Who is Reginald VelJohnson?

Reginald was born in Queens, New York City, USA, on 16 August 1952; he’s an American actor who has been active in the film and TV industry since the late 1970s, probably best known for his roles in popular TV series such as “Family Matters” and “Hart of Dixie”. Reginald’s acting career has been characterized by his distinctive voice, warm presence, and his ability to portray characters that are both relatable and endearing.

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Early life and education

Reginald was born to Dan and Eve VelJohnson, and is of African-American and West Indian descent. His parents both worked in the medical field – his mother was a nurse, wile his father worked as a hospital attendant. His father left the family when he was 13 years old, so Reginald and his brother Barry were then raised solely by their mother.

Reginald attended Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens, where he developed an interest in acting. After high school, he went on to study theater at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1978.

Roles in movies

Reginald’s career in the film industry began in the late 1970s, with minor roles in movies such as ”When Hell Freezes Over, I’ll Skate”(1979), “Wolfen” (1981) and “Ghostbusters” (1984).

However, it was his role as Sergeant Al Powell in the 1988 action film “Die Hard” that propelled him to stardom. The movie was directed by John McTiernan and starred Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New York City police officer who becomes embroiled in a terrorist plot while visiting his estranged wife in Los Angeles. The film was a critical and commercial success, and has since become a classic of the action genre.

Reginald reprised his role as Al Powell in the 1990 sequel “Die Hard 2: Die Harder”, which further cemented his status in Hollywood, and in the following years, he appeared in movies such as ”The Bride in Black” (1990), “Grass Roots”(1992), and ”Posse” (1993).

Reginald’s dramatic acting skills were put to the test in the 1994 TV movie “One of Her Own”, directed by Armand Mastronianni, based on the true story of Mary Bowe, a New York City police officer who was sexually assaulted by a fellow officer, and subsequently fought to bring him to justice.

After “Family Matters” concluded in 1998, Reginald appeared in supporting roles in a number of comedy films, including “The King” and “Like Mike” in 2002, and “Suits on the Loose” (2005).

In 2010, Reginald played the role of Mason Dunlevy in the comedy “You Again”, directed by Andy Fickman and which starred Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Sigourney Weaver. The film follows the story of Marni, a successful public relations executive, who discovers that her brother is about to marry her high school nemesis, Joanna. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the cast’s performances and the film’s light-hearted tone, while others criticized it for its predictable plot and lack of originality. Regardless, the movie was a moderate box office success, grossing over $32 million worldwide.

In 2012, Reginald made a comeback to action genre, with a leading role in “Air Collision”, written and directed by Liz Adams, and which centered on a pilot trying to rescue the President of the United States from a plane headed on a collision course.

Another notable role for Reginald was in the 2018 award-winning indie comedy drama “Funny Story”, which starred Matthew Glave and Emily Bett Rickards. Most recently, in 2023, he starred in the action thriller “Imani”, directed by Mike Ho.

Roles in TV series

Reginald’s most notable roles have been on television, particularly in family-oriented sitcoms. He made his TV debut in a ”Saturday Night Live” comedy sketch in 1984, before appearing in two episodes of the action drama ”The Equilizer” in 1985 and 1988.

One of Reginald’s most iconic roles was that of Carl Winslow in the hit sitcom “Family Matters” (1989-1998). The show was created by William Bickley and Michael Warren, produced by Miller-Boyett Productions, and revolves around the middle-class African-American Winslow family, living in Chicago. The patriarch of the family is Carl, a police officer who is often exasperated by the antics of his three children: Eddie, Laura and Judy.

The show tackled a variety of issues, including racism, drug abuse, and bullying, while also providing plenty of laughs and heartwarming moments. It was one of the longest-running sitcoms with a predominantly African-American cast, and is often credited with helping to increase the representation of black families on television.

“Family Matters” was a critical and commercial success during its run, and it remains a beloved sitcom among fans of all ages. Its catchy theme song (“As Days Go By”) and iconic catchphrases (such as “Did I do that?”) have become cultural touchstones, and the show has been referenced in numerous other TV shows and movies over the years.

As the wise and loving patriarch of the Winslow family, Reginald’s portrayal of Carl Winslow became synonymous with the show’s success, and led to his appearances in other popular sitcoms, such as “The Hughleys” (1999), “Will & Grace” (2002), and “The Big House” (2004).

Reginald also appeared in crime and drama series, incuding ”Monk” (2006) and ”Bones” (2008). His first major TV series role since ”Family Matters” was in the romatic comedy drama ”Hart of Dixie” which aired on The CW from 2011 to 2015. The show was created by Leila Gerstein and starred Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, a New Yorker who moves to the small town of Bluebell, Alabama, to take over a medical practice. The show received mixed reviews from critics but developed a devoted fan base, who appreciated its heartwarming storylines and charming Southern setting.

In later years, Reginald has made appearances in sitcoms such as “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” (2012), “Girl Meets World” (2016), and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2018). He’s also lent his voice in the animated comedies ”Lazor Wulf” (2019-2021), as well as in Amazon’s ”Invincible” (2021).

Personal life

Reginald has always maintained a relatively private personal life. Unlike many celebrities, he’s chosen to keep his life away from the public eye, avoiding tabloid rumors and scandals. Despite his fame, Reginald has managed to remain grounded and humble, often attributing his success to his supportive family and friends.

In his spare time, Reginald enjoys writing, cooking, and traveling. He has also been an active participant in theater throughout his career, often returning to his stage roots by taking part in regional productions and theater festivals.

Reginald splits his time between Los Angeles, California and New York City, which is his primary residence. He hasn’t been married, and doesn’t have children.

Net worth

Reginald’s long and successful career in the entertainment industry has earned him a significant net worth, which is estimated to be around $4 million as of May 2023, primarily coming from his work in television and film, as well as his appearances in commercials.

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