Fishburne spent much of the 1980s in and out of television and periodically on stage. Fishburne had a recurring role as Cowboy Curtis with Paul Reubens' character, Pee Wee Herman in the CBS children's television show, Pee-wee's Playhouse. He also appeared in the M*A*S*H episode, "The Tooth Shall Set You Free", as Corporal Dorsey (billed as Larry Fishburne in the credits). His stage work during the 1980s included Short Eyes in 1984 , and Loose Ends in 1987 . Both were produced at Second Stage Theatre in New York City. Additionally, Lawrence Fishburne played the leading role of "Dap" in Spike Lee's second theatrical release entitled School Daze (1988). Offering a riveting performance, Fishburne's character was the depiction of an African American, culturally inclined college student at an HBCU (Historically Black College/University).
In 1990 he played Jimmy Jump in the controversial King of New York, and in 1991, Fishburne starred in Boyz N The Hood. The following year, in 1992, he won a Tony Award for his stage performance in the August Wilson play, Two Trains Running and an Emmy Award for his performance in the opening episode, "The Box," of the short-lived anthology series television drama TriBeCa. In 1993, he received his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Ike Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It?. Today, Fishburne is perhaps best known for his role as Morpheus, the hacker-mentor of Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, in the 1999 blockbuster science fiction film, The Matrix. He briefly appears as a stretcher-bearer in one version of the video for The Spooks' song "Things I've Seen" (2000).
Fishburne reprised his role as Morpheus in the Matrix sequels, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003. He gained a significant amount of weight between the first and second film. He has appeared with Tom Cruise as Theodore Brassell, IMF superior of Cruise's character in Mission: Impossible III. In 2006 he appeared on stage with Angela Bassett in a Pasadena production of August Wilson's, Fences. Most recently, he provided the voice of the narrator in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) movie, released 23 March 2007. The same year, he provided the voice of the Silver Surfer in 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Fishburne has worked with actress Angela Bassett on four projects. He says "An electrifying thing happens when the two of us work together. I haven’t experienced it with anyone else. A freedom happens when we work together." They both plan to work with each other in the future.
On February 24, 2007, Fishburne was honored with the Harvard Foundation's Artist of the Year award at the annual show Cultural Rhythms. He received this honor for his prowess as an actor and entertainer and for his humanitarian pursuits. Fishburne is a UNICEF ambassador. The mayor of the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mayor Kenneth Reeves awarded him the key to the city and declared the twenty-fourth of February, “Laurence Fishburne” day in the city of Cambridge.
In April 2008, Fishburne returned to the stage in the Broadway production of Thurgood, a new play by George Stevens, Jr., directed by Leonard Foglia. Thurgood opened at the Booth Theatre on April 30, 2008, with previews starting on April 12, 2008.
On August 18, 2008, it was reported that Laurence Fishburne will join the cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation after William Petersen (aka Gil Grissom) leaves in the next season. John Malkovich was also considered for the role prior to the announcement. Fishburne will be joining the show on the ninth episode of the upcoming season as a college professor and former pathologist whose area of expertise involves some criminals' predisposition to commit acts of violence. The character will be introduced as a consultant on a case, who winds up joining the CSI team. According to interviews with producers when the announcement broke, his character also has the genetic profile identified in serial killers, a fact which the character will keep to himself, but is something that underpins his desire to understand why some criminals can be so violent. Fishburne was also interviewed and stated he was ecstatic with joining the show, and is thrilled with the chance to portray such a complex character.
|1994||Best Actor in a Leading Role||What's Love Got to Do with It||Nominated|
|2006||Outstanding Motion Picture (Producer)||Akeelah and the Bee||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Akeelah and the Bee||Won|
|2007||Best Supporting Actor||Akeelah and the Bee||Nominated|
|Best Motion Picture [Producer]||Akeelah and the Bee||Nominated|
|2000||Best Actor||The Matrix||Nominated|
|1997||Outstanding Made for Television Movie||Miss Evers' Boys||Won|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or Television Special||Miss Evers' Boys||Nominated|
|1996||Outstanding Actor in a Mini-Series or Television Special||The Tuskegee Airmen||Nominated|
|1993||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||TriBeCa||Won|
Rock Stars In Cartoon: Comedian Chris Rock, Actor Lawrence Fishburne Provide Voices For Animated Adventure 'Osmosis Jones'
Aug 08, 2001; Sacramento Observer 08-08-2001 Rock Stars In Cartoon: Comedian Chris Rock, Actor Lawrence FishburneProvide Voices For Animated...