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.

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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:"


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