Actors Samuel L. Jackson, 73, and LaTanya Richardson Jackson, 72, have been together for over half a century now, including their four-decade-long marriage that many people draw inspiration from.
The proud parents-of-one recently told People that they made a pact to stick together no matter what when they first started seeing each other. LaTanya told the outlet:
"In the beginning, we always said the most revolutionary thing that Black people could do was stay together, raise their children with the nucleus of having a father and a mother, since everybody likes to pretend that that's not the dynamic of the African American family."
"That it's just children out here being raised by women, which we know is false. In order to change that narrative, we made a decision to say, 'We are going to stay together no matter what. We'll figure it out.'"
Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson met in college and lead a successful married life till date
LaTanya Richardson Jackson studied at Spelman College, a college for black women in Atlanta, Georgia. Samuel L. Jackson, on the other hand, went to the all-male Morehouse College, based in the same city.
The duo met in 1970 while pursuing studies at separate universities and immediately hit it off. After a decade of dating, the power couple tied the knot in August 1980.
Two years after they said "I do," Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson welcomed their only daughter Zoe Jackson in 1982. However, the Jackson couple hit a rough patch in the early 1990s when the actor was struggling with his drug addiction.
Things got serious when Samuel L. Jackson overdrank and nearly did cocaine before passing out on actor/writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s bachelor party. He previously told Vanity Fair:
“I went by the spot, copped, went home, cooked the sh*t, and passed out before I had even smoked it, drunk. That’s when my wife and daughter found me on the floor.”
Within a day of the incident taking place, LaTanya got Samuel checked into a rehab facility. She recalled:
“I threatened to leave him if he didn’t see the rehab through. I knew I couldn’t leave this boy I admired so much. But I resented him too. I hated it when he slurred his words. A wife hates to see her husband be weak.”
Till date, Samuel L. Jackson thanks his wife and cites her as the reason behind his sobriety.
The couple also successfully raised their beautiful daughter, Zoe, 39, who works as a co-executive producer on hit shows like Project Runway, Top Chef and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Zoe, who has won three Emmy Awards, was previously a producer on the 13th season of The Bachelorette, starring Rachel Lindsay.
Who is LaTanya Richardson Jackson?
LaTanya is an actress and producer who started her career with theater productions and then moved on to doing films and TV shows. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia in October 1949, and developed a passion for acting at a very early age.
LaTanya, who pursued B.A. in theater, rose up in the New York theatrical scene with the help of her famous mentor Joseph Papp. A theater company called New Federal Theatre, established by Woodie King Jr. in 1970, soon became a frequent platform for LaTanya to flaunt her acting skills.
After starring in productions like Spell #7 and From the Mississippi Delta during her early days, LaTanya was considered to be one of the most wonderful black actresses working on Broadway in the Georgia region and NYC.
LaTanya, who made her television debut with the 1989 TV show A Man called Hawk, went on to land roles in over 40 TV shows including Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, NYPD Blue, Civil Wars, Earth 2, Luke Cage, and Judging Amy.
Her film credits include her debut film Hangin’ with the Homeboys, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Super, Malcolm X, Lone Star, US Marshals, The Fighting Temptations, Freedomland, The Incredibles 2, Blackout, Mother and Child and Juanita.
LaTanya, a strong advocate for black rights who got involved in the Black Rights Movement, earned herself a Tony Award nomination for best lead actress in a play category for her performance in the 2013 Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun.