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‘Family Matters’ Cast: Find Out Where Urkel and the Rest of the Winslows Are Today

Go behind-the-scenes and find out who almost got in a fight on set!


The Family Matters cast entered our living rooms in 1989 and became an integral part of television history. Created by William Bickley and Michael Warren, the series was initially conceived as a spin-off of another popular ’80s sitcom, Perfect Strangers. However, as it unfolded, Family Matters carved its own niche in the hearts of viewers.

It became the heart of ABC’s TGIF lineup from 1989 through 1997.

The show revolved around the Winslow family. At its core was Carl Winslow, a dedicated police officer, his wife Harriette, and their three children – Eddie, Laura, and Judy. The Winslow household was thrown into comic chaos with the unexpected arrival of Steve Urkel, the quirky and nerdy neighbor who quickly became the show’s breakout character.


The show explored the dynamics of the Winslow family with humor and heart. From Eddie’s teenage escapades to Laura’s eye rolls at Urkel’s antics, Family Matters struck a balance between family dynamics and comedic chaos.

Did you know?

Steve Urkel, with his high-pitched voice, oversized glasses and penchant for causing havoc, quickly became a key character on Family Matters. But did you know that he was originally intended as a one-time guest character? Urkel’s popularity led to him becoming a series regular. His catchphrase, “Did I do that?” echoed in living rooms across the nation, and Jaleel White’s comedic timing made Urkel an endearing and enduring character.

Jaleel White as Steve Urkel in the Family Matters cast

Jaleel White as Steve Urkel (Family Matters Cast)
1990/ Warner Brothers; Jesse Grant / Stringer/Getty

Before donning his iconic suspenders as Steve Urkel, Jaleel White had already made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. Born on November 27, 1976, in Los Angeles, California, White started his acting career at a young age. His early roles included appearances in commercials and TV shows like The Jeffersons and Charlie & Co.

When the opportunity to audition for Family Matters arose, White seized it. Little did he know that his portrayal of the nerdy neighbor, Steve Urkel, would not only define his career but also become one of the most memorable characters in television history.

After Family Matters ended, White faced the challenge of breaking away from the iconic character that had defined his career.

He went on to star in another sitcom, UPN’s Grown Ups. In 2013, he hosted the competition show Total Blackout. He was also a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. In 2017, he played Darryl on the CBS sitcom Me, Myself & I. White also appeared in several films, including Big Fat Liar, Dreamgirls, Judy Moody, and Not Bummer Summer. Most recently, he appeared in the 2022 movie Hustle, starring Adam Sandler.

Did you know? White feels his Urkel character typecast him and admits he gets recognized whever ever he goes. He told People, “I’m very versatile, but somehow I didn’t earn the tag of being called a versatile actor.” And he doesn’t miss playing Urkel. “I really don’t. I’m not trying to get away from it or anything like that, but I don’t miss the role at all – really. I just want to work. I want my daughter to say, ‘I know what Daddy does,’ not ‘what Daddy did.”

Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow

Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow (Family Matters Cast)
1989/ Warner Brothers; Gerardo Mora / Contributor/Getty

Reginald VelJohnson, born in 1952 in Queens, New York, got his big acting break in the movie Die Hard, playing LAPD sergeant Al Powell. The next year, he was cast in Family Matters as the beloved police officer and father, Carl Winslow.

After the show, VelJohnson appeared in several series, including Equalizer, Will & Grace, Monk, CSI, The Parkers and That’s So Raven. He also had small bit parts in several films, including Like Mike and You Again.

Did you know? VelJohnson played the role of Reggie in 2020’s film The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee opposite Olivia Newton-John. It was the last movie she made before she passed away.

Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow

Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow (Family Matters Cast)
1989/ Warner Brothers; Gerardo Mora / Contributor/Getty

Born in 1950 in Georgia, Jo Marie Payton, prior to Family Matters, appeared in guest spots on several series, including Small Wonder and Silver Spoons.

But it was her role as Harriette Winslow, matriarch of the Winslow family, that launched her to fame.

After the series ended, Payton had several recurring roles. She played Mrs. Campbell in Moesha. She also played Mrs. Freeman, an assistant at Will’s law firm in Will & Grace. Then, she played the role of Lorraine Mann in Mann & Wife.

In addition to acting, Payton was the voice of Suga Mama Proud in the Disney Channel series Proud Family, as well as the film The Proud Family Movie.

Did you know? Payton told Entertainment Tonight, that things got heated on the set of Family Matters — specifically between her and Jaleel White. “There was one time he actually wanted to physically fight me,” she said.  Years later, she recounts that, looking back, she realized he was just a kid and forgives his actions.

Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow

Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
1997/ Warner Brothers; Rick Kern / Stringer/Getty

Kellie Shanygne Williams, born in 1976 in Washington, D.C. made her big break playing the perfect know-it-all daughter Laura Winslow on Family Matters.

After the series ended, she landed another recurring role, this time on the show What About Joan? She played Alice Adams, a coworker and friend of the protagonist, played by Joan Cusack. She also had bit parts in movies, including Steppin: The Movie

Did you know? Williams appeared in Usher’s 2005 crime dramedy In The Mix.

Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow in the Family Matters cast

Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
1989/ Warner Brothers; Amy Graves / Contributor/Getty

Born in 1976 in Los Angeles, California, McCrary had small parts in TV shows, including Amen, and in film, including Big Shots.

In the Family Matters cast, McCrary played Eddie, the eldest Winslow child.

He also appeared in the NBC series Committed (as Bowie James); he played the role of Jamal in UPN’s Eve, and he was the character of Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless.

Other roles also include playing opposite Robert De Niro in 15 Minutes and appearing in the Oscar-winning film Mississippi Burning.

Did you know? In addition to acting, McCrary is involved in social and humanitarian projects. He is working on a show and podcast called Beyond Black, which is dedicated to highlighting that people are more than just the color of their skin

Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow in the Family Matters cast

Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow Warner Brothers; Jesse Grant / Contributor/Getty

Born in 1979 in Illinois, Jaimee Foxworth played the youngest daughter, Judy Winslow, in the Family Matters cast. She was in the show for four seasons, and then producers decided not to develop her character and dropped her from the show.

In addition to that series, Foxworth also appeared in the series TV 101 and Amen.

Did you know? In addition to being an actor, Foxworth is also an assistant at her mom’s talent agency.

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