Pops Johnsonplayed by Laurence Fishburne
Dre's father, affectionately referred to as "Pops," has an affinity for velour tracksuits and going to the racetrack. He can be quite the curmudgeon and takes every opportunity to offer his opinion on family issues. But when Pops offers his usually curt and spot-on old school wisdom, it is difficult to disagree with him.
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Laurence J. Fishburne III has achieved an impressive body of work as an actor, producer and director. Starting at the age of 10, Fishburne starred on the daily television drama "One Life to Live." He made his feature film debuts at age 12 and age 15 in "Cornbread, Earl and Me" and "Apocalypse Now." He was accepted to the High School of Performing Arts which sparked his later success in the theatre world.
Some of Fishburne's television performances include "The Box" episode of "Tribeca," which earned him an Emmy award and "Thurgood," which earned him an Emmy nomination. He starred for three seasons on the hit series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and he was an Emmy Award nominee and an NAACP Image Award winner for his starring role in the telefilm "Miss Evers' Boys," which he executive-produced. He can currently be seen alongside Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen in the NBC thriller series "Hannibal."
Through his company, Cinema Gypsy Productions, he is scheduled to executive-produce and star in "The Right Mistake," a dramatic television series for HBO. His company also made the movies "Akeelah and the Bee," written and directed by Doug Atchison and starring Keke Palmer, "Five Fingers" and "Once in the Life."
Some of his many film credits include Academy Award nominee John Singleton's "Boyz n the Hood," Richard T. Heffron's telefilm "A Rumor of War," Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple," "The Matrix" movies and Robert Markowitz's telefilms "Decoration Day" and "The Tuskegee Airmen," for which he received an NAACP Image Award as well as Golden Globe, Emmy and CableACE Award nominations.
Fishburne also won the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World, and Tony Awards for his portrayal of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson's "Two Trains Running," directed by Lloyd Richards in 1992. He starred in Alfred Uhry's drama "Without Wall," directed by Christopher Ashley, at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and was awarded Best Actor at the NAACP Theater Awards in 2006. That same year, Mr. Fishburne reteamed with his frequent acting partner Angela Bassett at The Pasadena Playhouse in August Wilson's "Fences," directed by Samuel Epps.
Mr. Fishburne serves as an Ambassador for UNICEF. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as Artist of the Year for his Outstanding Contributions to American and International Performing Arts as well as his humanitarian contributions.