Laurence Fishburne, call your mother.
I hate to be the one to break the news. But the woman who gave life to the talented actor, who said she emptied her retirement savings account so her only child would grow into a star, director, producer and playwright, claims she’s down on her luck.
Hattie Crawford Fishburne, 80, told me that, unable to pay the rent for several months, she’s received written notice informing her she’ll be evicted from her Los Angeles apartment Tuesday.
And she said she can’t reach her wealthy son, with whom she last spoke more than a year ago when his father died.
“He’s gone Hollywood!” Hattie Fishburne told me.
“For 20 years, I funded my son’s career,’’ she said. “He promised me he would take care of me. He promised me a house, a golden retriever, a calico cat. To this day, I have not got a Christmas present or a ‘Thank you, Mama’ present. He hasn’t given me a penny.
“I’m so hurt and disappointed.”
Laurence Fishburne, 53, is riding high, playing Earl “Pops” Johnson and executive producing the hit ABC-TV sitcom “Black-ish,” and appears as Jack Crawford, an FBI special agent, in “Hannibal” on NBC. He plays Daily Planet editor Perry White in the upcoming movie “Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice,’’ reprising a role he played in the 2013 flick “Man of Steel.” He was Morpheus in “The Matrix” movie trilogy, and was nominated for an Oscar for his starring role as the wife-abusing musician Ike Turner in the 1993 flick “What’s Love Got to Do with It.’’
The man sometimes called “Fish” is estimated by the website Celebrity Net Worth to possess a personal fortune of $20 million.
“I was a damn good teacher, honey,’’ said Hattie, who said she was fired as a New York City public school math and science junior high school teacher in the ’90s after getting beaten up by a little girl, then accused falsely of beating up her principal. (A spokesman for the city’s Department of Education could not locate any records.) She then moved to California, resumed teaching and retired in 2009.Hattie Fishburne raised her son almost single-handedly in New York City. Mother and child settled in Park Slope, Brooklyn, moving there from Georgia after Hattie divorced her son’s dad, Laurence Fishburne Jr., when the kid was young. Now she insists that her only child, officially named Laurence Fishburne III, has forsaken her.
Now, she said, she can’t pay her $1,500 monthly rent with her pension and Social Security benefits of $3,000 a month, and suffers from arthritis, an underactive thyroid and high cholesterol, and has difficulty walking after a “catastrophic” car accident.
“I can’t buy food, clothing and shelter, go to the theater,” she said.
“I haven’t bought a dress since I retired. I need to find a benefactor.’’
Laurence Fishburne started acting professionally on stage, at his mother’s urging, at age 10, was cast in the TV soap opera “One Life to Live’’ by 12, and broke into the movies at 14. As legend has it, at age 14, he conned his way into winning the role of Tyrone “Clean” Miller in the 1979 flick “Apocalypse Now” by telling director Francis Ford Coppola that he was 18. Billed as “Larry Fishburne,” the vertically gifted lad — he now stands 6 feet and a half-inch tall — traveled to the Philippines for filming with his mom in tow.
Laurence praised his mother in a 2000 interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine.But in 1994, Hattie made news when she said she was being evicted from her Brooklyn home — she told me she was forced to live with a female friend for two years. Laurence has not spoken publicly about this. But in 1999, he accompanied his mom to Washington, DC, for the Kennedy Center Honors awards gala. A picture of the pair posing with President Bill Clinton is one of Hattie’s most treasured possessions.
“I’ve got to tell you, my mother is very bright,” he said. “I mean she’s got a really, really amazing mind. Now I’m a really smart guy. I’m bright. I know s- -t from shinola. And all that I get from her.”
So what happened?
The manager of Hattie’s apartment building told me only that “things have changed.” But Hattie believes she’ll still be evicted. Laurence’s rep told me the actor is shooting “Hannibal” in Toronto and could not be reached for comment.
Laurence Fishburne has a daughter with his current wife and a son and daughter from a previous union. That daughter, Montana, has said her dad stopped speaking to her after she started acting in porn films in 2010 at age 18, a career she’s given up. She was spotted last year working as a stripper in Texas.
Source: New York Post