LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton talks about the end of "Reading Rainbow"
ESSENCE.COM Sep, 03, 2009

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After 26 years, PBS’s “Reading Rainbow” ends its Emmy-Award winning run due to lack of funds. Actor LeVar Burton served as the educational series for kids’ host since the beginning.

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Burton immortalized the character, Lt. Geordi La Forge, a senior officer on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” who was blind but wore a visor to enhance his sight.

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A young Burton portrays slave Kunta Kinte in Alex Hailey’s classic biopic “Roots.”

“I am very aware of its cultural significance,” Burton told ESSENCE.com.

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Burton says that serving as the host of “Reading Rainbow” was an enriching experience that he’ll never forget. “I don’t know what the future holds; we’ll see what the spirit brings,” Burton told ESSENCE.com. “My commitment and mission remains the same—to educate and touch people’s lives.”

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Burton and his wife arrive at the 55th Annual Directors Guild Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel on March 1, 2003, in Los Angeles.

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Burton accepts his trophy for PBS’s “Reading Rainbow,” which was recently canceled due to lack of funding, at the 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on May 16, 2003, at Radio City Music Hall in NYC.

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Burton and the fam worked the red carpet at the premiere of “Rugrats Go Wild” at the Cinerama Dome Theater Complex on June 1, 2003, in Hollywood, California.

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Burton looks forward to continuing to create new TV programming that will help change people’s lives.

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Katherine Oliver of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Judge Glenda Hatchett, Dr. Twila Liggett, LeVar Burton, Peter Price, President of the National Television Academy, Geraldine Laybourne of Oxygen Media and actress Susan Lucci pose for a photograph during a reception in honor of the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy’s at Gracie Mansion May 19, 2005, in New York City.

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Actor Levar Burton gets revved up as he takes a pace lap during the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 2004, at the Indianapolis Motor Speeday in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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LeVar Burton shares camera time with his family at the Family Guy’s 100th Episode Party held at Social on October 29, 2007, in Los Angeles.