The hit television series 'Family Matters' followed a middle-class African-American family living in Chicago. A spin-off of 'Perfect Strangers,' the sitcom followed Harriette Winslow, an elevator operator at the fictional 'Chicago Chronicle' newspaper office, and her husband, two children, sister and mother-in-law, not-to-mention their pesky neighbor, Steve Urkel.
'Family Matters' was the only African-American show in ABC's hit "TGIF" line-up and aired for nine seasons from 1989 until 1998. In its final year it moved from ABC to CBS. With 215 episodes, it remains the second-longest running American comedy with a predominantly African-American cast, surpassed only by 'The Jeffersons.'
Reginald VelJohnson: Carl Otis Winslow
For the entire run of 'Family Matters,' Reginald VelJohnson portrayed rotund Carl Otis Winslow, patriarch of the Winslow household. A police sergeant by day, Carl was the glue that held the family together. Always firm, a bit over protective, but still loving, he always had his family's best interests at heart. He sometimes butted heads with his son Eddie and was constantly irritated by their nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel.
Reginald VelJohnson: Now
Before, during and after his time on 'Family Matters,' Reginald VelJohnson portrayed another police officer as Sgt. Al Powell in 'Die Hard' and its sequel 'Die Hard 2.' He followed that up as a cop in the comedy 'Turner and Hooch.' Following the show's demise, the Queens, New York native focused on theater work. Over the years, he's made a few guest appearances on television shows like, 'Diagnosis Murder,' 'Will & Grace,' and 'That's So Raven.' VelJohnson just reunited with his 'Family Matters' co-stars Kelli Shanygne Williams and Darius McCrary in a film called 'Steppin: The Movie.'
JoMarie Payton: Harriette Winslow
Following the fourth season of 'Perfect Stranger,' recurring character Harriette Winslow was given her own series, 'Family Matters.' Wife to Carl and caring mother to Laura, Judy and Eddie, Harriette continued her job as an elevator operator from 'Perfect Strangers' on 'Family Matters.' Actress JoMarie Payton, who portrayed Harriette, left the series in the middle of its final season over a dispute with show producers. Only seven episodes remained after she departed.
JoMarie Payton: Now
Since her time on 'Family Matters,' JoMarie Payton released a jazz album called 'Southern Shadows.' The 58-year-old Georgia native was the voice of the character Suga Mama Proud on the hit ABC Family channel animated series 'The Proud Family.' She also had a recurring role on 'Will & Grace,' as the personal assistant to Gregory Hines' character Ben Doucette.
Kellie Shanygne Williams: Laura Lee Winslow
Kelli Shanygne Williams starred as the opinionated Laura Lee Winslow for the entire run of 'Family Matters.' Although on the series she played Eddie's younger sister, in real life, she is just a few months older than actor Darius McCrary -- who played the eldest Winslow child. On the sitcom, she is most remembered as the love interest of the nerdy Steve Urkel, who was the Winslows' annoying next-door neighbor.
Kellie Shanygne Williams: Now
After her time on 'Family Matters,' Kelli Shanygne Williams enrolled and graduated from UCLA majoring in psychology. She has appeared in such stage productions as 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone,' and 'Goin' Home,' and is gearing up to be a replacement in the role of Elphaba in the Chicago production of the hit musical 'Wicked.' In 2006, the 32-year old actress moved back to her hometown, Washington, D.C. to start a fine arts program for young people at Howard University's Children's Theatre.
Darius McCrary: Edward 'Eddie' James Arthur Winslow
Along with Steve Urkel, Edward 'Eddie' Winslow was one of the most popular characters on 'Family Matters.' Staying on for the full series run, actor Darius McCrary served as a close friend to Steve and caring big brother to Laura. As a teenager, Eddie got into in a lot of trouble trying to juggle women and making the usual bad decisions of boys his age, such as gambling, driving the family car through the front of the house, and blaming Steve for things Eddie did wrong. During the series' final season, Eddie followed in his father's footsteps and became a rookie cop.
Darius McCrary: Now
As of late, Darius McCrary has made headlines when his estranged lover Karrine 'Superhead' Steffans, the former self-proclaimed "video vixen"-cum-best-selling-author -- filed a restraining order against him for assault. She accused him of hitting her with his car and injuring her right foot. He proclaimed his innocence, saying she slapped him and jumped on his car. On the acting front, the 32-year-old actor played the role of Bowie James on the short-lived NBC series 'Committed.' He also starred on a memorable episode of 'Girlfriends,' and did the voice of the character of Autobot Jazz in the blockbuster film 'Transformers.'
Jaleel White: Steven 'Steve' Quincy Urkel
When you think of 'Family Matters,' Steve Urkel and his infamous high-pitched 'Did I do that?' phrase can't help but pop into your head. The role was rumored to have just been a one-time guest appearance, but he proved so popular that then 12 year-old actor Jaleel White stayed on for the sitcom's full run. He nailed the role of the annoying, yet lovable nerd who wore high-water pants and suspenders and had no problem showing his love and devotion for Laura Winslow. The Winslow clan got used to their next-door neighbor dropping by unannounced and he became a surrogate member of the family. White also played Urkel's alter-ego, Stefan Urquelle, and his female cousin, Myrtle, who was in love with Eddie Winslow. Later in the series, he even found a girlfriend in Myra Monkhouse.
Jaleel White: Now
Jaleel White was the clear break-out star of the show and his character had grown so popular that it even spawned a breakfast cereal, doll, and lots of other merchandise. But it resulted in difficulty getting more substantial acting gigs. The UCLA grad and Pasadena native returned to television in 1999 as the star of the short-lived UPN sitcom 'Grown Ups.' Mostly though, he's had a career doing a great deal of animated voice work for the famed video game character Sonic the Hedgehog and all of the character's television specials. In 2006, a horrible Internet rumor that he committed suicide surfaced, which White addressed months later. His most recent roles include a cameo in the hit film 'Dreamgirls' as well as the television shows 'The Game' and 'Boston Legal.' The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce that he is now an accomplished screenwriter, having penned a romantic comedy called 'Did You Get My Text,' which 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' director Joel Zwick is slated to direct.
Rosetta LeNoire: Estelle 'Mother' Winslow
New Jersey native Rosetta LeNoire portrayed the always affectionate and concerned grandmother of the Winslow clan, Estelle, who was affectionately called "Mother." LeNoire appeared in 116 episodes of 'Family Matters' from 1989 to 1997, ending her run shortly before the sitcom's final season due to her failing health. She was not only a voice of reason and a strong advocate of black history, but an overall firecracker and the source of much comic relief. Mother Winslow was also quite fond of Steve Urkel, although many of the family members were frequently annoyed with him. He often referred to her as 'Estelle, my Belle."
Rosetta LeNoire: Now
The late Rosetta LeNoire succumbed to complications from diabetes at the age of 90 on March 17, 2002. Born and bred in New York, she got her acting start in theater productions, later founding the AMAS Repertory Theatre Company in New York and also serving as a Broadway producer. She made a name for herself through memorable television appearances as a regular on 'Gimme a Break' and 'Amen,' as well as her role of Estelle on 'Family Matters.' A little known fact about LeNoire is that she took care of noted actor James Earl Jones when he was a baby -- and she was a member of his father's acting troupe.
Telma Hopkins: Rachel Crawford
Actress Telma Hopkins, who hails from Kentucky, played Aunt Rachel Crawford, a writer, on 'Family Matters.' She portrayed Harriette Winslow's sister from the show's start in 1989 until 1993 when she was given her own show, 'Getting By.' When that show was canceled, Hopkins returned to 'Family Matters,' where she appeared as a semi-regular character through 1997.
Telma Hopkins: Now
Hopkins got her start as a Motown background singer in the early 1970s and as one-half of the pop group Dawn. She is the woman who yells "shut yo' mouth" on Isaac Hayes' Oscar-winning 'Theme From Shaft' song. In 1974, Tony Orlando and Dawn starred in their own variety show on CBS. 'Roots: The Next Generations' was Hopkins' first acting role after the show ended and the group disbanded. Thanks in part to regular roles on 'Bosom Buddies' as Isabelle Hammond and 'Gimme A Break' as Nell Carter's best friend, Addy Wilson, she became a popular television actress. For four years, she played Phyllis Thorne, mother of Mona Thorne on the UPN hit sitcom 'Half & Half.' Still going strong, she appeared in the Mike Meyers film, 'The Love Guru' in 2008.
Bryton McClure: Richie Crawford
Actor/singer Bryton McClure, played Richie Crawford, the son of Aunt Rachel from seasons two through nine. Richie was Rachel's only child and very innocent. They moved in with the Winslow family after Rachel's husband died. Although he was a semi-regular character through the entire 'Family Matters' run, McClure appeared less frequently on the show when the Winslows' adopted son 3J was introduced. McClure eventually disappeared altogether by the last season.
Bryton McClure: Now
Following his supporting run on 'Family Matters,' Bryton McClure had modest success as a singer with the single 'Ooh, The Way I Feel About You.' He voiced a few animated series and served as spokesperson of several charitable organizations including one he founded, 'Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving (RADD).' Since 2004, he has played Devon Hamilton on the popular soap opera 'The Young and the Restless.' In 2007, the 21-year-old won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series for his performance.
Jaimee Foxworth: Judith 'Judy' Winslow
Judith 'Judy' Winslow was portrayed by two actresses: Valerie Jones in the pilot, and Jaimee Foxworth from 1989 until 1993 when she made her final appearance in the fourth season finale episode, 'Mama's Wedding.' During her brief time on 'Family Matters,' Judy was known for hating her vegetables, bickering with her cousin Richie, and having a close relationship with her big sister, Laura. When Judy was cut from the series, the sitcom continued on as if she had never existed. An orphan named 3J, portrayed by actor Orlando Brown, later joined Bryton McClure on the show.
Jaimee Foxworth: Now
Over the years, Jaimee Foxworth has been very vocal about how she exited from 'Family Matters' because of her mother's demands to further develop the Judy character and provide Foxworth with more money. The Illinois-born actress' career post-'Family Matters' is one worthy of an 'E! True Hollywood Story' episode. She battled depression and substance abuse after a judge ruled that her half million dollar trust fund should be turned over to her family to save them from bankruptcy. For about two years she worked in pornography, appearing in a few adult films. She is apparently on the road to recovery. Earlier this year, Foxworth appeared on the VH1 reality show, 'Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew' to combat her addiction to weed.