Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. (born February 16, 1957) known as LeVar Burton is an African-american actor, director, and producer who first came to prominence playing Kunte Kinte in the 1977 award winning television miniseries Roots, based on the novel by Alex Haley. He graduated from University of Southern California's School of Theatre.
He later played the role of Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series and related movies. He is also the host of the long-running children's television show Reading Rainbow (1983 - ) on PBS, which extolls the virtues of literacy. He also played the voice of a character named Kwame in the cartoon series Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990 - 1993) and The New Adventures of Captain Planet (1993 - 1996).