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Reginald Veljohnson

Reginald Veljohnson

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Also Known As: Reginald Vel Johnson Died:
Born: August 16, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Queens, New York, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A hefty, genial African-American character actor in features and a put-upon sitcom lead, Reginald VelJohnson is perhaps best known to film audiences as the friendly, Twinkie-chomping cop pal to Bruce Willis in "Die Hard" (1988). VelJohnson fleetingly recreated this role in a cameo for "Die Hard 2" (1990). TV audiences know him as Carl Winslow, another good-natured if long-suffering police officer, on the hit ABC sitcom, "Family Matters" (1989-97; CBS, 1997-98). Though VelJohnson was initially considered the star of the show, he was eclipsed by the addition of a phenomenally popular character: the sublimely nerdy Steve Urkel (Jaleel White). Much of the show has consequently revolved around their prickly relationship.

A hefty, genial African-American character actor in features and a put-upon sitcom lead, Reginald VelJohnson is perhaps best known to film audiences as the friendly, Twinkie-chomping cop pal to Bruce Willis in "Die Hard" (1988). VelJohnson fleetingly recreated this role in a cameo for "Die Hard 2" (1990). TV audiences know him as Carl Winslow, another good-natured if long-suffering police officer, on the hit ABC sitcom, "Family Matters" (1989-97; CBS, 1997-98). Though VelJohnson was initially considered the star of the show, he was eclipsed by the addition of a phenomenally popular character: the sublimely nerdy Steve Urkel (Jaleel White). Much of the show has consequently revolved around their prickly relationship.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 On Angel's Wings (2014)
2.
 Brother White (2012)
3.
 Strike One (2012)
4.
5.
 You Again (2010)
6.
7.
 Hidden Secrets (2006)
8.
9.
 Like Mike (2002) Mr. Boyd
10.
 Ground Zero (2000) Burt Klavan
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Added his middle name, Vel, to his original surname in the early 1970s because there were other actors named Reginald or Reggie Johnson
:
Invited to join Joseph Papp's Black/Hispanic Shakespeare Company with Morgan Freeman, Gloria Foster, C C H Pounder, Miriam Colon and Jaime Sanchez
:
Appeared on and off-Broadway in such shows as "Hamlet," "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "Mondongo"
1981:
Film acting debut, "Wolfen"
:
Recurring TV role in "Perfect Strangers" led to own series "Family Matters"
1989:
Played Carl Winslow on the ABC sitcom, "Family Matters"
1999:
Appeared in the annual holiday stage musical "A Christmas Carol" in NYC
2005:
Starred in the comedy "Suits on the Loose" helmed by Rodney Henson
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Benjamin N Cardozo High School: Bayside , New York -
New York University: New York , New York -
Long Island Institute of Music and Arts: -

Notes

"Director Rich Correll compares the interplay of White and VelJohnson to Laurel and Hardy's. Be careful, though, about weight references. VelJohnson is frank about being a food lover since childhood (`People say Christmas is their favorite time of year. Thanksgiving is mine'). But he won't play along with cruel fat jokes. He walked off the set once because he wanted the line `I want to lie here and flatten the sofa' softened to `I want to lie here and DENT the sofa.' The line was changed. `I've always had respect for people who don't let their weight get in the way of their work,' says VelJohnson, who reveres such hefty figures as Orson Welles and Jackie Gleason." (From "Heavyweight Champion" in PEOPLE, 3/2/92)

Family close complete family listing

father:
Dan Johnson. Jobs included hospital attendant and cab driver. Walked out on family when VelJohnson was 13 years old; reunited with son in 1986 while dying of heart problems in a veteran's hospital in Queens, New York.
mother:
Eve Johnson. Nurse. Remarried when VelJohnson was 15 to John Reilly, who helped raise her children.
brother:
Barry VelJohnson. Musician; rap artist. Younger; born c. 1957; changed his name from Johnson to VelJohnson after his older brother did.

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