In Hollywood, actor sometimes they are so tied to one particular type of job that they are rarely thrown away like anything else. This has been true for Reginald VelJohnson, who is known for representing foam in both the Die hard franchise and the hit sitcom Family Matters. What other projects has this expanded?
Reginald VelJohnson appeared in ‘Die Hard’ as an LAPD cop
The film role of VelJohnson came with the 1988 summer campaign Die hard. In the film, Bruce Willis portrays John McClane, an NYPD detective who travels around the country to see his wife who has fallen for a vacation. At her company party on Christmas Eve, terrorists take over the building.
While fighting Hans Gruber and his men, McClane’s only connection to the outside world is Sergeant Al Powell (VelJohnson) at LAPD. While the SWAT team and the FBI make mistakes, Powell and McClane remain in communication, ultimately saving the hosts. At the end of the film, the two accept.
He then played Carl Winslow on ‘Family Matters’
Months later Die hard debuted, VelJohnson again played law officer. January 1989 program of the sitcom, Perfect strangers introduced him as Carl Winslow, a cop from Chicago. He was piloted for a new series revolving around Harriette starring Carl and Jo Marie Payton: Family Matters.
The spinoff was first revealed in September 1989 as part of ABC’s TGIF line. While the focus shifted largely from the Winslows to the interaction with next door neighbor Steve Urkel, VelJohnson remained Family Matters through his decision in season 9 (which saw the show move from ABC to CBS).
VelJohnson is okay with being a typecast
by the time Family Matters which ended in 1998, VelJohnson had spent a decade of his career showing a police officer. While many in Hollywood may be confused as to what is called a typecast (meaning they are asked to play the same type of character again), this actor does not feel that way. .
“I don’t know what it’s about me and this foam thing, but I get a lot of foam offers,” said VelJohnson the Hollywood reporter in 2015. And it doesn’t matter that it means he’s wrong for a police officer. “Everyone always accepts that I am someone in the force, but as long as they pay me, I will play foam until the day I die,” he said.
Did he show a police officer in anything else?
Although he became famous, Die hard VelJohnson didn’t even have his first cop role. His second ever film gig was in the 1984 hit film Ghostbusters, in which he played the small role of Correctional Officer. He then played Captain Graff in 1988 Plain Clothing, followed by Detective Dave Sutton in 1989 Turner & Hooch.
After Family Matters, VelJohnson as a cop became part of pop culture and played one in a program of Girl meets world. Moreover, he not only reiterated his role as Agent Powell in the 1990s. Die hard 2 but in titles of the shows Chuck and Family Guy that paid homage to the original film.