Laurence Fishburne

A versatile performer equally adept at playing both hero and villain, actor Laurence Fishburne emerged on the scene after famously lying about his age to Francis Ford Coppola in order to land a prominent part in the director's seminal "Apocalypse Now" (1979). Though he struggled in small parts over the ensuing decade, Fishburne came into his own as a father trying to keep his son out of the gang life in "Boyz n the Hood" (1991). After richly textured supporting roles in "What's Love Got to Do with It" (1993) and "Searching for Bobby Fisher" (1993), he became the first African-American actor to perform the title role of "Othello" (1995) for a major Hollywood studio. Toward the end of the decade, Fishburne achieved iconic status with his Zen-like performance as the leather-clad Morpheus in the cultural phenomenon, "The Matrix" (1999), a role he reprised in the back-to-back sequels. With appearances in movies like "Mission: Impossible III" (2006), "Bobby" (2006) and "Assault on Precinct 13" (2005), as well as taking over the central role on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-2015) and both co-starring in and co-producing the sitcom "black-ish" (ABC 2014- ), Fishburne solidified his legacy as a truly diverse and welcome performer.