“Growing up a stuttering, black kid in Tennessee in the ’50s didn’t quite make me think I was going to end up in a place like this,” the Snakes on a Plane star recalled. Indeed, it’s amazing to think that a child with such difficulty speaking would end up delivering some of Hollywood’s most iconic lines.
Though he’d enjoyed his aunt’s productions as a boy, it wasn’t until years later that acting became a real passion for Jackson. In the ’60s, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he began working towards a degree in marine biology. But then, after joining a theater club for extra credit, he was so inspired that he ended up changing his major to drama. Incidentally, this was also how he would meet his wife.