Where Are They Now? The Cast of “My Wife and Kids”

March 12, 2014  |  
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For years, after “The Cosby Show,” and “Family Matters,” there seemed to be a void shows that exhibited the life of a black family that wasn’t just stereotypical, but could also cross social, racial, and economic boundaries so it was enjoyable to all audiences.  “My Wife and Kids” was that show.  With a predominantly Black cast, and lead by the comedic stylings of Damon Wayans, the show was a hit for five seasons.  But, where are these actors now?

Well…

Damon Wayans


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Damon Wayans

Michael Kyle

As the main character, Damon Wayans portrayed Michael, the lovable, but stern father and head of the Kyle household.  After a set back of teenage pregnancy with this wife, the duo grew up to have a pretty successful life, with three children.

After the show, Damon continues to act and do comedy.  He produced the Showtime comedy series “The Underground,” and was set to be the lead in the adapted UK series “Never Better” in 2008.   He has an untitled project coming up, and just recently created the app “Flick Dat,” which seems to be a good move for business-minded folks who don’t want to be boggled down with business cards.

Tisha Campbell-Martin


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Tisha Campbell-Martin

Janet “Jay” Kyle

Jay was the Yin to Michael’s Yang.  The two, independently were funny, but together were a great team.  Where Jay seemed to falter, Michael succeeded, and vice versa.

After “My Wife and Kids,” Tisha Campbell-Martin has continued to act and be seen in big named shows.  In some of the many things that she has appeared in, she had a recurring role on her husband’s (Duane Martin) show, “All of Us,” she was the fantastic Peaches on “Everybody Hates Chris,” (with her former “Martin” costar and Little Shop of Horrors singing buddy, Tichina Arnold), “Rita Rocks,” “Private Practice,” and has even ventured into voice acting, by portraying Beyoncé on an episode of “Robot Chicken.”  She was also in the music video “Hello” for group Mindless Behavior as Prodigy’s Mom.

George O. Gore


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George O. Gore

Junior

After being the adorable son of Malik Yoba on “New York Undercover,” George O. Gore II went on to act in other major productions, but getting his due camera time on “My Wife and Kids,” playing the lovable, but doofy, big-head son, Junior.

While on the show, George was able to not only show his acting chops, but ventured into directing, by directing two episodes in the series.  After the series ended, he was in the movie Dance Flick, and the show “Thugaboo,” but came back under the Wayan’s umbrella by appearing in the show “Second Generation Wayans.”

Jazz Raycole


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Jazz Raycole 

Claire Kyle (#1)

When you have a brother, you have to have a sister in these types of sitcoms, so the comedy plays off of each other.  Claire was that to Junior.  Though they had sibling rivalry, they would occasionally band together to attempt to outsmart their parents.

Jazz Raycole was only on the show for one season.  There were rumors that her mother made her leave after discovering the upcoming story line of Claire having a pregnant friend, but Jazz revealed in an interview with Christian Post:

“I was 12 years old when I got that job. The producers wanted a different thing, they wanted someone a little bit older. I wasn’t ready for that,” Raycole revealed to CP. “I ended up going to New York to dance, which was my first passion. I really thank God for that because I got to grow and travel.”

In between juggling her passion of dancing with her acting career, Jazz Raycole has consistently worked, being featured in hit shows like “The Office” (as Stanley Hudson’s daughter), “Everybody Hates Chris,” and currently has a starring role in the show “The Soul Man.”

Jennifer Freeman


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Jennifer Freeman

Claire Kyle (#2)

Second time’s a charm.

Jennifer Freeman started her time on the show on the second season, and was there through the end.  Along with her hijinks and stickler Christian boyfriend, Claire was able to stay out of the trouble that her character seemed dedicated to get into.

While performing on the show she also was on the movie You Got Served, though we won’t hold it against her.  After the show she appeared in shows like “The O.C.,” “One on One,” “News Half Radio,” and “The Real Husbands of Hollywood.”  She was married to Portland Trail Blazer’s player Earl Watson Jr, and in 2009 they had a daughter.  However, these two good people realized that they weren’t good for each other, and went to splitsville.

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Parker McKenna Posey


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Parker McKenna Posey

Kady Kyle

Kady was the adorable, know-it-all youngest child in the Kyle klan.  She was able to do dirt, but always get her siblings in trouble for it.  As the show progressed, she “dated” child prodigy “Franklin.”

Since the show, Parker has continued to act, by appearing in shows like “iCarly,” and TV movies, like Alice Upside Down, and Meet the Santas.  It appears that she has just finished filming something called “Street Life,” and I guess we just have to wait to see what it is.  Until we find out, she’s just living the life of a normal soon-to-be 19 year old.

Noah Gray-Cabey


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Noah Gray-Cabey

Franklin

How wonderful would it be to have a guy who treated us the way that Franklin treated Kady?

Franklin was a child prodigy that was “in love” with Kady and would do anything to help her or her family.  Though he felt he didn’t belong with other kids, he always seemed at home at the Kyle’s house.

Apparently, it takes a child prodigy to play one, because Noah Gray-Cabey was a piano prodigy.  He started playing at four years old, caught mainstream attention for his talent and age.  He was featured on shows like “Oprah,” and “Ripley’s Believe it or Not,” as he toured and was the youngest with an orchestra in the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

After MW&K, he continued to act and had a starring role in M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, the film Pizza Man, and most notably the show “Heroes.”  He is enrolled in Harvard’s class of 2016, and spending time with his family.

Jamia Simone Nash


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Jamia Simone Nash

Aretha (Franklin’s sister)

When we finally got a glimpse at Franklin’s family, we learned that he had a sister who held golden vocal chords.  Though Franklin thought that Kady’s singing was outshinig Aretha’s, Michael had to let him know that his love for her was deafening him, because Aretha was good.

The young talent was Jamia Simone, whose first national appearance was when she appeared on “Showtime at the Apollo,” singing Alicia Keys’ Fallen.  It’s been success since then. Among many of her accolades, she has sang background vocals for artists like Talib Kweli, performed at the Essence awards to honor Mary J. Blige and continued to act.  She played a young Fantasia Barrino in her Fantasia’s movie, Hope in “August Rush,”  the lead singer on the song Raise it Up, which was nominated for an Academy Award, where she also performed, making history as the youngest singer to perform at the esteemed awards show.  She was also the voice of Uniqua on “The Backyardians,” and was a series regular on “The Young and the Restless” for four seasons.

Now, her voice is more glorious, and she continues to sing, and write amazing songs, along with covers.  She was also featured on the song “Haunted,” on Fantasia’s 2013 album Side Effects of You.

Meagan Good


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Meagan Good

Vanessa #1

When Vanessa first came on the scene, Jay was suspicious of this girl who claimed to be in love with her “big head” son.  Though Vanessa seemed very sweet, it didn’t stop the Kyle’s from kicking Junior out of the house (into the garage) once they caught him in their bed with her.

Meagan Good is still a big name in Hollywood.  Besides appearing in big name films Think Like a Man/Too, Anchorman 2, and being criticized for her wardrobe, she continues to stay uplifted by the love of her husband, pastor DeVon Franklin. She has a production company “Freedom Bridge Entertainment,”and helped form the group “The H.E.L.L.O. Girls.” She could also possibly star in the new show “Babylon Fields.”

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Brooklyn Sudano


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Brooklyn Sudano

Vanessa #2

When one leaves…

Though Meagan Good left the role, Vanessa was still a part of the series, seeing that she became pregnant with Junior’s child.  Vanessa and Junior went the route of marriage after giving birth to their child, Michael Junior Jr. (or Michael III).

Brooklyn Sudano, who was the daughter of famed singer Donna Summer and songwriter Bruce Sudano grew up around the bright lights of fame.  In her earlier years she would tour with her mother and sing background vocals, all while becoming valedictorian when she graduated high school.

After joining the MW&K cast, she continued to act and model, appearing in Clairol and Clean and Clear ads.  She married her long time boyfriend and she also appeared in shows like “Cuts,” the Flashdance inspired film Turn the Beat Around, and the show “$h*! My Dad Says.”

In 2012, her mother, Donna Summer, sadly passed, and rumors of strife between Brooklyn and her sisters were brought up, but things seemed to have settled now.

brooklyn-sudano.com

Damon Wayans Jr.


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Damon Wayans Jr.

John

Who’s Ren without Stimpy?

Everyone has a friend to call and help them get into/out of trouble, and John was that for Junior.

For me, this whole dynamic of Damon Jr, playing a friend to his fictional version of himself was just meta; it was phenomenal.  Which also lead to him being a staff writer on the series.  He parlayed his writing talent on his father’s sketch comedy show on Showtime, “The Underground.”

In 2011 Wayans Jr. was cast on the critically acclaimed show “Happy Endings,” and left “New Girl” to star in it.  However, to the surprise of many “Happy Endings” was cancelled.  However, “New Girl” invited Damon Jr back to reprise his role.

He has two children by Aja Metoyer, who has been in the news very recently.  Regardless, Damon Wayans Jr. is continuing to make strides in his acting, and has two projects that he finished this year:  “Someone Marry Barry,” and “Let’s Be Cops.”

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Ella Joyce


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Ella Joyce

Jasmine Scott

Vanessa had to come from somewhere, and after she and her unplanned pregnancy were introduced to the Kyle family, her parents soon came after.  Jasmine, Vanessa’s mother.  Her money-seeking antics and overly doting personality made her pretty odious.

It took a great actress to portray her, and here we are, with Ella Joyce.

The phenomenal actress that was first introduced to me as Eleanor, the wife of titular character “Roc,” has always been a working actress, and has consistently worked throughout the years.  Besides appearing in movies like Temptation, Our Family Wedding, and shows like “Belles,” she also has her own production company, Ms. Thing Productions.  On top of teaching others about acting, she tours performing her one woman play:  “A Rose Among Thorns:  A Tribute to Rosa Parks,” and has written a book discussing hair care for natural hair entitled “Kink Phobia:  Journey Through a Black Woman’s Hair.

Lester Speight


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Lester Speight

Calvin Scott

As emotionally fragile as he was domineering, Calvin was a large force in the Kyle’s household.  Being very immature, but very physically large was something that made Calvin very unpredictable.

His power came from Lester Speight, a former professional football player and professional wrestler.  Before MW&K, Lester had appeared in movies, shows, and commercials, and once the show ended, he’s just continued his grind.  With varying genres, like action movies (Transformers:  Dark of the Moon, and Faster), along with comedic roles (“Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” and “Knucklehead”), it seems that Lester Speight has been able to show his diversity in acting.

Andrew McFarlane

Tony  Jeffers

The biggest fear for Michael and Jay (which is probably for most parents) is the fear that your teenage child might become pregnant, or get someone else pregnant.  This was heightened when Tony first stepped foot on the Kyle’s threshold as Claire’s boyfriend.  Though he was a Bible toting, scripture quoting young man, Michael always suspected dubious intentions.

Tony became a fan favorite due to the acting styles of Andrew McFarlane.  Andrew had a pretty impressive acting resume before the show.  He was a series regular on shows like “The West Wing,” “Any Day Now,” and “The Amanda Show.”  After MW&K he continues to act.  He had a bit part in the film Dance Flick and the sitcom”The Jake Effect,” and had a recurring role on the hit ABC show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” as Jason.

He is now very dedicated in helping others to discover the joys of healthy eating and living.  Check out his video that encourages people to pay more attention to what they put in their bodies.

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