Jaleel Ahmad White (born November 27, 1976) is an American actor who played as Steve Urkel, Stefan Urquelle, Myrtle Mae Urkel and Cornelius Eugene Urkel in Family Matters. He is also famous for being the first American voice of famous video game lexicon Sonic the Hedgehog, having voiced him in all three American cartoons; as well as his siblings Sonia and Manic in the third, Sonic Underground. He also wrote two Family Matters episodes, Grandmama and Home Again.
He also appeared as himself in the film Big Fat Liar, where his role as Urkel is referenced and he made him a special guest as Derek from this sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1995.
Becoming Sonic[edit | edit source]
Jaleel White has mentioned that not many people know of his involvement with the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons. He is quoted saying "You gotta Google me deep to know I did Sonic." But once in a while, someone would take him aside and tell him that they knew it was him and they were huge fans. He remarked that he didn't do many table readings or performances with the rest of the voice cast as his schedule on Family Matters kept him too busy.
When Jaleel White stepped into the character of Sonic, he mentions making efforts to have Sonic sound raceless. Despite being black, Jaleel White did not want Sonic to sound like a black man. He developed a unique voice for Sonic that does not represent any particular race. Sonic's voice and personality stayed consistent through all three animated DiC series and the fan film.
Sonic Underground[edit | edit source]
In the third Sonic series to be produced by Dic, Jaleel White's talents were expanded in that he went from just playing Sonic, to also playing Sonic's two siblings, Sonia and Manic. Instead of using the same voice for all three characters, Jaleel White came up with a new unique tone and sound for each Hedgehog. Most notable is Sonia who sounds very similar to Steve Urkel, though her laughter is a little different from Steve's and the only personality trait they share is a proficiency with computers.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Height: 5'11"
- He and actor George Clooney were both on TV shows with the same studio so in between filming, they would play basketball together.
- His original catch-phrase, "Did I do that".
- White appeared (with Wax Museum Urkel) in the commercial for Scion iM.
- White was reunited with the 2017 Family Matters cast member along with Darius McCrary, Kellie S. Williams, Shawn Harrison, Jo Marie Payton, Reginald VeJohnson, Bryton James and Telma Hopkins, but Jaimee Foxworth and Orlando Brown were absent and not invited for unspecified reasons.
- He reprised the role of Steve Urkel and Urkel Bot in the TV series "Scooby Doo and Guess Who?"
Gallery[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Jaleel White on Wikipedia