On Sept. 22, 1989, “Family Matters” debuted on ABC with the pilot “The Mama Who Came to Dinner” as part of the network’s famed TGIF lineup, which also bowed that same day. While the American sitcom was a spin-off of another sitcom, “Perfect Strangers,” it firmly carved out its own fanbase thanks to memorable characters and storylines. Now, 30 years after its debut, here’s what the cast is up to today.
Carl Winslow, played by Reginald VelJohnson
Since playing a loveable policeman who is easily irritated by Urkle, Reginald VelJohnson has steadily remained in front of the camera. This year he provided the voice of God for the animated TV show “Lazor Wulf” and contributed voice work for the show “3Below: Tales of Arcadia.” He also appeared in the TV movie “Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta,” as well as the sitcom “Mom.” The comedy “The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee,” in which VelJohnson is also acting, is currently in post-production.
Harriette Winslow, played by Jo Marie Payton
Harriette Winslow went from a “Perfect Strangers” elevator operator to a family matriarch who ultimately landed a job as VP of Ferguson’s Department Store. But years after Jo Marie Payton played Harriette, she’s done voice work in the animated 2019 series “Blaze and the Monster Machines” and played a judge in the spring comedy “The Beach Bum.” Presently, Payton is filming the drama “Heart of a Champion.”
Laura Winslow, played by Kellie Shanygne Williams
Following her portrayal of the smart-aleck middle child (if you still count disappearing younger sis Judy) Laura Winslow, Kellie Shanygne Williams is now Kellie Jackson and has stepped away from the spotlight. Her last role was in the 2011 short “Aide-de-Camp.” Williams is now focusing on her family as well as several charities, including her Kellie Williams Program, which gives Washington, D.C.-area students the chance to produce a TV show and get exposure in the arts.
Waldo Faldo, played by Shawn Harrison
Although Shawn Harrison is best known for playing the dim-witted yet lovable sidekick to Steve Urkle, Harrison has strayed away from such characters in his latter roles. In 2018, Harrison portrayed a reverend in the comedy “Uncle Ed’s Bucket List.”
Rachel Crawford, played by Telma Hopkins
Following her portrayal of Harriet Winslow’s sister, Telma Hopkins has remained an actress in Black comedy shows. Hopkins most recently appeared in the Netflix family comedy “Family Reunion,” and she’s in the Netflix mystery drama “Dead To Me.” Her next project is “Always a Bridesmaid,” a comedy written by Yvette Nicole Brown that will be released in October.
Richie Crawford, played by Bryton James
Bryton James wasn’t the original actor who portrayed the Winslow kids’ younger cousin, but he played him until “Family Matters” went off the air in 1998. In the more than two decades since, he’s landed a role on the daytime soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” where he’s played Devon Hamilton for 15 years. James also does voice work for the Cartoon Network show “Young Justice.”
Eddie Winslow, played by Darius McCrary
Darius McCrary hasn’t stopped acting decades since playing mediocre high school student and hopeful basketball star Eddie Winslow. McCrary had a recurring role on Fox’s musical drama “Star” through its 2018 cancellation and played Officer Hardaway in the February 2019 TV movie thriller “Fanatic.”
Steve Urkle, played by Jaleel White
Known for his catchphrase “Did I do that?” Urkle is still a character many TV fans associate with Jaleel White. Today, the actor has remained in the acting business, and most recently he appeared in the Netflix sitcom “Family Reunion.” He also has a recurring appearance in Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home” through 2020. He’ll star in the TV comedy “The Big Show Show” next year.