Then + Now: Jaleel White from ‘Family Matters’
You remember him best as nerdy next-door-neighbor Steve Urkel in the ABC television series ‘Family Matters,’ but what has Jaleel White been up to since he ditched the suspenders?
Jaleel’s role was originally intended to be a one-time guest appearance, but the character was so popular that the ‘Family Matters’ producers made him a recurring regular. White also played Urkel’s suave alter ego, Stefan Urquelle, eventually winning the heart of longtime crush and neighbor Laura Winslow.
White played the character for eight years, from 1990 to 1998, and even wrote an episode of the show at the age of 19 — an episode went on to be the highest rated episode of the series that year.
White (who certainly physically blossomed) has enjoyed varying degrees of professional success. In 1999, immediately following ‘Family Matters,’ he starred on a short-lived TV series for UPN called ‘Grown Ups.’ He’s also lent his voice to the video game character Sonic the Hedgehog for three different animated series, and he’s guest-starred on shows like ‘House, M.D.’ and ‘Psych.’
Most recently, White starred in ‘Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer,’ and last year he participated in season 14 of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’