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African-American Breakout Roles vs. Now

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Samuel L. Jackson Then

After being involved with the Civil Rights Movement as a young man, Samuel L. Jackson switched his college major to drama and appeared both on stage and screen. Following struggles with alcohol and drugs and a stint in rehab, Jackson found success with the movie “Jungle Fever,” alongside Halle Berry and Queen Latifah. The film was well received by critics and Jackson was presented with a special Supporting Actor award at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. —XFINITY Entertainment Staff

(Ron Galella/ WireImage/ Getty Images)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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