Where Are They Now: The Cast of Gullah Gullah Island

December 11, 2012  |  
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You know I love a good “Where Are They Now” and today I’m going to bring you up to date on the groundbreaking show that was on for three seasons and thrived on NickJr: “Gullah Gullah Island.”  Well, enough talking, “come and let’s play together, in the bright sunny weather,” and find out where some of the cast is now:


Ron Daise

One half of the central couple of the show.  Ron Daise and his (real) wife came with their (fake) family and taught viewers about the Gullah costal lifestyle and also taught life lessons to the viewers.

Ron Daise wasn’t just a performer, but also a historian and author.  He started out as a reporter, and began writing articles about the Gullah community in South Carolina that he eventually put in his first book “Reminisces of Sea Island Heritages.”  He wrote multiple books and has a blog, The Gullah and African Connection that discusses his lectures and studies at colleges.  He released a CD named “Sweet Surprises,” (which was very touching) and he and his wife continue to perform.


Speaking of his wife…


Natalie Daise

To complete the duo is Natalie Daise.  She was the upper pitch when they sang duet who was so loving and always had a smile on her face.

She and her husband continue to release music, write books and tour talking about the Gullah lifestyle.  She’s also raising her two children (Sara and Simeon, who were on the show).  She designs furniture and art, which is available for purchase (she was featured on HGTV for her decorating skills).  She also keeps an amazing blog, GullahMama, she  continues to tour with her husband and is an actress in multiple plays.


Simeon Daise

You see the cute little boy held by the repulsive yellow creature Binyah-Binyah?  That’s Simeon, that is Ron and Natalie’s actual son.  He started on the show as a toddler, and as the show went on, you got to watch him grow.

As of now, Simeon has kept it low key, but his mother talks about him in her blog and he’s turning twenty next year.

The actor who played their older son, James (real name James Edward Coleman III) hasn’t acted since the show, and therefore we can’t find a definite current photo of him.



So let’s move on to…


Shaina #1

Shaina M. Freeman was a child actress on the show, portraying the Daise’s daughter.  Though she wasn’t their actual child, she fit in well with the cast as the first Shaina.  She actually had to leave the cast because her family moved and she was replaced.

Since leaving the show, she stopped acting and went off to Auburn College to major in nursing.


Tristan Mays as Shaina #2

When Shaina M. Freeman left the show, she was replaced by Tristan in its last year.

Tristan has stayed extremely active in acting, a shortened list of her credentials are:  appearing as a series regular in “Alias,” and the web series “Private.”  She also appeared in “Everybody Hates Chris,” and few other Nickelodeon shows like “Victorious,” “Big Time Rush,” and “Zeke and Luther.”  She also did a web series, “FAIL,” with her fellow Gullah Gullah star Vanessa, and was in the movie “Thunderstruck.”  She was also in the music group “Jane 3” that released the single “Screensaver.”


Vanessa Baden

Vanessa played the cousin who stayed with the family.  She was fun, helpful, and slightly sassy.

For those who don’t remember her on “Gullah Gullah Island,” you might remember her as Kenan’s sister on “Kenan and Kel” or for even having a bit part in “My Brother and Me.”  Vanessa continued to act, but stopped to go to college.  She came back full force after gaining her degree from Florida State University and produces and stars in the hilarious web series “FAIL.”


Ana Christina Randolph as Marisol

Marisol, for some, was the breakout actress.  Though she was just a recurring character, there are blogs where people reveal how boys had crushes on her and girls wanted to be like her.

Since ending the show, Ana appeared in the show “Safe Harbor,” which only had one season, but has since focused more on modeling and her music.  Her music is really pretty good, with a nod to her multicultural heritage, so check it out.




Greg Davis Jr. as Greg

A friend from the neighborhood, Greg would occasional stop by, sing a song, and participate in a choreographed dance scene.

After the show, Greg continued to act, appearing in shows like “The Shield,” “CSI:  NY,” “Lincoln Heights,” and “10 Items or Less.”  He has dabbled in voice acting for the video game “L.A. Noire,” and he just appeared in the movie Ghost Soldiers.


Binyah Binyah Polliwog

Binyah Binyah was an integral part of the show.  With his hopping and dancing (and occasionally appearing in my nightmares) he was a visual aid for children to encourage them to get into the Gullah lifestyle.

Two actors donned the Binyah Binyah suit.  The first was Philip D. Garcia who was a performer who tragically died in a car accident in 1996.

The second was Justin Campbell, a performer who specializes in pyrotechnics, set designing and so forth donned the suit for the last season.  Justin Campbell is now a NBC executive who specializes in ergonomics.

Source: LinkedIn.com

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  • °ThaNiggaYaLuv2Hate°

    I Had The Biggest Crush On Vanessa Lol

  • Jay

    Zeke and Luther wasn’t a Nick show, it was on Disney XD, just wanted to point that incorrect bit out, other than that great article!!

  • TBerri

    Wow! Vanessa looks so pretty!!!!! That girl is gorgeous ^_^ What about the stuff red-head girl with the pigtails? I can’t even remember her name 🙁

  • Kevin Dahlen

    Gullah Gullah Island has a houseboat on the water with 2 ores, fishes under water, sand on the water with seashells, grass hill on the sand with house, North Pole house, and clubhouse, palm tree on sand, and water wheel on water.

  • Kevin Dahlen

    Gullah Gullah Island has a Houseboat on the water with 2 ores, Fishes under water, Sand on the water with seashells, Grass Hill on sand with house, North Pole house, and Clubhouse, Palm Tree on sand, and Water Wheel on water.

  • Nicolas

    what do u mean by drugs? what kind of drugs? <

  • Kiymama

    Binyah binyah was not scary who was scary was Timmy the Tooth he was scary as hell!

  • Prissy

    Vanessa went to Florida State…. She was cool. We used to harass her “BINYAH BINYAH”. LOL…

  • Is It 5:00 Yet?

    This is my show! Brings back memories.



    • Numero Uno

      Thank you! I knew I remembered seeing him in something else

  • Dang

    Ron and Nat are good people. I was born and raised on Lady’s Island and loved going to the set in elementary school. I always love to go home for the Gullah and Shrimp Festivals cause there is always a guarantee they will perform.

    • Tamz

      I live in Charleston and had the pleasure of meeting them as well. Very nice people.

  • So glad you guys posted this! This was a GREAT show.

  • Trisha_B

    I LOVED this show when i was little! lol. Do they have it on DVD? I would get it for my nieces to watch. It was better than a lot of these kid shows on tv today

  • anonymous

    I love you guys. I loved this show. Watched it all the time. I also wish we didn’t have to click through so much.

  • Just Me

    Binyah was hardly scary (well at least no more scarier then some of the characters today like yo gabba gabba and the teletubbies) I watched this show religiously as a child.

    • Trisha_B

      Yo Gabba Gabba is the scariest show on TV! It hypnotizes you. I watched like an hour & half of it w/out even knowing.

      • Numero Uno

        Lol! Maybe that’s why I look for the show even when I’m not babysitting my niece and nephew…hmmm


    You guys really need to talk to the folks at Essence about using what they use for pictures because clicking thru so many pictures which is soooooo slow Its a real turn off!!

    Any who everyone looks great and Im glad to see everyone is doing well…even though there is no info on the older son.
    I can remember watching this with my 19 yr old daughter…Im getting old!