Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Malcolm-Jamal Warner.jpg
Warner in 2007
Born (1970-08-18) August 18, 1970 (age 52)
Years active1982–present

Malcolm-Jamal Warner (born August 18, 1970)[2] is an American actor. He rose to prominence for his role as Theodore Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, which earned him a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the 38th Primetime Emmy Awards. He is also known for his roles as Malcolm McGee on the UPN sitcom Malcolm & Eddie, and Dr. Alex Reed in the sitcom Reed Between the Lines.

Warner also became an executive producer for the PBS Kids series The Magic School Bus, which is also produced by Nelvana, Scholastic, and South Carolina Educational Television. In 2015, he received a Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance for the song "Jesus Children" alongside Robert Glasper Experiment and Lalah Hathaway. He later appeared as Al Cowlings on the FX limited series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Warner currently plays Dr. AJ Austin on the FOX medical drama The Resident.

Early life[edit]

Warner was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was raised by his divorced mother, Pamela, who served as his manager.[2] He was named for Malcolm X and jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal. At the age of nine, he demonstrated an interest in show business which led to enrollment in acting schools. His career as a child performer later led him to graduate high school from The Professional Children's School in New York City, New York.


With appearances and roles on many television shows and films, he landed his most successful role as Theo Huxtable, the only son of Heathcliff Huxtable, who was played by Bill Cosby on the NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992. Warner auditioned for the role on the final day of the nationwide search and was chosen by Cosby himself.

During his tenure on The Cosby Show Warner turned his hand to directing, making music videos including New Edition's "N.E. Heart Break" (1989), rapper Special Ed's "I'm the Magnificent" (1989),[3] and British R&B group Five Star's "I Love You For Sentimental Reasons" (1994).[4] He has directed episodes of many sitcoms, including The Cosby Show, All That, Kenan & Kel, and Malcolm & Eddie. In addition, Warner directed the acclaimed, teen-oriented public health video Time Out: The Truth About HIV, AIDS, and You (1992), which featured Arsenio Hall and Earvin "Magic" Johnson discussing the realities of HIV and AIDS and the best ways to prevent its spread.

He went on to star in Jeremiah, was the voice of The Producer character on The Magic School Bus and co-starred with comedian Eddie Griffin for four years on the UPN sitcom Malcolm & Eddie. Warner continued his career on the CBS sitcom Listen Up! with Jason Alexander and was the host of the literacy-promoting children's show CBS Storybreak. He guest-starred on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air playing the role of Hilary's boyfriend. In 1995, Warner appeared as a homeless man on Touched by an Angel.

In 2003, Warner released his debut EP, The Miles Long Mixtape. In 2007, Warner followed up with his second CD entitled Love & Other Social Issues. In 2009 he guest starred in an episode in the new TNT series HawthoRNe. In 2011 and 2012, he guest starred in four episodes of the NBC series Community as Andre, the ex-husband of Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown). His character subtly referenced his Cosby Show past by wearing a "Cosby sweater" that he stated was from his dad.[5]

He is a bass guitar player[6] and a performance poet, and has performed at the National Black Theatre Festival since 2003, in addition to hosting its Poetry Jam.[7][8]

Warner has co-starred in BET's scripted comedic television series Reed Between the Lines. He played the role of Alex Reed, an English professor married to Carla Reed, a psychologist played by former Girlfriends star Tracee Ellis Ross.[9] The couple had three children: Kaci and Kenan Reynolds, Carla's children from a previous relationship, and Alexis Reed, their child together.[10] The show highlighted the couple's ups and downs together as a blended family. In 2012 Warner was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a comedy series at the NAACP Image awards for his role in Reed Between the Lines.[11] In the spring of 2015, it was announced that Warner would be playing the part of Al Cowlings in the crime series American Crime Story, based on the events of the O.J. Simpson trial.[12]

Warner portrays recurring characters on multiple current TV series. He played prison counselor Julius Rowe on the sixth season of USA network's Suits.[13] On the TNT series Major Crimes he portrays Lt. Chuck Cooper, a member of the LAPD's Special Investigation's Section (SIS) and the love interest of the Major Crime Division's Detective Amy Sykes. He also plays the role of parole officer James Bagwell on Amazon Prime's show Sneaky Pete and as Dr. AJ “The Raptor” Austin on The Resident [FOX].

Personal life[edit]

Warner had a relationship with actress Michelle Thomas, who portrayed his girlfriend Justine Phillips on The Cosby Show, until 1994 and was at her bedside when she died in 1998.[1] He was in a relationship with actress Karen Malina White for seven and a half years.[14] Warner also dated actress Regina King from 2011 until March 2013.[15] He is married with a daughter, and has not disclosed his wife's or their child's name publicly citing privacy concerns.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Show Off! How to Be Cool at Parties Himself
1990 The Real Story of Itsy Bitsy Spider Spinner
1990 The Earth Day Special Theo Huxtable
1994 Drop Zone Deputy U.S. Marshal Terry Nessip
1995 The Tuskegee Airmen Lieutenant Leroy Cappy
1998 A Fare to Remember Winter Valen
1998 Restaurant Steven
2001 15 Minutes unconfirmed
2004 Reflections: A Story of Redemption Samuel Short
2006 The List Randy
2008 Fool's Gold Cordell
2009 Contradictions of a Heart Miles Long Band
2011 King of the Underground Malcolm
2014 Muted Curtis Gladwell Short
2016 Wannabe Luther Short
2017 Shot EMT Jones


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Matt Houston Johnny Randolph Episode: "Stop the Presses"
1983 Fame Lucas Boyd Episode: "Ending on a High Note"
1984 Call to Glory Episode: "A Nation Divided"
1984–1992 The Cosby Show Theodore "Theo" Huxtable Main cast
1985 CBS Storybreak Host
1986 ABC Afterschool Special Charlie Curtis Episode: "A Desperate Exit"
1986 Saturday Night Live Himself Host
Episode: "Malcolm-Jamal Warner/Run-DMC"
1987 Home Alone: A Kid's Guide to Playing it Safe When On Your Own Himself Host
Direct-to-video special
1987 The Father Clements Story Joey Television film
1988–1989 A Different World Theo Huxtable 2 episodes
1989 Mother's Day Cullen Sturgis Television film
1989 Tour of Duty SPC Sweet Episode: "The Volunteer"
1990 Saturday Morning Videos Himself Host
1991 Spider Junior High[17] Spinner Voice, television special
1990–1991 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Himself, Eric 2 episodes
1992–1993 Here and Now Alexander "A.J." James Main cast
1994–1997 The Magic School Bus The Producer Voice
1995 Touched by an Angel Zack Episode: "There But for the Grace of God"
1995 Tyson Rory Holloway Television film
1995 The Tuskegee Airmen Leroy Cappy Television film
1996–2000 Malcolm & Eddie Malcolm McGee Main cast
1997 Moloney Episode: "The Ripple Effect"
1999 Sliders R.J. Episode: "My Brother's Keeper"
2001 Legend of the Candy Cane Rusty Voice, television film
2002 Static Shock Lester Biggs Voice, episode: "Duped"
2002 Lyric Cafe Himself Host
2002–2004 Jeremiah Kurdy Malloy Main cast
2004 Stripperella Episode: "The Bridesmaid"
2004–2005 Listen Up! Bernie Widmer Main cast
2006 Dexter Rita's Lawyer Episode: "Seeing Red"
2008 The Cleaner Jason Anders Episode: "Lie with Me"
2009 HawthoRNe Fred Episode: "Healing Time"
2009 Sherri Kevin Main cast
2010 True Blue Walker MacRae Television film
2010 Special Agent Oso Braden's Dad Voice, episode: "The Living Holiday Lights"
2011–12 Community Andre Bennett 4 episodes
2011, 2015 Reed Between the Lines Dr. Alex Reed Main cast
2013 Key & Peele Arthur Washington Episode: "Episode 21"
2014 The Michael J. Fox Show Russel Episode: "Party"
2013–2016 Major Crimes Lt. Chuck Cooper Recurring role
2014 Sons of Anarchy Sticky 3 episodes
2014–2015 American Horror Story: Freak Show Angus T. Jefferson 3 episodes
2015 Megachurch Murder Rev. Hamilton Spears Television film
2015 48 Hrs Til Monday Television film
2016 American Crime Story Al "A.C." Cowlings 4 episodes
2016–2017 Suits Julius Rowe Recurring role
2017 Lethal Weapon David Reed Episode: "Lawmen"
2017 Detroiters Sebastian Episode: "Hog Riders"
2017–2019 Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Darrell Guest star
2017–2019 Sneaky Pete James Bagwell 6 episodes
2017 Ten Days in the Valley Matt Main cast
2017 White Famous Nelson Youngblood Episode: "Scandal"
2018–present The Resident Dr. AJ Austin Director: 1 episode
Recurring: Season 1
Main: Season 2-present
2023 Accused Kendall Gomillion season 1 episode 4 Kendall's Story


  • The Miles Long Mixtape (2003)
  • Love & Other Social Issues (2007)
  • Selfless (2015)
  • Hiding In Plain View (2022)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards

MD Theatre Guide Readers' Choice Awards

  • 2013: Winner 1st Place, "Best Performance by Lead Actor in a Play" -Doctor John Prentice in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at Arena Stage

BET Comedy Awards

  • 2005: Nominated, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series" — Listen Up

Emmy Awards

Image Awards

  • 1996: Nominated, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" — Touched by an Angel
  • 2001: Nominated, "Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series" — Malcolm & Eddie
  • 2012: Won, "Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series" – Reed Between the Lines

TV Land Awards

  • 2006: Nominated, "Favorite Singing Siblings" — The Cosby Show (shared w/co-stars)

Young Artist Award

  • 1985: Won, Best Young Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy SeriesThe Cosby Show
  • 1988: Nominated, Best Young Male Superstar in TelevisionThe Cosby Show
  • 1989: Won, Best Young Actor/Actress Ensemble in a Television Comedy, Drama Series or SpecialThe Cosby Show (shared w/co-stars)
  • 1990: Won, "Best Young Actor Supporting Role in a Television Series" — The Cosby Show


  • Theo and Me: Growing up Okay (1988) - ISBN 0-525-24694-0 (with Daniel Paisner)


  1. ^ a b Dougherty, Steve (January 11, 1999). "Forever Young". People. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Malcolm-Jamal Warner Biography (1970-)". Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Special ed – Youngest in Charge the Videos". May 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "Music Video: Artists & Music". Billboard (April 2, 1994). Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (January 21, 2011). "'Community': Did you think Malcolm Jamal Warner was the best pick to play Shirley's ex?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "Jazz Interview with malcolm jamal warner". Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "National Black Theatre Festival Poetry Page". Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  9. ^ [1] Archived October 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ willied4 (October 11, 2011). "Reed Between the Lines (TV Series 2011– )". IMDb. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "BET Receives 15 NAACP Image Awards Nominations". February 17, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "American Crime Story: FX Drama Casts Malcolm-Jamal Warner as O.J.'s Pal". May 14, 2015.
  13. ^ "'Suits': Erik Palladino, Paul Schulze & Malcolm-Jamal Warner Join USA Network Drama Series". April 14, 2016.
  14. ^ Jackson, Charreah (April 10, 2009). "Flashback Fridays: Malcolm-Jamal Warner". Essence. Archived from the original on April 13, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  15. ^ Malcolm Jamal Warner, Regina King Calls It Quits After Two Year Relationship (UPDATE)
  16. ^ Malcolm-Jamal Warner Talks Fatherhood, Marriage & Bill Cosby on the Wendy Williams Show
  17. ^ Spider Junior High (1991) at TCM Database

External links[edit]