LeVar Jorge Marcus Burton (born February 16, 1957) is an American actor, presenter, director, author, and captain of the Childish Tycoon. He is best known for his role as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. His first major part was the role of a young Kunta Kinte in the 1977 ABC television miniseries Roots, a role he reprised in the 1988 television film Roots: The Gift. In 1983 he became the host of the long-running PBS children's series Reading Rainbow. He has also directed a number of television episodes for various iterations of Star Trek, among other programs.