- At 13, decided to become a priest and studied for four years in a Catholic seminary.
- While a college sophomore, landed the pivotal role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark miniseries Roots; it was his TV debut.
- For more than 20 years, served as host and co-executive producer of PBS's multi-Emmy-winning children's series Reading Rainbow, which also earned NAACP Image Awards and a Peabody.
- Made TV directorial debut with a 1993 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "The Pegasus."
- Published the novel Aftermath in 1997.
- Launched RRKidz, an interactive book app for children, in 2011.
- 1999, Grammy — Best Spoken Word Album: Winner
- 2016, Emmy — Outstanding Limited Series: Nominee
- 1996, Emmy — Outstanding Children's Program: Nominee
- 2003, Genie Awards — Best Achievement in Music/Original Song: Nominee
- 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series: Nominee
- Eian Burton Smith — Son
- Erma Christian — Mother
- Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Sr. — Father
- Stephanie Cozart Burton — Wife
- Michaela Jean Burton — Daughter
- Attended University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States
- Birth Name: Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr.
- Birth Place: Landstuhl, West Germany
- Profession: Actor, TV host, Producer, Director
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