Samuel L. Jackson knows what it takes to be a great father. The Django Unchained actor has learned a lot about parenthood over the last few decades as he’s raised his only child, Zoe Jackson, with his longtime wife, LaTanya Jackson (née Richardson).
Samuel and LaTanya welcomed their beloved daughter in 1982. The couple’s little one arrived two years after they tied the knot in 1980. The Pulp Fiction star told The Guardian that their relationship began nearly a decade earlier when they met as fellow students when they both attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
For nearly five years after Samuel and the Fighting Temptations actress became parents, the Avengers actor stepped back from his career to focus on parenthood and his marriage. Samuel held off from accepting gigs until he returned in 1987 with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and he said having an “absentee dad” as a kid was one of the reasons.
“It was always important to me that I was part of my daughter’s life, and she deserved two parents, which is part of the rationale behind us staying married for 30 years,” he told the Irish Examiner in March 2011. “Because everybody has a chance to say, ‘F—k it,’ and walk away, you know? But you also have a chance to say, ‘OK, f—k it, I’m sorry.’ Even if you’re not.”
Putting all his time and energy into Zoe allowed the actor to make plenty of memories with his little girl. While chatting with David Letterman during a 2014 appearance on The Late Show, Samuel recalled the funny way he would get Zoe to fall asleep as a child.
“I remember all those times when I did read to my daughter when she was that age and everybody tells you reading stories will put kids to sleep, but it never works. It didn’t in my house,” he joked with the host. “I did say ‘go the f—k to sleep’ to her a lot, and I think at some point she would look at me when I would come into her room, and she would say, ‘Go the f—k to sleep, Daddy?’ and I would say, ‘Yeah, go the f—k to sleep.'”
Thanks to his stern parenting, Samuela and LaTanya’s daughter grew up to be an extremely hardworking and talented young woman. Considering Zoe has two Hollywood stars as her parents, it’s no surprise she followed in her mom and dad’s footsteps and became an actress and producer.
Though Zoe has a lot to look up to when it comes to her dad, the Hitman’s Bodyguard actor revealed he’s very inspired by his kiddo. “The other two people that challenged me on a regular basis are my foundation and support, my daughter, Zoe, and my wife, LaTanya,” he gushed onstage during the BET Awards in 2016, Daily Mail reported. “[They support and push] me and give me a reason to get up and go and chase [life] day after day after day.”
Keep scrolling to learn more about Zoe!
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