Fishburne’s versatile acting has won him awards in theatre, film and television. In 1992, Fishburne won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. He won his first Emmy Award in 1993 for “The Box” episode of Tribeca, and his second for his one-man show, Thurgood, in 1997. In 1993, Laurence also received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for the Tina Turner biopic, What’s Love Got to Do with It. He was an Emmy Award nominee and an NAACP Image Award winner for his starring role in the 1997 telefilm Miss Evers’ Boys, which he also executive-produced. Laurence has been nominated 25 times for NAACP Image awards, with seven wins – most recently in 2021 for “Outstanding Performance in a Short Form Series” for #FreeRayshawn. His most recent Emmy win was also for his role in Quibi’s #FreeRayshawn.
Laurence may be best known for his role as Morpheus in the Wachowksi siblings’ blockbuster The Matrix trilogy, but his many film credits include: Academy Award nominee John Singleton’s Boyz ‘n the Hood, Richard T. Heffron’s telefilm A Rumor of War, Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, the Steven Zaillian’s Searching for Bobby Fischer, Mr. Singleton’s Higher Learning, Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River and cult classics, Deep Cover and King of New York.
In 2000, Fishburne founded Cinema Gypsy Productions with his longtime manager and producing partner, Helen Sugland. They have produced numerous nominated and award-winning projects including: Thurgood (HBO), Five Fingers (Lionsgate), Akeelah and the Bee (Lionsgate), Once in the Life (Lionsgate), Always Out Numbered (HBO), Hoodlum (United Artists), and Miss Evers Boys (HBO). They produced the ABC-TV hit series black-ish, where Mr. Fishburne starred alongside Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, as well as its current Freeform spinoff, Grown-ish and new ABC spinoff, Mixed-ish. In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021, black-ish received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. The show was also nominated in 2017 and 2018 for a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Their current endeavor is Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, an animated series based on the popular comic book series, with season 1 premiering on Feb 10, 2023 on Disney Channel and on Disney Plus Feb 15.
In 2016, Fishburne starred in Warner Bros.’ blockbuster Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and A&E’s miniseries remake of Roots, alongside Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin. The Roots remake premiered with universal acclaim, and Fishburne received a 2016 Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Narrator as Alex Haley. Fishburne also appeared in Passengers alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, which was released in December 2016.
Laurence’s other recent releases include: Bronzeville, a 10-episode audio drama written by A History Of Violence scribe Josh Olson and produced with Larenz Tate’s company TateMan Entertainment and Audio HQ. Season 2 of the series premiered on March 16, 2021.
In Madiba, a 2017 miniseries for BET Networks, Laurence portrayed Nelson Mandela in a drama about the politician’s life. In 2017, he appeared in Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying in which he starred with Steve Carell and Bryan Cranston. In 2018, he was seen in Marvel’s Ant Man and The Wasp and recently he reprised his role as the Bowey King in John Wick 3 in May 2019.
Fishburne was last seen in Running with the Devil, Annapurna’s highly anticipated adaptation of -Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Quibi’s movie in chapter #FreeRayshawn, The Ice Road and Peacock series “MacGruber.”
From 2021-22, Fishburne starred in American Buffalo on Broadway.
This past year he starred in Netflix’s The School for Good & Evil and was an executive producer of The Cave of Adullam which aired on ESPN and can be streamed on ESPN+. Releasing in 2023, he will resume his role in John Wick: Chapter 4.He is currently filming FX limited series The Sterling Affairs, about the downfall of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling amid the team’s drive to win a championship under coach Doc Rivers. Recently announced, he is set to star in Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and will star alongside Emma Roberts in a new film, The Astronaut.
He recently performed The Autobiography of Malcolm X, that was released on September 10, 2020, on Audible and is a NY Times Bestseller. Fishburne snagged an Audie Award for “Best Male Narrator” for his narration of the audiobook.
Fishburne has served as an Ambassador for UNICEF since 1996. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as Artist of the Year for his Outstanding Contributions to American and International Performing Arts as well as his humanitarian contributions.
Photo by Art Streiber.