Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most known and memorable actors of our time. His career spans five decades; according to One37 PM, as of this past October, he ranks number one as the highest-grossing actor of all time. Jackson has brought in a whopping $5,718,504,196 over the course of his career and, surprisingly, he just won his first Oscar this past March.
His career is iconic! He’s one actor who’s played in virtually every genre of film, from hard-hitting dramas to action movies and animations. His roles are the stuff legends are made of. One thing about Uncle Sam, he’s going to play his role well every time. We love when he steps on the scene because no matter what we’re watching, we know Jackson is going to make it memorable.
Part of what makes his work so iconic is that they all, in some capacity, feel like an extension of his personality. He’s a straight-chaser kind of guy, and we love to see it. If we could make one request, we’d ask for more Samuel L. Jackson movies, please! In honor of his birthday, here is a roundup of his classic moments from some of our favorite movies:
Samuel L. Jackson as DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy in “Do the Right Thing” (1989)
A solid voice of reason, Jackson played this role to a tee, giving real-talk narration of what’s happening in the movie as Spike Lee’s cinematic masterpiece serves as the backdrop. Behind Jackson’s character is Black iconography that frames his character and makes his performance the topping to this cult classic.
Samuel L. Jackson as Gator Purify in “Jungle Fever” (1991)
Jackson was pure genius in this 90s classic as Gator Purify, a crack addict who meets a tragic fate. The veteran actor plays alongside Halle Berry, his girlfriend, and Wesley Snipes, who played his brother Flipper. Not only was Jackson powerful in this movie, just a few months before production began, Jackson completed rehab for his real-life addiction to the drug.
Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield in “Pulp Fiction” (1994)
Probably one of his best roles to date, Jackson plays a religious hitman named Jules Winnfield in Quinten Tarantino’s film. It is one of his most memorable roles with endless quotes, and it earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nomination.
Samuel L. Jackson as Carl Lee Hailey in “A Time to Kill” (1996)
One of the most powerful movies on the horrors of racism and the justice system to date, Jackson plays an accused father who murdered two white men after they raped and brutalized his daughter. We will never forget Jackson’s performance on the stand as he’s being cross-examined by Kevin Spacey, who plays the district attorney. Jackson screams, “Yes, they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell!” Now that’s good acting!
Samuel L. Jackson as Russell Franklin in “Deep Blue Sea” (1999)
This is a top 5 character death scene in our movie vault, and we just can’t get enough. Samuel’s stern lecture as he prepares to tell everybody about themselves right before being eaten by a shark is just the chef’s kiss!
Samuel L. Jackson as John Shaft II in “Shaft” (2000)
Underrated movie alert! Am I the only one who loved Shaft? (Pause). And I’m talking about the movie that came out in 2000 starring Samuel L Jackson, Christian Bale, Jeffrey Wright and Busta Rhymes who killed it.advertisement
Loved the sequel that came out on Netflix too pic.twitter.com/GJQM4BwJWa
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There’s Richard Roundtree and then there’s Samuel L. Jackson. That’s it! They are some bad mother…SHUT YO MOUTH! Jackson did the remake justice, and we will never forget him in this John Singleton classic.
Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price/Mr. Glass in “Unbreakable” (2000)
This is one of our absolute favorite Uncle Sam movies, and it’s a treat for sci-fi lovers. Jackson plays Elijah Price in the superhero thriller. In the end, he is uncovered as one of the cleverest villains of all time, Mr. Glass. He revives his role in the 3rd installation of the trilogy, Glass, where Jackson is magnetic!
Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone in “The Incredibles” & “Incredibles 2” (2004/2018)
Who can forget Mr. Incredibles’ best friend and fellow superhero, Frozone? Jackson lends his voice to the cool retired superhero with ice powers and whenever his character is on screen, you’ll be sure to root for him!
Samuel L. Jackson as Coach Ken Carter in “Coach Carter” (2005)
In the 80s, we had Morgan Freeman as Principal Joe Clark at the legendary Eastside High, but in the 2000s, there was Coach Carter. Jackson shines as a no nonsense, no foolishness, basketball coach committed as much to his students as he is the sport.
Samuel L. Jackson as Neville Flynn in “Snakes on a Plane” (2006)
We too were tired of those “MOTHER****** SNAKES ON THAT MOTHER****** PLANE!” That line will go down in history and so will Jackson’s performance.
Samuel L. Jackson as Lazarus in “Black Snake Moan” (2007)
Jackson plays a blues guitarist with a troubled past who tries his best to help co-star Christina Ricci’s character. The movie is a follow-up to director Craig Brewer’s blockbuster hit “Hustle & Flow,” and the film spawned one of Jackson’s most viral memes.
Samuel L. Jackson as Abel Turner in Lakeview Terrace (2008)
Moving into their first home, married couple Chris and Lisa Mattson look forward to a blissful new life together.
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There are neighbors from hell and then there’s Samuel L. Jackson. In this thriller, he plays a cop turned psycho neighbor with a personal grudge that he’s projecting onto a young couple next door. While the wife, played by Kerry Washington, does her best to make peace, Jackson only wants war.
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
If you’re big MCU fans like us, you know that Nick Fury is one of the best characters ever. While he’s only ever on screen for just a couple minutes, Nick Fury is the highlight of every scene he steps into. And we can’t wait to see what comes out of his mouth.
Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris in “The Banker” (2020)
This heartwarming film is a newer one of Jackson’s, but we’re sure it will also be a classic. He stars alongside Anthony Mackie as a wealthy entrepreneur who goes into business as the duo fight against systemic racism to become some of the first African-American bankers of their time.
In honor of Jackson’s legendary work, we wish him the happiest of birthdays!
Happy Birthday Samuel L. Jackson: All of his classic moments from our favorite movies. Photo Courtesy of Associated Press