Reginald VelJohnson

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Reginald VelJohnson
BornReginald Vel Johnson
(1952-08-16) August 16, 1952 (age 62)
Queens, New York, U.S.
EducationBenjamin N. Cardozo High School
New York University
OccupationActor, Comedian
Years active1979–present
Known forCarl Winslow : Family Matters (1989–98)
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Reginald VelJohnson
BornReginald Vel Johnson
(1952-08-16) August 16, 1952 (age 62)
Queens, New York, U.S.
EducationBenjamin N. Cardozo High School
New York University
OccupationActor, Comedian
Years active1979–present
Known forCarl Winslow : Family Matters (1989–98)

Reginald VelJohnson (born August 16, 1952) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role Carl Otis Winslow on the ABC/CBS sitcom Family Matters which ran from 1989 to 1998. He was the only cast member to appear in every single episode. VelJohnson also portrayed LAPD Sgt. Al Powell in the film Die Hard (1988) and its sequel Die Hard 2 (1990).

Early life[edit]

VelJohnson was born in Queens, New York on August 16, 1952, the son of Eve, a nurse, and Reginald Johnson, Sr., a hospital attendant.[1] His father left the family when VelJohnson was 13 years old and his mother subsequently married John Reilly.[2] VelJohnson attended Benjamin N. Cardozo High School where he was classmates with George Tenet, and porn star Ron Jeremy.[3] He later obtained a Bachelor of Arts from New York University.[2] Before embarking on an acting career, he changed his name from Reginald Vel Johnson (his birth name) to Reginald VelJohnson. He later said he changed the spelling, "because I wanted a name people would remember."[4]


VelJohnson is known for playing police officers in films and on television. In Ghostbusters, he had a brief appearance as a jail guard, and in Crocodile Dundee, he plays a limo driver. VelJohnson played Sgt. Al Powell in the 1988 hit Die Hard and later reprised the character in the 1990 sequel Die Hard 2, albeit in a much smaller role. He also portrayed a yelling apartment resident for promoting Instant Lottery games for a Michigan Lottery commercial in 1988. VelJohnson also played a police officer alongside Tom Hanks in Turner & Hooch (1989). Johnson was cast as Carl Winslow in the sitcom Family Matters alongside Jo Marie Payton, who played his wife Harriette Winslow, a recurring character on that series, which he starred in until 1998. He also had a minor role in the 2002 film Like Mike. VelJohnson replayed his role of Sgt. Al Powell in the Gamecube video game title, Die Hard: Vendetta, also in 2002. In 2004, he took the title role in the off-Broadway show She all Dat! (playing "she"). Since the end of Family Matters, besides making a few guest appearances on TV shows, VelJohnson has done mostly theater work. He wrote a critically acclaimed series of short stories called Division Street.[citation needed] One of them, called Sunday Evening Haircut, was made into a short film in 2005, which starred VelJohnson himself, alongside Kiki Shepard. VelJohnson has also made guest appearances in several TV shows, including The Equalizer, Diagnosis: Murder, Twice in a Lifetime, Will & Grace, Monk, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Eve, Crossing Jordan, The Parkers, That's So Raven, Chuck, in which he reprises his role as Al Powell, and Bones.

In 2007, he appeared in the short films Reverse, Nerve Endings, and Time Upon A Once which were made during the reality show On the Lot.[5] The following year he appeared as the "Sgt. Al Powell" character from the Die Hard series in an episode of NBC's Chuck entitled "Chuck Versus the Santa Claus", as the cousin of Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence).[6] In 2010, VelJohnson started a recurring role as the principal on the Disney sitcom I'm in the Band and also's mini HBO show entitled Just 3 Boyz starring Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, and Zack Galifianakis. He will be appearing in the upcoming comedy film, The Formula, starring alongside Brandon Baker and Sasha Jackson.[7]


1981WolfenMorgue AttendantCredited as Reginald Vel Johnson
1984GhostbustersJail GuardCredited as Reggie Vel Johnson
1985Remo Williams: The Adventure BeginsAmbulance Driver
1986Crocodile DundeeGus
1988Plain ClothesCaptain Graff
1988Die HardSgt. Al Powell
1989Turner & HoochDet. David Sutton
1990Die Hard 2Sgt. Al Powell
1991Fond Little Memory, AA Fond Little MemoryShort film
2000Ground ZeroBurt Green
2002Like MikeMr. Boyd
2005Sunday Evening HaircutO.C.Short film
Producer, writer
2005Suits on the LooseBrother Steedman
2005Death to the SupermodelsTomDirect-to-video release
2006Hidden SecretsNorman Wexler
2007Three Days to VegasJohnny
Out at the WeddingDexter
2009Steppin: The MovieMr. Shavers
2010Jelly (film)Joe Woods
2010You AgainMason Dunlevy
2012Brother WhiteHill
2012Air CollisionBob Abbot
2013The FormulaProfessor Millan
1985–1988Equalizer, TheThe EqualizerN/A (1985)
Harmon Hunter (1986)
Arthur Williams (1988)
Episode: "Lady Cop"
Episode: "Dead Drop"
Episode: "Sea of Fire"
1988227Santa Thief, TheThe Santa ThiefEpisode: "The Night They Arrested Santa Claus"
1989Perfect StrangersCarl WinslowEpisode: "Crimebusters"
1989–1998Family MattersCarl Winslow215 episodes
1992Tales from the CryptHotel GuestEpisode: "Werewolf Concerto"
1993Dream OnSantaEpisode: "Silent Night, Holy Cow:
1994Cool Like That Christmas, AA Cool Like That ChristmasDad (Voice)Television movie
1994One of Her OwnDet. Bob HymesTelevision movie
1996Deadly PursuitsEd ConroyTelevision movie
1998Diagnosis: MurderDr. David SinclairEpisode: "The Last Resort"
1999Hughleys, TheThe HughleysRev. BennettEpisode: "Daddy's Going to Hell"
2000Twice in a LifetimeDr. David BryantEpisode: "Whistle Blower"
2001Fugitive, TheThe FugitiveMaurice BeaumontEpisode: "Lagniappe"
2002CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationDr. Phillip KaneEpisodes: "Face Lift" and "Gentle, Gentle"
2002Crossing JordanMr. HoldenEpisode: "Someone to Count On"
2002Will & GraceDr. KaplanEpisode: "It's the Gay Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"
2003Parkers, TheThe ParkersSterling OgleveeEpisode: "A Sterling Relationship"
2005That’s So RavenDikembe, The AmbassadorEpisode: "The Royal Treatment"
2005Ghost WhispererDanny SmallEpisode: "Undead Comic"
2006EveRev. EverettEpisode: "Oh, Brother"
2006MonkToddEpisode: "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion"
2007On the LotNeighbor in 'Time Upon a Once'Episode: "11 Cut to 10 & 10 Directors Complete"
2007BonesDale OwensEpisode: "The Santa in the Slush"
2008ChuckSgt. Al PowellEpisode: "Chuck Versus Santa Claus"
2009Three Gifts, TheThe Three GiftsRodney SmithTelevision movie
2010I'm in the BandPrincipal Cornelius StricklandRecurring role
2010Funny or Die PresentsChristopherEpisode: "Just 3 Boyz"
2010Bold and the Beautiful, TheThe Bold and the BeautifulEd2 episodes
2010Meet the BrownsErnie WilsonEpisode: "Meet the Baby Daddy"
2011–presentHart of DixieDash DeWittRecurring role
2011–2013Mike & MollyBrother Heywood5 episodes
2012–2013Tron: UprisingAbleRecurring role
2012General HospitalReverend Love
2012The Mistle-TonesHolly's dadTelevision movie
2013Real Husbands of Hollywood (Season 2)HimselfTisha and Duane


  1. ^ "Reginald VelJohnson Biography (1952–2008)". 1952-08-16. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b "Reginald Veljohnson Biography – Yahoo! Movies". 1952-08-16. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Queens Tribune Online, QConfidential". Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  4. ^ Buck, Jerry (1989-11-16). "Reginald Veljohnson of `Family Matters' reminisces". The Dallas Morning News. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Chuck" Chuck Versus Santa Claus (2008) - Full cast and crew
  7. ^ Smith, William. "Mixing 'The Formula' For Success". The Hawk Eye. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 

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