See the Cast of ‘Family Matters’ Then and Now
Family Matters had it all: an annoying neighbor, the Urkel dance, and the Winslow family of Chicago, Illinois. One of the longest running sitcoms to feature an African American family, it became a jewel of ’90s television. Kids would miss school events to catch a new episode on Friday nights, or let’s face it, just stay home because they were too young to go out anyway. Everyone from our babysitter to Zooey Deschanel has attempted to imitate Urkel, TV’s ultimate nerd.
It’s been almost 18 years since the show went off the air in 1998, and while the show hasn’t been forgotten, we are wondering what the cast of the show went on to do. So let’s take a look at what they’ve been up to since the show ended its run.
Jaleel White – Steve Urkel
Urkel, the most notorious nerd of the ’90s! Clueless, clumsy, and madly in love with Laura Winslow, Steve Urkel had a classic uniform of giant glasses and suspenders, an arsenal of physical comedy, and the grating catchphrase, “Did I do that?” Fans and foes alike were rightly shocked, then, when college pics of Jaleel in the early ’00’s revealed a rather attractive, confident-looking man. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in film and television, and continued acting on the big and small screens. Now an accomplished actor and director, and Dancing with the Stars alum, Jaleel stars on ABC’s Castle and spends time with his daughter, Samaya.
Kellie Shanygne Williams – Laura Winslow
Kellie Shanygne Williams had the toughest role on the show, playing Laura Winslow, straight-A student and the object of Urkel’s affections and constant pestering. Her character was a model of patience and good conscience, not to mention head bands, chokers, and side ponytails. After some more acting and hosting for the Style Network, Williams gave back to the community with the Kellie Williams program in Washington, D.C. which gave children exposure to theater, arts, and local broadcasting. She is married with two children.
Reginald VelJohnson – Carl Winslow
Reginald VelJohnson played Carl, Laura’s hardworking dad and Chicago Police Department officer. But to Urkel, he was “Big Guy,” his constantly frustrated yet forgiving role model. VelJohnson also played police officers in Ghostbusters, Die Hard 1 and 2, and Chuck. He continued acting on the small screen, from the Disney Channel to HBO.
Jo Marie Payton – Harriette Winslow
Jo Marie Payton was a strong and funny matriarch as Harriette Winslow, and tried her best to advise and guide Laura. She could put anybody in their place, including the unfazed Urkel, and always got her point across. In 2005, she earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for her work on The Proud Family. She was married and divorced three times, and continues acting with feature films in the works.
Darius McCrary- Eddie Winslow
Darius McCrary was older brother Eddie, a cool teenager who liked basketball and occasionally got into typical teen trouble. He started out as a child actor in the 1987 film Big Shots, grew up on screen with Family Matters, and later worked on soap opera The Young and the Restless. He even released a CD in 2011. This year he starred on the HBO series The Leftovers.
Jaimee Foxworth – Judy Winslow
As if Laura Winslow didn’t have enough on her hands with Urkel, she also had a pestering little sister, Judy, played by Jaimee Foxworth. In a twist of movie magic, however, the character of Judy was missing from season 5 and was never mentioned again. Foxworth had a difficult time getting more TV roles, and dabbled in music, adult films, and reality TV. She battled substance abuse, claimed to have recovered, and later became a wife and mother.