It’s been decades since Reginald VelJohnson portrayed the popular role of Carl Winslow in the T.G.I.F. sitcom Family Matters. That said, the actor admitted that people still think of him as a police officer because of the role.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor says that to this day he still gets offers to play cops in a myriad of projects. “I don’t know what it is about me and this cop thing, but I get a lot of cop offers. Everyone always assumes that I’m someone on the force, but as long as they are paying me, I will play a cop until the day I die.”
Not only did the actor play a cop in Family Matters, but he also played one in the 1988 hit film Die Hard. He played a detective in the 1989 film Turner & Hooch, as well. On the sitcom Family Matters he played a family man and a cop from 1989 until the show took its final bow in 1998.
Instead of rejecting the idea of talking about his former TV role that he was well known for, VelJohnson, seemed more than willing to reminisce about his time playing Carl Winslow.
“My years on Family Matters were precious to me. During the run of the show, I saw many births, deaths, weddings… The actual family on the show became my family. We still talk to each other to this day.”
Although he enjoyed playing the patriarch of the family, the actor gave credit where credit is due. VelJohnson credited Jaleel White, who played Urkel on the show, for making the sitcom what it was. “If it wasn’t for him, the show wouldn’t have done what it did.” Urkel was only supposed to appear in one episode, originally.
VelJohnson’s role was so popular that Internet memes started popping up a decade after the show was pulled from T.G.I.F. He has even performed a parody of himself, called “Kill Urkel.”
The actor still has such a passionate fan base from Family Matters that his fans called for Twitter to take action to get his Twitter account verified.
— 9-0 (@PjDicenzo) October 17, 2014
— Colleen Scott (@dr2red) October 12, 2015
— frederick zabala (@redsentai) June 7, 2015
People don’t only remember the actor from Family Matters. He’s fondly remembered for his role as Sgt. Al Powell in the Die Hard franchise. Now that there’s talk of another Die Hard film, Reginald VelJohnson has some opinions about what it should encompass.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor is going for a larger-than-life approach while hypothetically speaking about the plot of a possible sixth film, only because the continuation of the franchise is getting so ridiculous that there’s nowhere realistic to go.
“How many times can this guy get into trouble and then get out of it on his own? So it would have to be something unique. Maybe you could have John McClane fighting zombies. That could work.”
And, what about the continuation of Family Matters? With the rejuvenation of old 90s favorites turning into spin-offs like Fuller House getting a home on Netflix and Girl Meets World finding a home on Disney, many fans want to know if Family Matters will also find new life. VelJohnson didn’t seem too optimistic about the idea.
“Do people want to see Urkel as a grown man? I don’t know.”
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]