LeVar Burton Almost Became a Priest — His Kids Are Probably Glad He Didn’t

Abi Travis - Author

Jul. 26 2021, Updated 9:42 a.m. ET

LeVar Burton
Source: Getty Images

Many of us grew up watching LeVar Burton on our television screens. As the host of Reading Rainbow, he introduced us to hundreds of incredible children’s books and shared the joy of reading with everyone who tuned in for an episode. But we weren’t the only kids in LeVar’s life. LeVar Burton’s children are lucky enough to call the amazing Reading Rainbow star “dad.” 

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Who Are LeVar Burton’s children?

LeVar Burton is the father of two children. His son Eian was born in 1980. In 1992, LeVar married a professional makeup artist named Stephanie Cozart-Burton. Their daughter Michaela (nickname Mica) was born in 1994. You might recognize Mica from her own successful career in entertainment. Whereas LeVar’s career has been primarily in television, Mica has dabbled in several creative outlets throughout her life.

Mica Burton is a cosplayer, YouTuber, gamer, eSports announcer, actor, model — basically, name an entertainment career and she’s probably done it (or maybe you’ll see her doing it in the future). Her Instagram feed is filled with super impressive pictures of her cosplay looks, but there are a few heartwarming pictures of her with her dad, too.

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LeVar credits Mica with teaching him all about video games. When Mica interviewed LeVar during an Overwatch competition, she asked him to share a little bit about his history with gaming. “My experience with video games begins with you,” LeVar said. “We started playing video games when you were just beginning to walk and talk. We started with CD-ROM games, we graduated to Lara Croft Tomb Raider — you kept going, and I now get to stand on the sidelines and marvel at your prowess.” Adorable, right?

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We have to assume that LeVar Burton’s children also got to enjoy his expert reading voice throughout their childhood. How lucky is that? There's nothing like a bedtime story read by one of the best book-readers of all time. 

levar burton children mica
Source: Getty Images
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When he was younger, LeVar Burton considered becoming a priest.

In an interview with The Atlantic, LeVar spoke about his original career plans. He was raised Catholic and at the age of 17, was in his third year of seminary, on the path to becoming a priest. However, he began to question his faith and ultimately decided to switch roles and become an actor instead.

When asked what led him to consider acting, he said, “I sort of took inventory: What did I feel like I was good at? Where did I find some passion, some juice, in my life? And the answer was theater arts. It was the not-being-afraid-to-be-onstage part that I found I was good at. I had a natural affinity for acting and public speaking.”

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It was only a couple years later, when LeVar was 19 years old, that he landed the role of Kunta Kinte in Roots. “My life was changed forever,” he says of the experience. “My first day as an actor, Cicely Tyson played my mother, Maya Angelou played my grandmother. I was 19, and they embraced me as a peer.”

“They schooled me. They certainly taught me what it meant to be a professional, but they assumed that because I was there I belonged there, and they treated me as such. It was an extraordinary experience for a young person.”

It seems like making the move to acting was definitely the best path for LeVar — and we’re guessing his wife and kids are probably happy he didn’t go through with the original plan of being a priest. 

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