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Jaleel White (1976)

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Jaleel Ahmad White is an American actor and screenwriter. He is best known for his role as Steve Urkel from Family Matters and voicing the character of Sonic the Hedgehog and other characters for Sonic the Hedgehog media.


 early life and career
White was born in Pasadena, California, son of Michael White, a dentist, and Gail, a manager. 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, which also featured Chad Allen , Candace Cameron , Danica McKellar and Josh Saviano , Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Aniston.

 Family Matters
At the age of 12, shortly after starring in a 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 with 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.

 Post-Family Matters
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, (In Sonic Underground he also voiced Sonic's brother and sister, Manic and Sonia, respectively) as well as a Christmas special. It has been recently confirmed that he will be reprising the role in an upcoming independently produced fan film.

In 2001, White graduated from UCLA with a degree in film and television. He has continued acting and has had small parts in the films Big Fat Liar and Dreamgirls, and was featured as the lead role in the comedy Who Made the Potatoe Salad? in 2006. 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 turned image consultant and his three protégés as they hustle to navigate Hollywood.

Jaleel White has also voiced Sonic the Hedgehog recently for Eddie Lebron's Sonic the Hedgehog fan film.

He will appear in an upcoming episode of Are We There Yet?, which will be a reunion with fellow Family Matters cast member Telma Hopkins.

Most recently White appeared as the star in Cee-Lo Green's music video for his song "Cry Baby".

White also appeared in the season 8 premiere of House, titled Twenty Vicodin, where he appears as a well connected inmate, occasionally helping Hugh Laurie's character Gregory House to sneak things into the prison.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Jaleel White", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.