Where Are They Now: The “Teen” Actors from “Lean on Me”

November 30, 2012 ‐ By Kendra Koger

Lean on Me is a classic in the black community.  In 1988, the world was introduced to the troubled Eastside High in Passaic County New Jersey.  The cameras went through the troubled halls of the high school that ran rampant with violence, drugs, and disrespectful teenagers.  Joe Clark/Crazy Joe/Bat Man stepped onto the scene, and though he initially came off as cantankerous, there was a method to his madness and he was able to help the students pass the minimum basic skills test.

Now, we all know that there are some powerhouses in this movie:  Morgan Freeman, Robert Guillaume, Regina Taylor, Beverly Todd and Michael Beach, but what about the teens that were the driving force in the movie?  Where are they now?  Well…

MadameNoire Video

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  • LaGayla McGahee

    hey. you didn’t mention that Karen White was the best friend of the character Pam on the Cosby Show, seasons 7 &8

  • mainstreamisoverrated

    Well..dayum at some of these updates.

  • license2breal

    the chick at #9…what one scene is he talking about ? Wtf ive been racking my brain trying to remember her

  • Scarlette Brownne

    Rise In Power Lynne. ♥

  • kato

    The character “Kennesha” is based on an actual student named Kennesha Gill, who also attended Eastside High, along with the guys in RIFF. Very talented, in her own right.

    And, as for Lynne Thigpen, let’s not forget her as the mostly unseen (except for the lower half of her face), but heard throughout, radio disc jockey in the classic film, “The Warriors.”

  • toya

    What happened to dude who played Pam’s boyfriend Slide (Arthur) on The Cosby Show? he was also in this movie… And with all due respect to Lynne Thigpen, she was not a “teen”..

  • gdp

    The lady who played the secretary was related tp my God mother and she died of cancer.

  • “Fair East Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiddddde!” That was the JAM!!

    Oh, and my favorite line from this movie: “You smoke crack, don’t ya! You smoke crack? Don’t you smoke CRACK!” Aye, Joe Clark wasn’t no play thang!!

  • mama jamma

    You smoke crack, don’t ya boy! lmbo!!

  • TbeeZ

    Damn I’ve been under a rock!! I didn’t know Lynne was dead! May she rest in peace

    • Boopthereitis

      I didn’t know either, very sad to lose such a wonderful actress. She always portrayed such a strong and beautiful woman.

  • TbeeZ

    Ummmm Karen was also on the Cosbys!!! Let’s not forget that! I love her

  • jusme!

    the group riff were actually students at east side high school @ the the time the movie was being filmed

  • pick a name

    if the one chick’s role was so small why even put on her this list?

    • TanTan78

      Yeah, and replace her with Francesca, duh! “No, way, Mr. Clark, he doesn’t have the juice.”

  • jenn

    where are u in the midwest because i’ve seen his1800 commercials here in ohio

    • Na Na

      Im from Chicago and just recently found out Ohio is actually considered part of the East coast, the Midwest stops with Indiana.

      • jenn

        since when?

        • ms_k_rock

          RIGHT! i’m from Ohio and we’ve always been grouped in with the Midwest.

    • Kendra Koger

      We don’t have them in the St. Louis area.