Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: . Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication:
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Reginald Veljohnson

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Famous For:
Family Matters, Die Hard, Die Hard 2
Networth:
$5 Million
Currently Known For:
The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee
Famous Years:
1979 - Present
Birthdate:
August 16, 1952
Reginald Veljohnson


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  famous for:
Family Matters, Die Hard, Die Hard 2

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  networth:
$5 Million

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"You have to believe in yourself. You have to go out there and love what you are and who you know you are in terms of your craft." Reginald VelJohnson is an American actor from New York. VelJohnson is most well-known for playing police officers in film and on television. VelJohnson's most notable roles include Carl Winslow on Family Matters and Sgt. Al Powell in Die Hard and Die Hard 2.  VelJohnson broke into the industry in 1979 and remains an active performer to this day. The former Family Matters star most recently appeared in Avengers: Endgame in a special deleted scene.

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Early Life in Queens

Reginald VelJohnson was born on August 16, 1952, in New York, NY. VelJohnson was born to Eve and Reginald Johnson in the Queens borough of New York. Eve worked as a nurse during VelJohnson's childhood while Reginald Sr. worked as a hospital attendant. VelJohnson was raised alongside his brother, Barry. Unfortunately, VelJohnson and his family would have to say goodbye to their father after Reginald Sr. chose to leave the family. This meant that VelJohnson's mother would end up remarrying, this time to John Reilly.

Following their father's departure from the family, VelJohnson would go on to attend Benjamin N. Cardozo High School. During his time in school, VelJohnson would become classmates and close friends with George Tenet. Following his graduation from high school, VelJohnson would go on to attend New York University where he would earn his Master of Fine Arts. It was around this time that Reginald Vel Johnson would change how his last name was spelled in order to have an easier to remember stage name. VelJohnson said of his decision to change his name, "I wanted a name people would remember."

Landing the Role of a Lifetime

As an actor, VelJohnson has made a career out of portraying a certain type of character. Thanks to his early work in the film and television industry, VelJohnson was quickly typecast as a law enforcement officer. Despite this fact, VelJohnson would lean into his typecasting in order to land amazing roles in some of the most popular projects of the 80s and 90s. Along the way, VelJohnson would become a famous character actor with a distinct look and acting style.

VelJohnson broke into the industry in 1981 with a minor role in the film, Wolfen. In the project, VelJohnson had yet to be typecast which allowed him to play a morgue attendant. Unfortunately, or fortunately, VelJohnson would end up leaning directly into his career as a law enforcement officer on camera with his role in the 1984 blockbuster hit, Ghostbusters. In the legendary film, VelJohnson would play a corrections officer for a couple of scenes. The film starred Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray and has since gone on to become one of the most memorable films of all time.

Following his success on Ghostbusters, VelJohnson would land a role on the television series, The Equalizer (1985). VelJohnson played Arthur Williams in the series, thus making his debut on network television. VelJohnson would enjoy further feature film success when he was cast as Gus the limo driver in the film, Crocodile Dundee (1986). VelJohnson would parlay that role into the biggest film role of his career as Sgt. Al Powell in Die Hard (1988). The Die Hard franchise would obviously become a mainstream sensation with numerous sequels having already been released. VelJohnson would reprise his role as Sgt. Powell in Die Hard 2 which released in 1990. He has since left the character behind.

VelJohnson found his long term success as a member of Family Matters which premiered in 1989. In the show, VelJohnson played Carl Winslow, the patriarch of the family. In the series, Winslow was a police officer which further entrenched VelJohnson into his career as police officer characters. VelJohnson starred in the show until the program went off of the air in 1998. Along the way, VelJohnson would raise his profile as a character actor and this would lead to a slew of minor appearances in rather large films. Some notable productions that VelJohnson has appeared in since Family Matters went off of the air include You Again (2010), Funny Story (2018) and, most recently, Avengers: Endgame (2019). While VelJohnson's appearance didn't make the final cut for Avengers: Endgame, his role as a police officer would make it as a deleted scene on the Bluray release.

Despite being a member of some of the most iconic action films of all time, VelJohnson honed his craft as a television actor. VelJohnson has appeared in 111 projects throughout his career. Most recently, VelJohnson has starred in 3Below: Tales of Arcadia (2018) as Jerry.

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