Whatever Happened to the Cast of Family Matters?

Family Matters was one of the most popular sitcoms during the 90s. The show, which aired from 1989 to 1998, focused on the Winslows, a family living in Chicago and their relationship with their sweet – but nerdy and annoying – neighbor, Steve Urkel.  Although the Winslows were meant to be the show’s original focal point, Steve Urkel quickly emerged as the show’s most popular character.  Fans were drawn to Urkel because of his quirky sense of humor and undying love for Laura Winslow.  No matter how hard Steve tried, he could just never seem to do anything right.  Although he was clearly a smart person, he always found a way to mess things up,usually requiring assistance from one of the Winslows, mainly Carl or Eddie, to make things right.

Each season, viewers fell more and more in love with the cast of Family Matters, and fans were sad to see it go when it aired its final episode.  But, like many shows that found success in the 90s, Family Matters and its legacy continues to live on. In fact, Family Matters currently holds a place in history as the second longest running American sitcom to feature a predominately black cast. However, since the show’s end, many of the cast members have largely disappeared from the spotlight.  With the exception of a few TV appearances and small roles here and there, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been wondering what ever happened to one of your favorite TV families.  Well, you’re in luck.  Here’s what the main cast members of Family Matters are up to know.

Jaleel White – Steve Urkel

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After spending nearly a decade playing Steve Urkel, it was clear that Jaleel White had been typecast.  Although the producers of Family Matters had attempted to help him shed his nerdy image by introducing the smooth Stefan Urquelle, it was too little too late.  When the show ended, White struggled to find serious leading roles, but he did make a few other appearances throughout the years.  Presently, White is the proud father of one, and is also still working on a few TV projects.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Kellie Shanygne Williams – Laura Winslow

Kellie Williams

After Family Matters ended, Williams had a hard time finding any starring roles. However, she has contined to work pretty steadily throughout the years. In 2006, she started the Kellie Williams Program which allows young people ages 14-20 in the Washington D.C. area with a chance to produce a TV show.  According to Williams: “I wanted to create a program similar to the one I grew up with (Howard University Children’s Theatre). I wanted to bring it to the masses, not to just people who were familiar with the arts but to people who had never experienced any art.”  In 2009 she briefly hosted the Style Network’s Clean House as a fill in for Niecey Nash. Williams is also a wife and a mother of two.

(image via https://www.pinterest.com/1nonlylilmama/)

Reginald VelJohnson – Carl Winslow

Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences' "Father's Day Salute To TV Dads"

 I’ve you’ve been paying close attention to TV over the years, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen VelJohnson in a few roles over the years.  VelJohnson, who is well-known for playing the role of police officers, has appeared in several TV shows throughout the years.  Although the roles have been small, it’s nice to see him still finding steady work in the business.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Jo Marie Payton – Harriet Winslow

Jo Marie Payton

Jo Marie Payton has been pretty busy in the years since Family Matters ended.  She’s continued to work as an actress, even taking on some voice roles for cartoons including Disney’s short-lived, The Proud Family. She has also pursued a career in music.  In 1999 she released a jazz album titled, Southern Shadows. 

(image via https://www.pinterest.com/dixon1368/)

Darius McCrary – Eddie Winslow

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Darrius McCrary has been working very steadily since Family Matters ended.  Although he has yet to land a role as popular as Eddie Winslow, he’s been pretty busy.  From 2009 to 2011, he was a cast member on the soap opera, The Young and the Restless, and from 2012 to 2014 he had a recurring role on Anger Management.  Like his TV mom, McCary has also attempted to pursue a singing career, and is currently working on putting out a CD.  Unfortunately, a few months ago, McCrary was arrested for failure to pay child support.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Shawn Harrison – Waldo Faldo

Shawn Harrison

Thanks to his portrayal of the goofy Waldo Faldo, there’s a good chance that Harrison may have been typecast.  However, he didn’t let that keep him from working.  He had a recurring role in the popular sitcom, Girlfriends, and just this year he appeared in a commercial for Pizza Hut.

(image via https://www.pinterest.com/sarahcelticchic/)

Rosetta LeNoire – Mother Winslow

Rosetta LeNoire

Sadly, Rosetta LeNoire passed away in 2002 of diabetes related complications.  However, her memory and legacy continue to live on. The Rosie Award, which has been named for LeNoire, “is given to individuals who demonstrate extraordinary accomplishment and dedication in the theatrical arts and to corporations that work to promote opportunity and diversity.”  The award has been given to some big name stars including Phylicia Rashad and Ossie Davis.

(image via https://www.pinterest.com/gapeachez1/)

Michelle Thomas – Myra Monkhouse


In 1997, Michelle Thomas was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that quickly took over her body.  In just over a year, Thomas passed away surrounded by her friends and family.  In 1999 a film which she appeared in was released posthumously.

(image via https://www.pinterest.com/madamenoire/)

lead photo  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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