICHARDSON?

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LaTanya Richardson attends Alfre Woodard's 11th Annual Sistahs' Soirée Presented by Morgan Stanley With Absolut Elyx on February 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

LaTanya Richardson attends Alfre Woodard's 11th Annual Sistahs' Soirée Presented by Morgan Stanley With Absolut Elyx on February 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Although Jackson is the more famous one of the couple, Richardson has also made a name for herself in the movie industry. Jackson noted:

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"We actually thought we were going to be the black Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, but we were going to stay together!"

Richardson grew up in a family that was very much invested in charities. They were always making donations to churches, giving, and participating in organizations in charge of education and health concerns.

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After graduating, Richardson, like her husband, has been pretty successful in the movie industry. She has worked in a number of movies and popular TV shows. She even got nominated for a Tony Award for the Best Lead Actress in a Play for her performance in "A Raisin in the Sun."

Richardson made a special appearance in "Grey's Anatomy" as Diane Pierce in 2017. She also interpreted Calpurnia in the Broadway show "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 2019.

She also made a foray into music, providing backing vocals on a record for "The Commodores." Richardson is also the co-founder of the "Just Theatre Company" in Atlanta, along with her husband Jackson, Bill Nunn, and Albert Cooper.

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After the birth of their first child, daughter Zoe, the actress stopped regularly working because she and her husband had vowed to be an intact revolutionary family.

However, it was a very difficult time for Jackson. She transferred all the energy she would have used traveling into becoming her husband's critic, often telling him off when she felt he did not do enough.

JACKSON AND RICHARDSON'S RELATIONSHIP STRUGGLES

Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson attend the 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 12, 2022 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson attend the 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 12, 2022 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Although Jackson and Richardson have remained married for years, the pair have also gone through many struggles together. During the early stages of their marriage, Jackson became addicted to drugs and was not emotionally present for his family.

However, he overcame his struggles with the help of his wife, who insisted he check into a rehab facility. Although Richardson could have left, she chose to stay and help her husband recover. The actress revealed she could not leave Jackson because God had told her not to leave but instead help her husband recover.

The couple has stayed together through the good and bad times to weather the storms. Jackson also credited his family's love which aided him in becoming the man he was meant to be.

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The actor, who has been in recovery for more than 30 years, lauded his wife for being his backbone and the person who helped change his life for the better. He disclosed:

"She gave me the chance to be the man I was supposed to be."

Once he left rehab, the actor was cast to star in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" in 1991, and his career has waxed stronger since. The couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on August 8, 2020.

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Speaking about the secret to their long-term marriage Richardson joked that it's because she had no filter in her and would tell Jackson things as she saw them.

However, Jackson replied that their marriage had lasted this long because they are two people who respect, love, and look out for each other.

ZOE FOLLOWED HER PARENT'S FOOTSTEPS

Actor Samuel L. Jackson and wife LaTanya Richardson and daughter Zoe Jackson arrives at the 23rd Annual American Cinematheque Awards on December 1, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Samuel L. Jackson and wife LaTanya Richardson and daughter Zoe Jackson arrives at the 23rd Annual American Cinematheque Awards on December 1, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Jackson and Richardson's daughter Zoe, born in 1982, has followed in her parent's footsteps by making her mark in the movie industry. Speaking about her childhood, Jackson disclosed he used to like having his daughter around on film sets, but Zoe would go around looking for where to stash candy when she reached a certain age.

The actor explained she would go to craft service and fill her pockets with Blow Pop City candies. After the birth of his daughter, Jackson even stayed away from acting for years to focus on parenting Zoe and only returned to shooting movies in 1987.

The actor disclosed that it was always important to him to be a part of his daughter's life and that Zoe deserved to have two parents in her life. He further explained that being dedicated to her is also one of the things that have kept his marriage together.

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Zoe has grown into a beautiful and successful adult thanks to her parent's hard work in parenting. She is now an actress and producer, and one of her acting credits includes the 2007 movie "Too Saved."

Zoe has also worked as a producer on multiple TV series, including "Sugar Rush," "Project Runway," and "Top Chef." She also directed one episode of "Funny or Die Presents," on which her dad also starred. Zoe also has a very good relationship with her parents and has appeared on her father's Instagram page multiple times.

Jackson posted a picture of his daughter during her birthday in March 2022, where she stood and made a peace sign with her hand. The actor also posted a throwback picture of her on her birthday in 2021 and another throwback of the pair on September 26, 2018.

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