Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. Is an American actor, director, and children's television host. He is known for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the ABC miniseries Roots (1977), Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994), and as host of the PBS Kids educational television series Reading Rainbow for more than 23 years (1983–2006), for which he has received 12 Daytime Emmy Awards, and a Peabody Award as host and executive producer of the show.His other roles include Cap Jackson in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), Donald Lang in Dummy (1979), Tommy Price in The Hunter (1980), which earned him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, and Martin Luther King Jr. in Ali (2001). Burton received the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards for his narration of the book The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1990, Burton was honored for his achievements in television with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.