Laurence John Fishburne III was born July 30, 1961 in Augusta, Georgia. He is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor and a Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee known for his film roles as Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy and as The Bowery King in the John Wick movie franchise, alongside his television roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS and Hannibal on NBC.
Fishburne moved to Brooklyn, New York at an early age and would later graduate from Lincoln Square Academy.
He made his Off-Broadway debut in Eden for the Negro Ensemble Company in March 1976 and would return to the Off-Broadway stage on three separate occasions in the 1980s: in the Second Stage Theater productions of Short Eyes (1985) and Loose Ends (1988) along with the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Urban Blight (1988).
Fishburne made his Broadway debut in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, which ran from April through August 1992 at the Walter Kerr Theatre, and his acclaimed turn earned him his Theatre World Award, a Drama Desk Award, and a Tony Award in the category of Best Featured Actor in a Play. For his next stage venture, he would star in his self-penned play Riff Raff for the Circle Repertory Company in the fall of 1995, which he also directed. He returned to Broadway to star as Henry II opposite Stockard Channing in a revival of The Lion in Winter, which ran from February through May 1999. In 2008, he earned a Tony Award nomination and won his second Drama Desk Award, this time for Outstanding Solo Performance, for the one-man show Thurgood, which played the Booth Theatre from April through August of that year.
His regional theatre credits include a 2006 Pasadena Playhouse production of August Wilson’s Fences, opposite Angela Bassett, and a 2006 Los Angeles production of Alfred Uhry’s Without Walls.
In film, Fishburne’s early credits include Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975), Apocalypse Now (1979), The Cotton Club (1984), The Color Purple (1985), Band of the Hand (1986), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), Red Heat (1988), and School Daze (1988). He would gain prominence in Hollywood following his turn in the 1990 cult classic King of New York and for playing the role of Jason “Furious” Styles in 1991’s Boyz n the Hood. Following another cult classic, 1992’s Deep Cover, Fishburne earned his first Oscar nomination in 1994 after his commanding performance as Ike Turner (opposite Angela Bassett’s Tina) in the much loved 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It. He followed this up with notable appearances in Higher Learning (1995), in the titular role in the 1995 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, and in Event Horizon (1997), among others.
In 1999, Fishburne’s career shot to even greater heights after landing the role of Morpheus in the epic blockbuster The Matrix, reprising the role in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003. Other Hollywood credits since The Matrix trilogy include Mission Impossible III (2006), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Predators (2010), Contagion (2011), DC Comics’ Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018), and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019).
On television, Fishburne’s most notable roles include a 1993 Emmy Award-winning performance in TriBeCa on the Fox Network, a 1996 Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated turn in The Tuskegee Airmen on HBO, a 1997 Emmy-nominated performance in Miss Evers’ Boys (also for HBO), as well as a 2011 Emmy nomination for reprising his Broadway role in Thurgood on the small screen. His most iconic TV roles include Dr. Raymond Langston in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008-11 on CBS), Special Agent Jack Crawford in Hannibal (2013-15 on NBC), and Pops in Black-ish (since 2015 on ABC).
Fishburne returns to Broadway to star opposite Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss in a star-studded revival of David Mamet’s American Buffalo at the Circle in the Square Theatre.