Jaleel Ahmad White (born November 27, 1976) is an American actor and screenwriter. He is best known for his role as Steve Urkel on the sitcom Family Matters. White also voiced the character of Sonic the Hedgehog and other characters for Sonic the Hedgehog media.
White was born in Pasadena, California, son of Michael White, a dentist, and Gail, a housewife.
In 2001, White graduated from UCLA with a degree in film and television.
In March 2010 White announced he had a seven month old daughter with ex girlfriend Bridget Hardy. White and Hardy dated for three years before breaking up; Hardy wanted to marry but White was not ready. They co parent their daughter in Washington.
In June 2006, an internet rumor was spread via email that White had committed suicide. The email contained a fake Associated Press report stating that White was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment after shooting himself. The report, which contained fake quotes from former co-stars and associates, also claimed that White left behind a suicide note that contained Steve Urkel's popular catch phrase, "Did I do that?" No legitimate news outlets ever picked up the story. Five months after the hoax, White addressed the rumor stating, "I don’t even know what to say about that darned thing. As much as you try to live your life right, you’re gonna get sucker-punched now and then. That was my sucker punch back in June".
White got his start on TV commercials at age three with Kellogg's after his preschool teacher persuaded his reluctant parents to take him to auditions. He landed his first television role as the son of Flip Wilson and Gladys Knight on the CBS series Charlie and Company. He next appeared on another CBS comedy series, The Jeffersons. White also appeared in the pilot episode for Good Morning, Miss Bliss in 1987, and had a role in the 1990 television movie Camp Cucamonga.
At the age of 12, just shortly after starring in the TV commercial for the Atari Lynx portable video game system, White originated his most famous role, Steve Urkel, on Family Matters. The role was initially conceived as a one-time guest appearance, but the character proved to be popular and White was given a full-time starring role. He also played several other members of the Urkel family, including his alter ego Stefan Urquelle and Myrtle Urkel. During the height of Family Matters' popularity, the character of Urkel was marketed as breakfast cereal (Urkel-Os) and a doll. In addition to starring in the series, White also wrote several episodes, including one, at age 19, that was the series' highest rated.
When the series was cancelled in 1998 after nine years, White had grown tired of the role. Shortly after the series' cancellation, he stated in an interview, "If you ever see me do that character again, take me out and put a bullet in my head and put me out of my misery." Due to the character's popularity, White was so tightly defined by his Urkel character that it became hard for him to get other roles.
In 1999, White returned to television in the UPN sitcom Grown Ups. The series was based around White as a young man striking out into adulthood. He also co-produced and wrote episodes for the show, in which he starred as “J,” a college graduate struggling to establish his role in life as an adult. The pilot episode featured another former child actor, Soleil Moon Frye, famous for her role as Punky Brewster, as the girl whom he chose as a roommate. The series failed to attract viewers and was canceled after one season.
White’s acting roles have not been restricted to sitcoms, however; he has done voice work for several animated projects including the 1998 film Quest for Camelot. In 1999, he provided the voice for Martin Luther King, Jr., in Our Friend, Martin. He was also the voice of the famed video game character Sonic the Hedgehog in all of the American produced TV shows - Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic Underground, as well as a Christmas special.
He has continued acting and has had small parts in the films Big Fat Liar, HEY HO and Dreamgirls, and was featured in a lead role in the 2006 comedy Who Made the Potato Salad?. In 2007, he guest-starred on the CW series The Game, followed by a role as a law school graduate interviewing for a job at Crane, Poole and Schmidt in the ABC legal drama Boston Legal.
In June 2009, White began appearing in the web series Road to the Altar. In the series, White stars as Simon, a 30-something black man marrying a young Jewish girl named Rochelle. In September 2009, White guest starred on the USA Network series Psych, as an estranged college singing buddy of the character Gus.
In June 2010, White began appearing in the web series Fake It Till You Make It. He also serves as writer and producer of the series. The series follows the exploits of a former child star (White) turned image consultant and his three protégés as they hustle to navigate the façade called Hollywood.
White will star in the upcoming direct-to-video monster movie Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, which will be released on December 21, 2010.
|1998||Quest for Camelot||Bladebeak|
|2002||Big Fat Liar||Himself||Uncredited|
|2006||Miracle Dogs Too||Leo|
|Puff, Puff, Pass||Tenant #2||Uncredited|
|Who Made the Potato Salad||Michael|
|Green Flash||Jason Bootie||Direct-to-DVD release|
Alternative title: Beach Kings
|2009||Call of the Wild||Dr. Spencer|
|1984||The Jeffersons||Van Van Morris||1 episode|
|Silence of the Heart||Hanry||Television movie|
|1985||Charlie & Co.||Robert Richmond||18 episodes|
|1986||The Leftovers||Jake||Television movie|
|1987||Mr. Belvedere||Ernie Masters||1 episode|
|Good Morning, Miss Bliss||Bobby Wilson||1 episode|
|1989–1998||Family Matters||Steve Urkel
Bruce Lee Urkel
|1990||Camp Cucamonga||Dennis Brooks||Television movie|
|1991||Full House||Steve Urkel||1 episode|
|1993||Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog||Sonic the Hedgehog (Voice)||65 episodes|
|1993–1994||Sonic the Hedgehog||Sonic the Hedgehog (Voice)||26 episodes|
|1995||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Derek||1 episode|
|1998||Sonic Underground||Sonic, Manic, and Sonia (Voices)||40 episodes|
|1999–2000||Grown Ups||J. Calvin Frazier||22 episodes|
|2005||Half & Half||Hershel||1 episode|
|2007||The Game||Chris||1 episode|
|Boston Legal||Kevin Givens||1 episode|
Awards and nominations
|1985||Young Artist Award||Nominated||Best Young Actor - Guest in a Television Series||The Jeffersons|
|1986||Nominated||Best Young Supporting Actor in a New Television Series||Charlie & Co.|
|1991||Won||Outstanding Young Comedian in a Television Series||Family Matters|
|1994||NAACP Image Awards||Won||Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress||Family Matters|
|1995||Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress||Family Matters|
|1996||Nominated||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Family Matters|
|1997||Won||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Family Matters|
|1996||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Nominated||Favorite Television Actor||Family Matters|
- Braxton, Greg (2010-06-18). "Jaleel White fondly recalls playing Urkel on 'Family Matters'". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- Jaleel White Biography (1986-05/14/2009)
- "Star Graduate". Jet. 2001-07-09. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- http://twitter.com/jaleel_white/status/18160237708 "I am a proud father of a 7 mo. old baby girl. In the interest of child development, she lives a fame-free life”.
- Mikkelson, Barbara. "Did I Do That?". snopes.com. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- Harris, Will (2006-11-05). "A Chat with Jaleel White". premiumhollywood.com. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- "Family Matters: 1989-1998". People. 2000-06-26. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- Rhudy, Ben (2006-11-12). "M&C Exclusive Interview: Jaleel White talks “Who Made the Potatoe Salad?”". monstersandcritics.com. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- Noxon, Christopher (1999-08-22). "Jaleel White ('Don't Call Me Urkel') Grows Up". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- Tucker, Ken (1999-09-10). "Mo' and More". ew.com. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- "Jaleel White: From Urkel to the 'Altar'!". etonline.com. 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- Tambay. "Steve Urkel Returns With A Web Series Called “Fake It Till You Make It!”". Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- "New Web-series Fake It Til You Make It From Jaleel White". Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- The Asylum - Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus
- Official Site
- Template:Title without disambig at the Internet Movie Database
- Jaleel White at TV.com
- Jaleel White's NBA blog
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