Michael B. Jordan
Born February 9, 1987, Michael B. Jordan was raised in Newark, New Jersey, where he got his start as a model and actor. His first significant break was an appearance on The Sopranos in 1999. He later landed major roles in landmark TV shows like The Wire and Friday Night Lights. A steady film actor, he garnered acclaim for his role in the film Fruitvale Station (2013) and in 2015 he starred in the latest installment of the Rocky franchise, Creed.
American film actor Michael Bakari Jordan was born February 9, 1987, in Santa Ana, California. The son of a caterer and high school guidance counselor, Jordan moved when he was two with his parents to Newark, New Jersey, where he spent the remainder of his childhood.
Newark could be a tough place to grow up and in a later interview Jordan admitted to having friends who sold drugs and stole cars. The future actor stayed above the fray and with the encouragement of his parents began modeling for newspaper ads at the age of 10.
Along the way he also auditioned for commercials and TV shows. His first break came when he landed a small role on the Bill Cosby sitcom, Cosby. Other minor parts followed and in 1999 he made an appearance in The Sopranos.
The Wire and Friday Night Lights
It was the 2001 movie, Hardball (2001), however, that raised the young actor’s profile. Starring Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane, the film tells the story of an inner-city baseball team. Jordan landed a principal role and his performance put him on the radar screen of the creators of the HBO series, The Wire.
Jordan’s time on the landmark show lasted just a season, but his riveting portrayal of the caring, soft-spoken Wallace, ended his struggles to find consistent television and film work.
In 2003 he was tapped as a regular cast member on the soap opera, All My Children. During his three-year stint on the show Jordan netted three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series. He also earned a Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Favorite Teen.
After leaving the soap in 2006 Jordan stayed busy. He landed a role in the indie film, Blackout (2007), and made appearances in a host of television shows, including Law & Order: Criminal Intent, CSI, and Cold Case among others.
His next significant break came in 2009 when he was cast to play Vince Howard, the star quarterback in the NBC Emmy-winning series, Friday Night Lights. Jordan’s performance wowed fans of the series and served notice to critics that he was actor to keep an eye on.
Recent Roles and Rocky Redux
Since gaining notice on Friday Night Lights, Jordan carefully leveraged his stardom. He delivered again with a reoccurring role in the NBC series, Parenthood and received mountains of critical praise for his 2013 performance in the Ryan Coogler directed, Fruitvale Station. The film, based on a true story, saw Jordan play the starring role of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African-American man killed by police while at an Oakland, California subway station.
His film work has also included roles in Red Tails (2012), The Chronicle (2012), That Awkward Moment (2014), and as The Human Torch in Fantastic Four (2015).
In 2015, Jordan teamed up again with director Ryan Coogler for the newest incarnation of the Rocky franchise, Creed. Jordan plays aspiring fighter, Adonis Johnson, the unknown son of Rocky’s late rival and friend, Apollo Creed. For the film, Jordan, an accomplished high school athlete, trained vigorously. He spent more than a year preparing for the role, training with boxers and embarking on a strict diet. Upon its release, Oscar talk immediately began to swirl around the film, cementing Jordan’s status as a Hollywood star. Still, the actor has set his eyes on expanding his career even further. “I want to make that move from actor to producer, like Will Smith,” he has said.
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