A Successful Acting Career

Samuel L JacksonSamuel L Jackson is an American actor born on December 21, 1948. He has appeared in many plays and films since the early 1970s, although he was largely unknown until the early 1990s.

Jackson developed severe drug addictions until going through a drug rehabilitation program in 1991. Jackson’s career has flourished since then and he is now one of the most successful actors in the world.

His Early Career

Jackson majored in drama at Morehouse College and acted in plays and television roles before making his film debut in the 1972 independent film Together for Days. He moved to New York City in 1976, where he acted regularly in stage plays until the late 1980s. Jackson became addicted to multiple drugs during this period, especially alcohol and cocaine.

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Drug Addiction

Samuel L Jackson had established a successful acting career by 1989 in both stage and film, although he still had not played a leading role in a major film. His drug use increased steadily through the years and he had overdosed on heroin several times at this point in his career.

He replaced his heroin use with crack cocaine, and he was also still abusing alcohol and marijuana. Jackson’s drug addiction peaked in 1991 when he passed out after an especially long binge. His wife found Jackson unconscious with cocaine still on a table, and his eight-year-old daughter also witnessed the incident.


His family checked Jackson into a drug rehab center in New York shortly thereafter. Jackson has said that he didn’t object since he was ready for rehab.

He successfully completed the program and began filming Jungle Fever about one week after leaving rehab. Jackson played crack addict Gator Purify, a role Jackson has described as cathartic since he was still recovering from his own addiction at the time.

Jungle Fever won many awards and the Cannes Film awarded Jackson a Supporting Actor award. This award category was created specifically for Jackson’s performance in Jungle Fever.
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Samuel L Jackson’s films after Jungle Fever included Juice, Patriot Games and Strictly Business. He finally performed in his first starring role as Sgt. Wes Luger in the 1993 comedy National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1. Jackson’s films during the early 1990s included Amos & Andrew and Jurassic Park.

Jackson is best-known today for his recurring role as Nick Fury, whom he has played in various films from the Marvel Comics universe. Today, Jackson is the highest-grossing film actor of all time.

Finding Help

It’s never too late to find help. Even if you have been using for a decade, like Jackson, you can enter a rehab program that changes your behavior. Contact our counselors today at 1 (850) 564-7057 to learn more.