List of Family Matters characters
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Family Matters is a long-running ABC/CBS American sitcom about a middle-class African-American family living in Chicago which ran on national television for nine full seasons. The series is a spin-off of Perfect Strangers and revolves around the Winslow family. Midway through the first season, the show introduced the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White), who quickly became its breakout character and eventually a main character. The series had a total of 12 main characters, with some characters which were portrayed by multiple actors.
- 1 Casting
- 2 Main characters
- 2.1 Carl Otis Winslow
- 2.2 Harriette Baines-Winslow
- 2.3 Edward "Eddie" James Arthur Winslow
- 2.4 Laura Lee Winslow
- 2.5 Estelle Winslow
- 2.6 Judith "Judy" Winslow
- 2.7 Steven "Steve" Quincy Urkel
- 2.8 Rachel Baines-Crawford
- 2.9 Richard "Richie" Crawford
- 2.10 Jerry Jamal "3J" Jameson
- 2.11 Myra Boutros Boutros Monkhouse
- 2.12 Waldo Geraldo Faldo
- 3 Recurring characters
- 4 References
JoMarie Payton originally appeared on Perfect Strangers in 1987 as the recurring character Harriette Winslow, the elevator operator for the Chicago Chronicle. Reginald VelJohnson later made one appearance on Perfect Strangers as Carl Winslow, policeman and husband of Harriette Winslow. Due to large popularity of Payton's character with audiences, the character was spun off to its own show, Family Matters. While Payton, VelJohnson, and Telma Hopkins (as Harriette's widowed sister Rachel) were initially the stars of the show, with the focus being around the Winslow family, Jaleel White was introduced as nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel during the middle of the first season, Urkel, the lovesick pursuer of Laura Winslow (portrayed by Kellie Shanygne Williams), quickly became a popular breakout character with audiences.
Shortly after the introduction of White as Steve Urkel, Shawn Harrison was cast in the role of Waldo Faldo, initially as sidekick to a bully portrayed by Larenz Tate that terrorized Urkel. When Tate and Harrison were offered the chance to return to the show on a recurring basis, only Harrison took up the offer. As a result, his character was re-written to be the best friend of Eddie Winslow (portrayed by Darius McCrary). Harrison eventually joined the main cast in the 1992–1993 season. Soon after, Michelle Thomas was cast in the role of Myra Monkhouse, love interest and later girlfriend of Steve Urkel. Initially cast on a recurring basis, Thomas joined the main cast as a regular in the 1994–1995 season. In the 1996–1997 season, Orlando Brown was later added to the cast as 3J, a troubled youth being mentored by Steve who becomes the foster child of the Winslows.
The series featured 12 main characters with their actors appearing during the opening credits.
Carl Otis Winslow
Carl Otis Winslow, who originally appeared on the sitcom Perfect Strangers alongside his wife Harriette, is the son of Estelle, brother-in-law of Rachel, and the biological father of Eddie, Laura, and Judy, uncle of Richie and adoptive father of 3J. He mentioned in one episode having a brother named Calvin, and in another episode, a brother named Frank. His initials spell COW, and he is often teased because of this. He holds his position as "King of the Castle" (self-proclaimed "Big Kahuna") very seriously; however, he is easy to admit defeat to Harriette when involved in typical marital disputes.
Carl is constantly annoyed by his pesky neighbor, Steve Urkel, who has a very high level of respect for Carl, and affectionately calls him "Big Guy". Although Steve is relentlessly annoying, and has cost the Winslow family large amounts of time and money from his own clumsy demeanor, he has shown he's more mature than Eddie is in accepting responsibility. Carl is often there to back Steve up, and help him out in times of distress. Over the progression of the show's run, Carl develops a fondness for Steve that surprises even himself.
Carl is an officer for the Chicago Police Department. He takes his job seriously, and it is often suggested that he is very good at what he does, despite the fact that his boss, Lt. Murtaugh, is very incompetent. Fitting into the cop stereotype, he has an avid love for doughnuts and other junk food. This plays into the fact that he is overweight, and in several stories throughout the series, Carl's physical health plays a role. Early on, he is a police sergeant; later he is promoted to lieutenant, and eventually captain. Carl is also the only character to appear in every single episode of the series.
Harriette is Carl's wife, Rachel's big sister, biological mother of Eddie, Laura, and Judy, aunt of Richie, and adoptive mother of 3J and the daughter of Jimmy Baines and Darlene Baines. Harriette is a very conservative and strong-willed woman. She holds her role in society as a mother and working woman with high regard. Harriette is very reluctant to tell people what they want to hear, as she is very frank and upfront about her feelings. She is very constructive in her demeanor and attitude. She first appeared as a "elevator operator" for the Chicago Chronicle on the show Perfect Strangers, before being laid off, rehired as Director of Security and then fired from the Chicago Chronicle for refusing to reduce her security staff during a budget crisis. She was later employed by Ferguson's Department Store, initially as a service clerk, then later promoted to Head of Sales. Harriette would often gently speak her catch phrase, "Carl".
Edward "Eddie" James Arthur Winslow
Eddie is a casual NBA, NFL fan, and jock. He is the only son, and oldest child, of Carl and Harriette until they adopt 3J. During the early years of the series, he was a high school student with stereotypical traits of a high school slacker (e.g., poor grades and irresponsible behavior). Being something of a rebel and hedonist, Eddie frequently had a stormy relationship with his father, especially concerning Carl's strict rules, but also because of Eddie's immature attitude and penchant for breaking rules. He despises being treated like a kid and greatly desires to be treated like an adult, which, to him, means being free of rules and authority of parents, but he has very little desire to be as responsible as adults should be.
It was shown a few times that Eddie was prone to gambling and refused to go to Carl for help. These times got him into more trouble than not especially when he had to deal with a pool hustler, illegally gambling at an underground casino and a tough bookie(Bubba Smith). However, at the same time, he has shown he was willing to go to his father for help, such as when he was ripped off by Weasel's friend when he sold him a stolen stereo, got racially profiled by two white cops for something he didn't do and a scamming con artist/owner at the bar (whom Steve was very suspicious of being a con artist).
During the first two seasons, he was a friend of Rodney Beckett, a classmate. From the third season onwards, Eddie's best friends were Waldo Faldo and Steve. He also on occasion, would hang out with "Weasel". Initially, his relationship with Steve - who considered Eddie his "best bud", and often affectionately called him "Eddo", was little more than out of pity (seeing him as nothing more than an unpopular nerd). Eddie remained loyal to Steve, and he eventually accepted him as a true friend.
Eddie has shown to have dated a large number of girls throughout the series, with very few of them appearing more than once as his girlfriend. Sometimes he would even have a relationship with more than one girl at the same time. Even Steve has remembered the names of many of Eddie's girlfriends, but cannot keep track of the name of a current girlfriend. When he met a current one and attempted to guess her name, Steve foolishly blurted out many names, likely the names of Eddie's past girlfriends, which leads to him going after the nerd. However, Eddie has shown that he is not beyond desiring true love and pursuing an honest and serious relationship. His most enduring, successful, and ultimately final relationship is with Greta McClure. His relationship with Greta developed throughout the series and faced many obstacles, most notably in the forms of Myrtle Urkel and Dave McClure(Owner of Mighty Weenie and Greta's father).
Eddie has two main adversaries on the show. The first was his former boss, Mr. McClure. He didn't approve of Eddie dating his daughter and tried to keep them apart in three episodes. As of the series finale, Eddie and Greta are still dating and are living together in an apartment, despite Mr. McClure disowning her. Eddie's second main adversary is Myrtle Urkel, the cousin of Steve Urkel and a rich Southern belle whose infatuation with Eddie was equal to her Steve's infatuation to Laura. However, unlike Steve, Myrtle never respected Eddie's personal space and kept pursuing him much to his extreme terror. She waited until Season 7 to try and win his love, but he was dating Greta. Unlike Laura's would-be boyfriends, Greta was more successful in warding Myrtle off. Undaunted, Myrtle made her last push to win Eddie's heart by getting a makeover, but he was still not impressed. She soon relinquished her love for him and set her sight on other guys.
Eddie has shown to have matured and become more responsible and hardworking throughout the series. Though he started as a poor student, he got accepted into college. He worked at a Mighty Weenie restaurant and became its manager. But when his academic challenges restarted in college, Eddie switched his focus to become a police officer like his father. Eddie enrolled at the Police academy, eventually getting hired by the Chicago Police Department as a rookie officer at the end of the series.
Laura Lee Winslow
Laura is the oldest daughter of Harriette and Carl, and the object of Steve's affections. In school, Laura was essentially the ideal girl; beautiful, popular, and received very good grades. She was accepted to Harvard, but decided to decline the offer because her parents could not afford the tuition, though she told them it was because she could not live so far from home. Laura began as quite vain, often in pursuit of popular good-looking boys, being dismissive towards Steve, and showing little respect for her academically challenged older brother. She was not always a good judge of character, as a majority of her would-be boyfriends were antagonists in their appearances. She had many boyfriends who would bully Steve and who would cheat on her, but would ultimately end with Steve warding them off. Laura generally had little patience for Steve's antics, but her seeming dislike of him only seemed to egg him on further. She eventually grew wiser and demonstrated better judgement. She has shown appreciation to Steve when he selflessly has helped her and the Winslows out when they needed him. Laura eventually learned to love Steve. They became a couple in Season 9 and later engaged to be married in the third to last episode, Pop Goes the Question. The original plan for the series finale was to be Laura and Steve's wedding, but never materialized due to the show's cancellation.
Estelle is Carl and his four brothers' mother, Harriette's mother-in-law, biological grandmother of Eddie, Laura, and Judy, great aunt-in-law of Richie, aunt-in-law of Rachel, and adoptive grandmother of 3J. Estelle is a very wise woman and always very defensive of her grandchildren. Estelle moves into her son's household after the death of her husband, Samuel. She (unlike all other Winslows) was a friend of Steve Urkel for the entire series and loved him like a grandson. She loved when Steve came to the Winslow house and instead of trying to make him leave she wanted him to stay. Steve always called her "Estelle, my Belle," which she loved. Estelle is street wise and keeps up to date with pop culture and trends, much to the surprise of her family. In later seasons, she begins a relationship with Fletcher Thomas, which Carl disapproves of initially before eventually accepting the relationship. The two later got married at the Winslow home. Estelle would often speak her catchphrase "way to go" usually to Carl when he did something to someone else or something wrong that she didn't like.
Judith "Judy" Winslow
Judy is the younger daughter, and youngest child, of Carl and Harriette. Her middle name is unknown (Laura's middle name is Lee and Eddie's middle names are James and Arthur). She is nine years old as the series begins, and is in the series until she is twelve. It is suggested that she enjoys a close relationship with her sister Laura. She attended elementary school, and later middle school (in sixth grade). During the series' fifth season, the character disappeared from the series altogether, with no explanation given. Her existence in the show from that point on was retconned to make it seem as though she never existed. William Bickley, the show's creator and one of the writers, said she was cut due to a "budget consideration." However, Judy is seen in a flashback in Season 6 episode 21 "Whats Up Doc".
Steven "Steve" Quincy Urkel
Played by Jaleel White.
Steve Urkel is a stereotypical nerd, with large, thick eyeglasses, "high-water" pants held up by suspenders, a high-pitch nasal-tone voice, and a snorting laugh. He first appeared in the first-season episode "Laura's First Date", and was also known for his massive crush on Laura Winslow, and constantly attempting to win her affections. He became known for his signature "Urkel Dance", a novelty dance that he frequently performed.
While highly intelligent, (to the point where he would call his teachers by their given names) he was also quite accident-prone, (spawning his catchphrase, "Did I do that?", later on the show he says to Carl "At least no one got hurt," then Carl replies "Not yet," then Carl chases Steve, and "Look what you did!", assuming the accident happened by another person's fault and counter phrase to "Did I Do That?".) and socially awkward. He has also created numerous inventions, that were otherwise considered impossible, especially for the 1990s. One of those inventions involved a machine, which turned him into his alter-ego, Stefan Urquelle, who was first introduced in the episode, Dr. Urkel and Mr. Cool.
Rachel was Harriette's attractive widowed little sister. She moved in with the Winslows shortly after her husband, Robert, died. She is the mother of Richard "Richie" Crawford and the daughter of Jimmy Baines who appeared in "Finding the Words" to reconcile with her and Harriette, after he walked out on them when they were little. A budding singer, she is also a writer and an entrepreneur, opening Rachel's Place (a hangout for teenagers, much in the vein of Arnold's from Happy Days) in 1990, which replaced Leroy's, a similar hamburger joint that Urkel had accidentally burned down. Rachel is seen throughout the first four seasons; after a year's absence, she made occasional appearances during the rest of the show's run. Rachel considered herself more beautiful than Harriette. Rachel's trademark was hats. Her final appearance was in the Season 9 Christmas episode, and she wasn't seen again after opening her presents.
Richard "Richie" Crawford
Richard "Richie" Crawford was the only son of Robert and Rachel Crawford; Robert dies before Richie was born, which in part prompts Rachel's move into the Winslow household. There, Carl effectively fills the "father" role left vacant by Robert's death. Richie is almost a year old in first-season episodes, and age-advanced to 3 years old thereafter. He is a typical mischievous child, and even idolizes Steve; in fact, due to the nerd's constant visits and unrelenting crush on Laura, Richie calls him "Uncle Steve". In later episodes, Richie becomes a friend of a young orphan named 3J (whom the Winslows eventually adopt). His final series appearance was the Season 9 Christmas episode "Deck the Malls."
Jerry Jamal "3J" Jameson
3J—Jerry Jamal Jameson—was a young orphan whom Carl and Harriette adopted early in the 1996-1997 season. He was introduced as Urkel's Little Brother (in an episode paying homage to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America program), and later is a friend of Richie. His street-wise, smart-mouthed demeanor is a cover for his loneliness and desire to have a stable, permanent family; his birth mother had given him up for adoption shortly after he was born, and frequently moved around. He was living with his aunt for a time until he was placed in a children's shelter in Season 8, when she could no longer afford to keep him. The Winslows, seeing that he needed love, decide to adopt him. It is revealed in the episode "Whose Man is it Anyway?" that his mother is a waitress and Carl took him there (not realising the connection) for lunch and that one day she would like to get back together with him, but until then, Carl promises to take care of him.
Myra Boutros Boutros Monkhouse
Myra was introduced midway through the fourth season as a possible girlfriend for Steve. She was the cousin of Laura's then-boyfriend, Ted Curran, who set up the date to get the nerd out of his way. Myra was supposed to be a one time character (just like Steve was, in Season One), but was given a role on the series. Although Ted's character was dropped later in Season 4 and ultimately never referred to again, Myra would become a regular character throughout the rest of the series.
Myra Monkhouse is a beautiful girl who is attracted to nerdy boys and polka music. She has a very perky and persistent personality. In season 5, she transferred to Steve and Laura's school to be closer to her "Stevie-kins". Steve is also attracted to Myra, but he never grew to love her over the course of the show. He only agrees to date her, on the condition that his friendship with Laura remain intact. This frequently causes Myra to feel in competition with Laura for Steve's affections; Laura would often try to correct the misunderstanding, but Myra would only become more convinced that Laura was after Steve. However, since Laura doesn't really show any attraction for Steve, Myra is willing to accept a truce, although the Laura-Myra relationship remains testy and adversarial, even in the most banal, non-Urkel situations.
After Steve decided to go steady with Myra, Myra's character calmed and developed and she began to fit together more comfortably with the rest of the main characters. She became less persistent and less aggressive clinging onto Steve, and Steve became more comfortable and welcoming with her. She became more friendly towards Laura, and formed a trio of sorts with her and Steve (with herself in between, of course). She is also grouped together with Laura and Maxine.
In Season 9, Steve and Myra grow apart. In the episode "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", she hated his makeover and demanded him to change back to the nerd she loved so much. When Steve refused, Myra broke up with him right away. However, it only turned out to be a ploy and she only pretended to break up with him in order to get him to renounce his love for Laura and stay with her. That failed and Steve decides to start a real relationship with Laura. However, Myra never fully accepted the idea of their relationship being officially over. From here, Myra's character regressed and devolved to an antagonistic role, competing with Laura for Steve's affections and pursuing Steve relentlessly, similarly to her early appearance. When Steve asks Laura on a date and Laura accepts, she grows furious at her loss. Myra pairs up with Stefan Urquelle (Jaleel White) and both set out to win them back. Although both were successful in stopping it, Stefan soon felt guilty of trying to break Steve and Laura up and decides to leave them alone. However, Myra continues to try multiple times, including spying on Steve, until he learned the truth and ordered her to renounce her love for him. She refused and he had Myra arrested by the end of "Crazier For You" when he exposed her for stalking him with illegal spy gear in her room to the police. At the time of the show's series finale, Steve and Laura were officially engaged to be married. When Myra learned about their engagement, she was furious and continued to carry the torch for him as he drifted off into outer space. It's unknown what happened to her after that.
Waldo Geraldo Faldo
Waldo was part of Family Matters from 1990 to 1996. For most of the time Waldo was featured on the show, he was a friend of Eddie Winslow (the son of the show's main characters, Carl and Harriette Winslow) and the Winslows' quintessential nerdy neighbor, Steve Urkel. In season 2, he started off as Willie Fuffner's friend, but though he generally had no ill intent and was not quite the bully that Willie was, he still nonetheless ignorantly followed Willie's lead. The two got arrested for bringing alcohol to a party, and Waldo presumably ended their friendship afterwards. His character was rewritten as a good guy and friend of Eddie's. Like Urkel (the show's most famous character), Waldo was an outlandish, almost surrealistic character. While Urkel was the resident nerd, Waldo was the resident idiot. Waldo has reached the point where he even annoys Urkel. Waldo was discovered to be a great chef. Waldo had also been afraid to walk, until he was 10. He dated Laura's best friend Maxine for many seasons until breaking up with her after he left for culinary school. He is also mentioned to have a sister named Quesadilla. When asked why she was named Quesidilla, Waldo says because she was born in Taco Bell. So it was either Quesadilla or Burrito Grande. ("And that's a stupid name!")
Waldo's most famous trait was his dimwittedness and uncanny ability to misinterpret a simple question, comment, or directive. He is, however, an excellent cook. His catchphrases include: "Cool", "No prob, Bob!", and "Sup". Waldo has also shown that he has a sense of morality in three key episodes. In Season 3's "A Test of Friendship," he calls Eddie out for wanting to cheat on their chemistry test and tells him that he should've known the consequences. In Season 7's "Talk's Cheap," Waldo revealed he was the one who called the show and brought everyone back to their senses with Stefan's help. In "Tips For A Better Life," he refused to let Eddie move into his house after he hurt his feelings by insulting him while he was drunk. Waldo mentions that anyone who drinks and insults friends is no friend of his.
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Recurring characters include:
- Barry Jenner as Lt. Murtaugh (1990–1992): He is Carl's unreliable and obnoxious second boss and has a crush on an unwilling Rachel and tries to date her a couple of times. Murtaugh is seemingly tolerant of Urkel when they bond over root beer floats about their love lives, but later shows his greedier side when he impudently takes the young nerd's money over a poker game.
- Sherman Hemsley as Capt. Marion Savage (1994–1995) He is Carl's loudmouthed third boss who is much more obnoxious than Murtaugh. He has a fiancée named Lois who works at a stripper club and is not too happy when Carl tells him about it. Savage is a good friend of Urkel and is revealed to be a member of the same cheese club that Steve is in.
- Dick O'Neill as Commissioner Geiss (1996–1998) Carl's final boss. Although somewhat gruff, he was far more tolerable and showed more patience, respect and faith in Carl than previous bosses. He eventually promotes Carl to captain when his son expresses that Carl deserves it more.
- Bridgid Coulter as Jolene Santiago (1990-1991) Eddie's first serious girlfriend.
- Tammy Townsend as Greta McClure (1995–1998) Eddie's second serious and final girlfriend and another one of Laura's friends. She has difficulty coping with her ill-tempered, controlling and unreasonable father, who does not approve of her relationship with Eddie. She and Myrtle Urkel became enemies to each other immediately upon first meeting, and several following episodes centered on their battle to ward each other off from Eddie.
- Shavar Ross as Weasel (1992-1994) Another friend of Eddie and Waldo from high school, and was also a friend of Ted Curran, one of Laura's ex-boyfriends. "Weasel" was jerkish, obnoxious and highly irresponsible, persuading Eddie to break curfew and to gamble on sports games without enough money to pay the lost bet.
- Ebonie Smith as Penny Peyser (1989–1990) Laura's best friend from season 1 and like Rodney, has no patience for Urkel's antics.
- Cherie Johnson as Maxine Johnson (1990-1998) Laura's best friend and Waldo's girlfriend until Waldo's departure from the series. Although Maxine is the series' longest recurring secondary character, she was never officially part of the main cast. Maxine has been attracted to many handsome boys and dated several boyfriends throughout the series, both seen and unseen. However, Maxine's judge of character regarding boys is arguably as inept as Laura's, as she has similarly dated many selfish and unfaithful boyfriends, and even shared some of the same antagonistic suitors as Laura. Eventually, she would give the eccentric Waldo a chance and was surprised to establish a loving and enduring relationship with him. But after Waldo's departure from the series, Maxine set her sights on other boys.
- Patrick J. Dancy as Ted Curran (1992-1993) Laura's boyfriend and cousin of Myra Monkhouse. Although once antagonistic towards Urkel, and even to Laura, he was one of Laura's few consistent and level-headed boyfriends, even seeking forgiveness for betraying Laura's trust and reconciling with her. While his role in the series was brief, he played a critical role by being the one who introduced his cousin, Myra Monkhouse, to Urkel. While Myra became a permanent character soon afterwards, Ted no longer appeared after he and Laura argued and broke up offscreen.
- J. Lamont Pope as Curtis Williams (1995-1997) Another one of Laura's boyfriends and a race car enthusiast. Steve didn't like his profession and didn't want Laura to ride in his race car for good reason. Despite his antagonistic first appearance, he and Laura restarted a better relationship during the cloned Stefan's stay in Paris. After Stefan returned, Curtis and Laura broke up in season 8 and he started dating Maxine.
- Kim Valentine as Cassie Lynn Nubbles (1991–1992) A stereotypical arrogant blonde and Laura's rich and spoiled rival who tried to get everything she wanted, including being student president of the school. When Cassie attempted to use unflattering photos to blackmail Laura, Urkel enlisted Eddie to shoot photos of the nerd kissing her to blackmail her back, forcing her to compete for the student president election fairly, which ended in Laura's victory.
- Clyde Kusatsu as Principal Shimata (1990–1994) Friendly towards Steve, but has been annoyed by him before. He and Steve often converse with each other in Japanese. He may have a crush on Ms. Steuben.
- Susan Krebs as Ms. Steuben (1990-1992) Steve and Laura's teacher at their school. Although a competent teacher to other students, she is very easily annoyed by Urkel and expresses many headaches around the nerd.
- Tom Poston as Alfred Looney (1994-1995) Vanderbilt High School janitor. He insists that his last name is pronounced "Lou-né" ("It's French"). He gets along well with Steve Urkel, who is the only character who actually called him "Lou-né", or simply Alfred. He enjoys singing, dancing, and theater, and has sung and danced a few times with Urkel for fun. He almost got married, but when left at the altar, he nearly committed suicide before reuniting with another old female friend.
- Ron Orbach as Nick Neitermeyer (1995-1997) Harriette's former boss, later obnoxious neighbor and antagonist to both Carl and Harriette.
- Arnold Johnson (1990-1993), Whitman Mayo (1995), and Edmund Cambridge (1995) as Fletcher Thomas: Estelle "Mother" Winslow's lover, whom she marries. Carl was initially cold to him and disliked his mother dating anyone due to his attachment to his own father, but eventually warmed up to him after learning to fix his behavior. Estelle and Fletcher married, with their wedding in the Winslow house's backyard.
- Randy Josselyn as Rodney Beckett (1989-1990) Eddie's best friend in high school and a practical joker. Like Penny, he had no patience for Urkel's antics and didn't care for him at all.
- Danielle Nicolet as Vonda Mahoney (1991-1992) Eddie's girlfriend for a little while. After Steve tutored her in a class she was failing in, she gratefully offered herself to him. Worried that she may sell herself just to have guys date her, Steve teaches Vonda the dangers of making herself easy, and she learns to accept and respect herself more. Though she felt better about it, Eddie wanted to beat up Steve for interfering.
- Naya Rivera as Gwendolyn (1992-1993) The Winslows' next door neighbor's daughter who has a crush on Richie.
- Gary LeRoi Gray as Little G (1993-1995) Richie's best friend.
- Fred Willard as Vice Principal Mallet (1994-1996) The vice principal of Vanderbilt High School. He doesn't like Steve because of his clumsiness and tried to keep him out of the school public affairs.
- Iqbal Theba as Zoohair Bhutto (1995-1997) Carl's poker friend.
- Larenz Tate as Willie Fuffner (1990-1991) Vanderbilt Middle School's resident bully, to whom Waldo was formerly a friend and henchman. Though he likes bullying Steve, he was mainly antagonistic towards Laura for rejecting him for another boy and forced the guys to the dating sidelines. Steve stood up for her and it lead to a supervised boxing fight between Steve and Willie. Willie and Waldo were also arrested in a later episode for spiking Steve's punch with alcohol.
- Mike Genovese as Coach Westfield (1991-1992) The second coach at Steve, Laura, and Eddie's school.
- Johnny Gill as Himself (1992-1996) Johnny Gill appeared as himself in 2 episodes.
- Patrick Cronin as the science teacher (1992-1994) The science teacher at Steve, Laura and Eddie's school.
- Jaleel White as Stefan Urquelle (1993-1998) Stefan Urquelle was Steve's suave and charming alter-ego, who was everything Laura desired in a boyfriend. Steve originally intended to become Stefan permanently, but found himself juggling between accepting his true self or receiving his long desired love from Laura. Though he learned to accept himself, he would still occasionally and temporarily turn into Stefan when needed. In late season 7, Steve created an identical clone of himself, who used the transformation chamber to become a permanent Stefan.
- Jaleel White as Myrtle Urkel (1990–1998) Myrtle Urkel was introduced as a rich Southern belle whose love for Eddie was equal to that of Steve's for Laura. However, unlike Steve, she never respected Eddie's personal space and kept forcing herself on him much to his extreme horror. Myrtle and Greta McClure became quick adversaries the moment they met.
Notable guest stars
- James Avery
- Garcelle Beauvais
- James Belushi
- Lamont Bentley
- Earl Billings
- Earl Boen
- Johnny Brown
- Ron Canada
- T. K. Carter
- Ellen Albertini Dow
- Christopher B. Duncan
- Jason David Frank
- Missy Elliott
- Ken Foree
- Vivica A. Fox
- Ron Glass
- Sanaa Lathan
- Randee Heller
- Robert Hooks
- Amy Hunter
- Terrence Howard
- Freddie Jackson
- Larry Johnson
- Walter Emanuel Jones
- Dave Koz
- Christel Khalil
- Bill Kirchenbauer
- Richard Kline
- Dave Koz
- Ted Lange
- Emmanuel Lewis
- Elise Neal
- Sanaa Lathan
- Aaron Lohr
- Mark Linn-Baker
- Ziggy Marley
- New Edition
- LaWanda Page
- Holmes Osborne
- Stuart Pankin
- Kyla Pratt
- Freddie Prinze, Jr.
- Greg Proops
- Kelly Perine
- David Ruprecht
- Charles Nelson Reilly
- Jennifer Rhodes
- J. August Richards
- Jack Riley
- Bumper Robinson
- Debra Jo Rupp
- Sam Sarpong
- Marley Shelton
- Bubba Smith
- Kristoff St. John
- Mindy Sterling
- Tracie Spencer
- Donna Summer
- Fred Willard
- Kristoff St. John
- The Bushwhackers
- Ron Taylor
- Rachel True
- Trina McGee-Davis
- Valarie Rae Miller
- Terri J. Vaughn
- Lark Voorhies
- Melanie Wilson
- Paul Winfield
- Pat Morita
- Tanika Ray
- Mason Adams
- Thom Adcox-Hernandez
- Essence Atkins
- Robert Axelrod
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- Fearn-Banks, Kathleen (2006). Historical Dictionary of African-American Television 7. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 135. ISBN 0-8108-5335-3.
- Fisherkeller, JoEllen (2002). Growing Up With Television: Everyday Learning Among Young Adolescents. Temple University Press. p. 178. ISBN 1-56639-953-X.
- "Jo Marie Payton Biography". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- "'Family Matters.' TV's longest-running Black show." Jet. 1997. HighBeam Research. (September 28, 2010). http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-19487249.html
- Michael E. Hill. "Reginald VelJohnson; He and 'Family Matters' Are Rolling." The Washington Post. 1990. HighBeam Research. (September 28, 2010). http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1160632.html
- "Jaleel White on Playing Steve Urkel". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
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