For nine years, fans watched as Laura Winslow navigated school, relationships, and never-ending annoyances from Steve Urkel on Family Matters. The girl of Steve’s dreams was played by Kellie Shanygne Williams, who was only 13 years old when the sitcom premiered. The actor really did grow up on camera, something she has described as “kind of strange.”
She explained to TV One in 2019, “At that most awkward time in your life, you’re in front of the whole world to see. A lot of times I would watch the show and just be totally embarrassed.”
But, while being on the hit show was sometimes uncomfortable for her as a teen, Williams has remained in the entertainment business to this day. Read on to find out what she’s up to now.
After Family Matters, Williams went on to have roles on the shows Moesha, What About Joan, and Eve. She was also in the 2009 film Steppin: The Movie. She then stepped back from acting for several years. Around this time, she founded a program to support teens in the D.C. area who were interested in the arts.
Recently, Williams returned to acting for the 2020 movie Christmas in Carolina. She is also part of the upcoming movie Merry Little Switchmas. In addition to taking on more roles, she’s appeared on TV as herself. In 2009, she guest hosted several episodes of Clean House, and she was a participant on Celebrity Wife Swap in 2015.
One of Williams’ co-stars in Christmas in Carolina was Darius McCrary, who played Laura’s brother, Eddie, on Family Matters. Once again, the two actors played siblings. In Merry Little Switchmas, Williams is joined by Jo Marie Payton, who played Laura’s mom, Harriette.
The three stars also recently came together to launch a streaming service called Dreamflix TV along with Williams’ father and stepmother, who are producers.
“During the pandemic, Family Matters saw audiences increase by 400%!” Williams wrote on Instagram. “That got us to thinking that maybe we needed to have our own streaming platform for shows we produce as well as shows that newer filmmakers are creating.”
Williams married her husband, Hannibal Jackson, in 2009. They have two children, Hannah and John. Hannah is following in her mom’s footsteps and working with her on Merry Little Switchmas. In October, Williams shared a photo of herself, Payton, and Hannah on set.
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Williams hasn’t only reunited with Payton and McCrary through their work together. More of the Family Matters cast have gotten together for reunions in recent years. In 2017, the cast reunited for a special for Entertainment Weekly. Then, in 2019, they filmed a special for TV One.
“We were having fun,” Williams shared with TV One of what made the show so enjoyable for both fans and the cast. “Just like you see us now, cutting up and like it’s a Thanksgiving dinner, that’s how we’ve always been. And that’s the thing that you enjoyed watching.”