Where Are They Now? 11 Forgotten, Familiar and Favorite Faces From Some Of Our Favorite Spike Lee Joints

September 27, 2012 ‐ By

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge Spike Lee fan (if you’re a Tyler Perry fan, I’d assume you’re not down with Spizike). I own most of his movies, including an awesome five-in-one Spike Lee Collection that has everything from Do The Right Thing to Clockers and Crooklyn in it. And through watching his movies over the years, I’ve seen a few folks give awesome performances; so awesome, I was wondering where the hell they ended up at. As a heads up, because we’ve covered the little girl, Zelda Harris, from Crooklyn a zillion times, she won’t be on here, but you can see what she looks like here. But I have included some of the women from a previous leading ladies “Where Are They Now?” in case you missed out on that one. Everyone else though, they’re some fresh forgotten, familiar and favorite faces. Enjoy, and be ready to click!

The * applies to actors we’ve covered before.

Tracy Camila Johns * and Raye Dowell


My hair idol! And also the heroine in one of my favorite films of all time. Tracy Camila Johns was dope as the sexually liberated Nola Darling in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. She knew what she wanted, and the number of men she wanted it with, and scoffed at the idea of monogamy and being a one-man woman (how do you like that!?). But after breaking through in one of Spike’s first feature films, she kept the momentum going for a second, and then fizzled out. Johns went on to have a tiny role in Mo Better Blues, was the scandalous girlfriend of G in New Jack City, and had a small role in an early Air Jordan commercial, but after ’91, that was it. *sad face* Last we heard, Johns has become a born-again Christian and is keeping her distance from Hollywood.


In She’s Gotta Have It, Raye Dowell played Opal Gilstrap, the lesbian friend of Nola Darling. She was a loyal friend, but also an extra thirsty one, consistently flirting with Darling in the hopes of possibly…how else can I say it…well, turning her out. Of course, Opal never got her wish, but her character, who wasn’t too fond of Darling’s male friends/loves, still remains one of Spike Lee’s most interesting ones. Since then, Dowell appeared in a few more Spike Lee Joints (including Mo Better Blues and Malcolm X), as well as showing up on an episode of “Living Single,” but since then, she’s tried her hand more at producing movies (Hounddog, Virgin). After She’s Gotta Have It, Dowell also had a baby with actor Forest Whitaker.


MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • MsWright2U

    Cynda Williams was in a great Phyllica Rashad produced(maybe directed) play here in Chicago called ‘Immediate Family’ and was phenomenal! I believe she is also a singer.

    Great list!

  • baddvixentype

    still love me some STACI!

  • baddvixentype

    so we just gone forget that Lonette McKee played the overly great “sista” in sparkle!?

  • ashley79

    We just saw him at the Emmys, but I’m surprised that the author didn’t mention that he was nominated for Breaking Bad.

  • Negress

    Giancarlo was reaching for an Emmy Sunday night in case you missed it.

  • De’Aundre Bonds is such a great character actor and hope that the business is very forgiving to him. Looking forward to his comeback!!

  • What about Big Brother Dr FEEL-Good? i remember he was on A Different World as Whitley’s other boo-thang…

  • DEAN! Big Brother AL-MIGHT-TY! I’ll forever have a crush on Giancarlo, that’s a handsome brother! He aged very well!

    • cha cha

      Me too! I have had a crush on him for YEARS! He still looks good! And I usually am not really attracted to older men, but he looks GOOOOOOOD!

      • Marco

        Giancarlos’ not missing …he’s on the HBO series Breaking Bad.

        • Negress

          “was” on AMC, now he’s on NBC’s Revolution.