Caption: LeVar Burton at Star Trek Mission NY
Thanks to his breakthrough role as Kunta Kinte in the landmark Roots miniseries, LeVar Burton was likely the best-known member of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s ensemble cast as Lt. (j.g.) Geordi La Forge when the series debuted in 1987. Like his TNG colleague Jonathan Frakes, Burton took advantage of the Star Trek franchise’s “director in training” program, and his post-TNG career is evenly split between acting and directing. With 26 episodes spread across TNG, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise to his credit, Burton holds the record among Star Trek actor alums for directing the most Star Trek episodes. He has also directed segments of Soul Food, JAG, Charmed, and Las Vegas. Burton was the longtime host and executive producer of the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning children’s series Reading Rainbow, which aired from 1983 to 2006. His acting credits are featured performances in several other high profile TV movies like One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story, Dummy, and Grambling’s White Tiger.