We’ve done our share of child star stories in the past, but we usually go searching for kids from obscure movies who literally go missing off of the face of the earth. Today, I decided to do a little research on a few kids from some of my favorite black sitcoms (and a drama) over the past few years, and see what they have been up to. From silly but smart comedies like “Everybody Hates Chris” to dramatic and thought-provoking shows like “The Wire,” these young stars were some of my favorites in their respective programs. Be prepared to click per the usual.
The Kids From “Everybody Hates Chris”
Tyler James Williams
If you loved “Everybody Hates Chris” like I did, then you know that the kids were the central figures in the show, none more than Tyler James, who played a young Chris Rock. He was funny, awkward, and an all around good young actor. So where is he now? If you’ve got The Disney Channel, you probably just saw him in the TV movie, Let It Shine, and he just finished working on a movie called We The Peeples. Aside from that, the 19-year-old has had guest roles on “House M.D.,” “True Jackson, VP” and is doing voice work for the show “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.” James also does a bit of rapping here and there as well.
Drew was Chris’ very popular, much cuter little brother who was macking on all the young girls AND the scandalous women. With an odd interest in things like magic, he was always very imaginative and ambitious. In real life, Tequan kept working like Tyler James, but mostly doing guest work – no recurring or starring roles. You’ve probably seen the 19-year-old actor on shows like “Private Practice,” “Memphis Beat,” and “Weeds.” But for now, you can catch him putting up very suggestive photos online (move over Romeo!). But I guess that’s what the young’ns like to do these days…
The very annoying but very adorable Tonya was the littlest sibling of the bunch on the show, but boy was she a lot of trouble. If one of her brothers got into some trouble and she found out, she would be ready to blackmail! Her favorite phrase on the show was, “Ooooh, I’m gon’ tell momma!” She was always hanging with Richmond’s character of Drew, or doing battle against James’ character of Chris. Now 18, Hakim did an episode of “The Wizards of Waverly Place” as well as the TV movie, “One Angry Juror.” But aside from that, we haven’t seen her all over the TV screen like that. Last time we checked, she was in a McDonald’s commercial pulling straws.
My Wife & Kids
Parker McKenna Posey
Awwww! Who could forget the very cute Kady Kyle from “My Wife & Kids”? When the show started, she was literally a 6-year-old. With her head of curly hair and her great comedic timing, she held her own on the show with Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell. Since then, the now 16-year-old did her share of modeling, specifically for the brand Justice. On top of that, she had a guest role on the show iCarly in Nickelodeon, was in the TV movie “Summer Camp,” as well as another TV movie called “Meet the Santas” and in the movie Alice Upside Down. She’s grown up fast!
Good ‘ol Franklin Aloysius Mumford. He was a wiz kid who taught Junior math, could play the piano like nobody’s business, and loved to tell jokes that would go over everyone’s heads. “Anywho…”
After the show, the 16-year-old had a recurring role on the NBC show “Heroes,” was in the movie The Lady in the Water, and most recently did a movie called Pizza Man in 2011. Though he was a baby genius on “My Wife & Kids,” he’s very intelligent in real life (I do declare, the first time I saw him he was showing off his talents on “Oprah”). The acclaimed pianist was accepted into Harvard and was to be part of the graduating class of 2015, but he took time off instead to catch up with family. There’s no word if he’s started, but it’s clear he’s got a good head on his shoulders and will go far.
The Bernie Mac Show
Not going to lie, I couldn’t stand the character of Vanessa on this show. She was very combative and was the definition of a know-it-all, but in real life, the now 22-year-old Winbush seems to be a pleasant young lady, on top of being very pretty! Since the show ended, I’ve seen her more on red carpets than I have on TV, but she’s getting some good roles. She had a recurring role on the show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” as Lauren Treacy, and has guest starred on shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds.” She also just finished a movie called The Monogamy Experiment.
HA! I loved the very geeky and overdramatic character of Jordan on “The Bernie Mac Show.” If he wasn’t reaching for his inhaler, he was getting into trouble at his Catholic school or talking like he had a wad of tissue stuck up his nasal passage. But Suarez is a long way away from that frail and funny character. The 21-year-old has been getting back to acting after picking up a few roles here and there over the years. He was the voice of Koda in the movie Brother Bear 2, was in a movie called Extreme Movie, just finished filming a movie called Chrysalis, and is currently working on a movie called Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie. These kids are growing up fast I tell ya!
Dee Dee Davis
Little Miss Dee Dee Davis used to be one of the cutest little kids on TV with her toothless self! As Bryanna, aka, “Baby Girl,” Davis was another little TV star who grew up right in front of our eyes. Things going on with her character weren’t that big, aside from her character trying to have a relationship with her father. But since the show, being that she’s only 16, we’re assuming Davis slowed down to focus on school, because she did a guest role on “ER” and appeared on “Larry King Live” to comment after Bernie Mac passed, but that’s about it. But I’m not mad at that. Get that education Dee Dee!
Marcus T. Paulk
The lone child on “Moesha,” Marcus T. Paulk, was a little thing with some big ‘ol ears and a great sense of humor. He was always going at it with Moesha, and when no one was looking, he was getting into some crazy trouble (remember when he got caught smoking weed???). After the show, I saw Paulk a little bit of everywhere. As a friend of reality personality Natalie Nunn, he showed up randomly on “Bad Girls Club,” and had a lot of small guest roles: “The Hughleys,” “Fatherhood,” “The Proud Family,” etc. But he’s also done his share of movie work over the past few years. I’m sure you peeped him as David “Deke” Watkins in Red Tails, but he was also in Roll Bounce with Bow Wow, Another Cinderella Story, Extreme Movie, and The Rig. But he’s also a rapper (here we go again!) and has been working on an album. Be on the lookout!
Once a little chubby “thang,” Curtis Williams played Nicholas Peterson, the youngest son in the Peterson brood. After the show quietly ended in 1999, he did a few roles here and there. For instance, he did a movie called Durango Kids, and had guest roles on shows like “Moesha,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Cold Case,” and an appearance on “That’s So Raven” last in 2007. Word on the street is that nowadays, Williams is, of course, trying to be a rapper. I guess that’s the next best thing to do after being a child star…
Ashli Amari Adams
And the other little tyke on the show was CeCe Peterson, the youngest girl who always had her hair looking absolutely laid! Another one whose storylines weren’t too complex, she was just around for her cute factor. After the show, Adams appeared years later on “Girlfriends” as a student of Joan’s fiance. But otherwise, she’s been living like a regular young adult. The 20-year-old seems to keep in touch with some of her “Parent ‘Hood” co-stars, as Reagan Gomez-Preston supported her when she graduated from high school.
Though Wilds’ character of Michael Lee started of soft-spoken and somewhat shy (when it came to adults, and we all know why that was…) in the end, we watched the very loyal character turn into a cold blooded hitman. Wilds was so good in the role, it was crazy. But surprise, surprise, he left the gritty streets of Baltimore for Beverly Hills as star on the revamped version of “90210.” Along with being the lone black face on that show, the cutie was in the movie The Secret Life of Bees, Red Tails, and is working on two new movies: Fruitvales and Indelible. And did I mention that he’s still a cutie?
Yikes! Who could forget the wannabe hood that was Namond Brice? The son of fan-favorite character Wee-Bey, Brice was pushed into the drug game thanks to his crazy mother, but just didn’t have the heart for it. He was meant to be a good kid…even if he had a big mouth. After the show, McCullum did a lot of short films, and guest starred on “Law & Order” and Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit.” He recently did a movie called You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Kills You and is working on a movie called 59 Seconds.
*Shakes head* Randy Wagstaff’s story literally had me in tears near the end of season four of “The Wire.” As sweet, smart and innocent as he was, the young man didn’t know how to say no, and because of that, he kept finding himself in a sea of trouble on the regular. *sighs*
Oh well. But things have been all good for Harrell since the show ended. Also a music producer, he did the music for Rihanna’s Rebelle Fleur perfume commercial. But he still acts on the regular. He most recently had a role on the show “Suburgatory,” and was in the movies Polish Bar and The Promotion. He’s also had many a guest role on shows like “Meet the Browns,” “Lie to Me” and “CSI: NY.”
Geez, the more I talk about these characters, the more sad I get! Duquan “Dukie” Weems was another one with a lot of potential, but he just came from the roughest of beginnings. The son of drug addicts, though a smart kid, his parents were always selling his stuff and left “Dukie” in a state of poverty. That is until he started rolling with Michael all the time. *another sigh* If only he had went on to high school…
But there’s pretty good news in real life for Crawford. He’s kept up the work since his time on “The Wire” ended, showing up in the movies An American Affair, Twelve, Damsels in Distress, and he just finished the movie, Maladies. He also had guest starring roles on popular shows like “Person of Interest.” Why Dukie, you’ve come SUCH a long way…
I couldn’t stand Kenard! We all know what the obvious reason for that is, but for the most part, from jump, this kid was just too grown. He walked around calling people “gumps,” was starting stuff with Dukie and getting him beat up. Aside from that, he thought he was so big and bad when he clearly wasn’t. But in real life, Thuliso Dingwall played more than just the “ignant” characters. Since the show ended, he was in a movie I love called Toe to Toe, on “Law & Order,” and recently made appearances on the shows “Unforgettable” and “Person of Interest.” But I’ll never be able to see him as more than crazy a** Kenard…
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