LaTanya Richardson Jackson

Latanya Jackson
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 15, 2009

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LaTanya Richardson Jackson and her husband, Samuel L. Jackson, were college sweethearts, having met at their alma maters, Spelman and Morehouse, respectively. The Hollywood power couple, who have been together for 39 years and married 29 years, attend the 2nd annual BET Honors at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., in January 2009.

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Richardson says one of the secrets to longevity in any relationship is learning to forgive. “You have to have the strength of Jesus to get through a lot of things you face as a couple,” says Richardson with a laugh. “And that’s a lot of strength!” The Jacksons attend the 23rd Annual American Cinematheque Awards with daughter Zoe in Beverly Hills, California, last December.

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Sam and LaTanya attend the world premiere of “Soul Men” at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City.

Richardson admits that she’s still smitten with her hubby after all these years. “When he’s away and I think about him, my whole body smiles,” she says.

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The Jacksons attend the National Black Arts festival gala at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

“People don’t know that Sam is brilliant,” says LaTanya. “Well, not as brilliant as me, but brilliant nonetheless.”

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LaTanya shows her support for her hubby Sam, who served as the host of the 16th Annual Trumpet Awards at the Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta.

“It’s nice to know that we can still laugh together or even be in different rooms and be okay,” she shares.

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In 2007, LaTanya and Sam attend the San Sebastian Film Festival’s “Flawless” premiere and awards ceremony at the Kursaal Palace in San Sebastian, Spain.

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The duo receives the Hollywood Legacy Family Award at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in Hollywood, California.

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LaTanya stands by her man at the hand and foot print ceremony honoring the actor at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Jackson’s leading ladies—daughter Zoe, a Vassar grad, wife LaTanya and mom Michelle Nichols—at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in June 2006.

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Richardson and Jackson share a tender moment for a ESSENCE cover shoot.

“We lived together for ten years before we got married,” says Richardson. “My grandfather was very ill and told me that he couldn’t believe I was going to continue to live in sin with this man before he left this earth, and I was like, Sam, you have to ask him for permission and then get on bended knee and propose. And he did!”

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LaTanya Richardson makes her Broadway debut with costar Ernie Hudson in August Wilson’s play “Jack Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Belasco Theater in New York.

Richardson plays Bertha Holly and says she isn’t much different from today’s Black women who exercise a subtle strength to hold everything together.

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Although no stranger to the theater, Richardson is proud to have finally tackled The Great White Way.

“Theater is the reason I love acting,” says Richardson. “It’s raw and organic, and as an actor you get to live in the moment.”

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Andre Holland Richardson and Amari Rose Leigh breathe life into August Wilson’s characters.

“August Wilson wrote about the Black women he knew,” says Richardson. “And those women were strong and often held it together for everyone including their families.”

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Richardson gets her groove on as Bertha Holly, performing a freestyle dance called The Juba.

“Theater is a lot of hard work, especially when you’re rehearsing every day up until opening night,” says Richardson. “But opening night was well worth it. We had a packed house.”

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Richardson, who attended Spelman College, says she is fell in love with acting when she saw Shakespeare’s “Camelot.”

“I am intuitive while my husband is brilliant,” says Richardson. “Intuition is a great gift to have as an actor.”

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