WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

"Reading Rainbow" Returns: LeVar Burton

Actor LeVar Burton is well-known for his roles in "Roots" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." But to some of his most devoted fans he is, first and foremost, the host of "Reading Rainbow." The long-running children's television show went off the air in 2009, but was recently reborn as an iPad app. We talk with Burton about his acting career and his passion for encouraging kids to become lifelong readers.

Related Video

Actor LeVar Burton discussed how he came to host PBS's "Reading Rainbow" in the 1980s and how becoming a parent changed the way he addressed television viewers. Burton talked about some of the pressures surrounding the program's recent re-launch as an iPad app. "It would have been easy to disappoint folks and that was absolutely what we did not want to do," Burton said. "So that kept us up -- that kept us awake at night."

Trailer for the Reading Rainbow iPad app

LeVar Burton's Memorable Roles

Burton hosts "Reading Rainbow" in this 1994 segment about how U.S. mail gets sorted:

Burton as Kunta Kinte in the television mini-series "Roots:"

Burton played Captain Geordi La Forge on "Star Trek: The Next Generation:"


'Steve Jobs': As Ambitious As Its Title Character

Danny Boyle's new biopic, Steve Jobs, is a look at the man who made Apple mean computers, not fruit. NPR film critic Bob Mondello says it's an invigorating story told in three acts of crisis.

Could A Mushroom Save The Honeybee?

The bees that pollinate crops are on the brink of collapse. One big reason why: a virus-carrying mite. Now, researchers think a rare fungi could boost bees' immune system and attack the mite itself.

Hillary Clinton Holds 'Tough, Candid' Meeting With Black Lives Matter Activists

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with DeRay McKesson of the group, "We The Protesters," about the meeting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., Friday.

Volkswagen Faces Uphill Battle In Repairing Tarnished Reputation

Volkswagen faces two enormous repair jobs: fixing its polluting diesel cars and its battered reputation. Both may be much harder to fix than anything other scandal-plagued car companies have faced.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.