Dramatic actor Laurence Fishburne gained widespread acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his gripping performance as the Svengali-like Ike Turner in the Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got to Do With It (1993) and went on to rack up an impressive string of credits playing leads and supporting roles on stage, screen, and television.
Born in Augusta, GA, the sole child of a corrections officer and an educator, Fishburne was raised in Brooklyn following his parents' divorce. An unusually sensitive child with a natural gift for acting, he was taken to various New York stage auditions before landing his first professional role at the age of ten. Two years later, he made his feature film debut with a major role in Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975). A turning point in the young actor's career came when he lied about his age and won the role of a young Navy gunner in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. On location in the Philippines, the teenage actor effectively bade farewell to childhood as he endured the many legendary problems that befell Coppola's production over the next two years. In between shooting days, Fishburne hung out with the adult actors, often exposing himself to their offscreen drinking and drugging antics.