Guess what day it is! Happy HUMP day, Everyone. Hope you’re enjoying this week series on Star Trek and Black actors.
Today’s Star Trek feature is Levar Burton AKA Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge
LeVardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr. (born February 16, 1957), professionally known as LeVar Burton, is an American actor, presenter, director, producer, and author.
Burton is best known for his roles as the young Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries Roots, Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and as the host and executive producer of the PBS children’s program Reading Rainbow.
In 1986, Gene Roddenberry approached him with the role of the then Lieutenant Junior Grade Geordi La Forge in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. La Forge is blind, but is granted “sight” through the use of a prosthetic device called a VISOR, which is worn over his eyes. La Forge is the USS Enterprise‘s helmsman, and as of the show’s second season, its Chief Engineer. At the time, Burton was considerably better known than Patrick Stewart in the United States, due to the fame he gained from starring in Roots and Reading Rainbow. The Associated Press stated that Burton’s role was essentially the “new Spock.”
Burton also portrayed La Forge in the subsequent feature films based on Star Trek: The Next Generation, beginning with Star Trek Generations in 1994 through 2002’s Star Trek Nemesis. Burton directed the season one episode of Star Trek: Voyager titled “Ex Post Facto” as well as season two episode of Star Trek: Voyager titled “Dreadnought.” Burton also directed and appeared in the season five episode of Star Trek: Voyager titled “Timeless” and directed several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.
Check out these video segments:
Levar Burton directs this episode from Star Trek Voyager” ‘Ex Post Facto’
Always wanted to know what Geordi could actually SEE.