Leon is in a small group of celebrities that you are widely known by their first name. When I mentioned to any of his adoring fans that I was interviewing him they immediately knew who he was and started to name their favorite movie of his. That can only be summed up as a testament to his enduring legacy as an actor of considerable charm, undeniable good looks and truck load of confidence. This former basketball star’s confidence got him noticed in smaller roles in Flamingo Kid with Matt Dillon, All the Right Moves with Tom Cruise. It was his role as a Black Saint in Madonna’s controversial music video “Like A Prayer” as her lover at the same time as the love interest of Robin Givens in Women of Brewster Place that made everyone take notice. But it was as the heartbreaker J.T. in Robert Townsends tour de force the classic The Five Heartbeats that solidified his stance as one of Hollywood’s sexiest men. But not to typecast as only just cinematic eye candy, the talented actor would reinvent him with each role as well as rack up a string of hit films. As Derice the Olympic Jamaican bobsledder in Disney’s feel good movie Cool Runnings, the ruthless International thief Kynette opposite Sylvester Stallone in Renny Harlin’s Cliffanger, as Shep, the former basketball star turned High School security guard alongside Tupac in Above The Rim, the irresistible Russell in the classic Waiting To Exhale, the talented tempestuous lead singer David Ruffin in The Temptations and his NAACP Image Award nominated role as the flamboyant Rock N Roll pioneering icon Little Richard.
He wrote, directed and starred in the award winning short film Make America Black Again, about a Black candidate running for President with an all white campaign staff. His private life became a little less so when he made guest appearances on the uber popular reality show Real Housewives of Atlanta, co parenting with his ex fiancé model Cynthia Bailey to their beautiful daughter Noelle. And most recently his passion for music and singing led him to form Leon and The Peoples, a live performance band which saw one of their songs, Love Is A Beautiful Thing go to number three on the Billboard Hit Singles Chart. Now in the midst of a pandemic with live events and tours at a standstill he’s about to reinvent himself yet again. But as a young man, it was his father’s repeatedly said to him that has foreshadowed his life, for which he has never forgotten. He said, “No matter what, the cream always rises to the top.” It’s those knowing words Leon has lived his entire career by. -Musa Jackson, Editor LEON GETS REALTalent: @wwwjustleonFounder & Editor In Chief @iammusajackson Creative Director & Photographer Paul Morejón StudioGrooming @stevenricenycGold and Red Suit & shirt @edwingdangelo Kimono @adornmetreasures #harlemhaberdasheryHarlem Haberdashery