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Terry Crews

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Terry Crews
Terry Crews by Gage Skidmore 4.jpg
Crews in July 2013
Born (1968-07-30) July 30, 1968 (age 48)
Flint, Michigan, United States
Occupation Actor, football player
Years active 1991–1997 (football)
1999–present (acting)
Spouse(s) Rebecca King (m. 1990)
Children 4
Website Official website

Football career
No. 51, 90, 94
Position: Defensive end / Linebacker
Personal information
Height: 6 ft 2.5 in (1.89 m)
Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school: Flint Southwestern Academy
College: Western Michigan
NFL Draft: 1991 / Round: 11 / Pick: 281
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 32
Tackles: 57
Assists: 38
Player stats at

Terry Alan Crews (born July 30, 1968[1]) is an American actor and former American football player. He currently appears as NYPD Sergeant Terry Jeffords in the Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

In football, Crews played as a defensive end and linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams, the San Diego Chargers and the Washington Redskins, as well as in the World League of American Football with Rhein Fire.

As an actor, Crews has played Julius on the UPN/CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris and Nick Kingston-Persons in the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? He has also been the host of the syndicated game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and starred in the BET reality series The Family Crews. He has also appeared in a number of films, including White Chicks, Idiocracy, and the Expendables series.

Early life[edit]

Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, the son of Patricia and Terry Crews Sr.[2] He grew up in a strict Christian household, where he was raised mainly by his mother.[3] After earning his high school diploma from Flint Southwestern Academy, he received a Chrysler-sponsored art scholarship at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, which was followed by an Art Excellence scholarship and a full-ride athletic scholarship for football at Western Michigan University. As a defensive end for the WMU Broncos, Crews earned All-Conference honors and won the 1988 Mid-American Conference Championship.


American football[edit]

Crews was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round of the 1991 NFL Draft.[4] His career included stints with the Rams, the San Diego Chargers, the Washington Redskins, and the Philadelphia Eagles.


After retiring from the NFL in 1997, Crews moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He had held a long-standing ambition to work in the film industry, but up until then had no plans to pursue acting, simply wanting to be involved in some way. A year earlier he had co-written and co-produced the independent feature film Young Boys Incorporated, filmed in Detroit. Self-funded, it had an anti-drug message, and drew on some his own observations of friends and family. Despite describing it as a "horrible" film, he credits the experience with getting him interested in the industry.[5]

In 1999, Crews auditioned for a role as a character athlete (known as Warriors) in the syndicated game show Battle Dome, which became his first acting part. He played "T–Money" for two seasons until its cancellation in 2001. The experience of auditioning gave him the realisation that acting, i.e. performing for an audience, was the direction he wanted his career to take, however he failed to land another acting job for the following two years.[6]

Appearances in commercials, films and music videos soon followed.[5] His break out role came in Friday After Next starring Ice Cube, for whom Crews had previously worked as an on-set bodyguard.[7][8] Having never taken acting classes, he instead simply asked himself what the audience wanted, and believes this ultimately brought him success. He now believes acting is what he was born to do and would not wish to have any other career, despite the physically demanding nature of the work.[5]

Based on his performance in White Chicks, in 2004 Adam Sandler changed a role in The Longest Yard to give it to Crews, who had auditioned for another part in the film.[5] His role as Julius, the father on the UPN/CW sitcom on Everybody Hates Chris brought Crews wider public recognition, airing for four seasons from 2005 until 2009.[8] Since Everybody Hates Chris, Crews has had main roles as the husband/father Nick Kingston-Persons in the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet?, which aired for three seasons from 2010 to 2013, and as NYPD Sergeant Terry Jeffords in the ensemble cast of the Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine–Nine, which premiered in 2013 and was renewed for a fourth season in 2016.

Crews has largely appeared in comedic roles, although he also later found success in action roles beginning with his part as Hale Caesar in The Expendables series, which saw him make his first appearance in a film sequel. Having maintained an athletic physique into his acting career, Crews has been able to avoid being type-cast as a muscle bound action hero, and has instead been able to attain critical success through exploiting the contrast of his elaborate character comedy with his physique, which extends to the point of even mocking the stereotype of the gym obsessive body builder. This contrast has also led to sustained work as part of various noted humourous Old Spice TV commercials.[7][9][10]

Having appeared in voice acting roles in animated productions, such as American Dad! and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Crews found he enjoyed the work and sought out more of it, finding satisfaction in how it carries his spirit into the animation.[8]

Crews cites the many similarities between acting and professional football, including the structure and expectations, as helping his transition between the two careers. He credits Reginald Hubbard with mentoring him in his early career in the film business.[5]

Other television[edit]

In 2010-11, Crews starred in his own reality series on BET, The Family Crews, about his everyday life with his family. It ran for two seasons.

From 2014-15, Crews hosted the syndicated game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.


According to Crews, his first job in the entertainment industry was as a courtroom sketch artist in Flint, Michigan.[11] He later performed the role for the local station, WJRT.[12] During his football career, Crews supplemented his income by producing portraits of fellow players, and in some cases this was his primary income stream which he depended on to feed his family, typically earning $5,000 for a two-month commission. His work included a series of NFL licensed lithographs.[5] His NFL portraits have drawn comparisons to the work of Daniel A. Moore.[11] Crews believes his imaginative side has transferred itself to his film work.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Crews married Rebecca King, a former beauty queen and gospel singer, in 1990. They have three daughters, Azriel (born 1990), Tera (born 1999), and Wynfrey (born 2004), and one son, Isaiah (born 2007). Crews has one step-daughter and granddaughter from his wife's previous relationship, Naomi (born 1989).

Crews is a Christian.[13][14] He is also a hobby painter and sketch artist, as well as an avid PC gamer and YouTube content creator.[12]

In 2014, Crews released his autobiography, Manhood: How to Be a Better Man or Just Live with One.[15] In the book, Crews made public details of his long standing addiction to pornography, which he relayed had seriously impacted his marriage and his life, and which he was only able to overcome around 2009 and 2010 after entering rehabilitation; he now takes an active role in speaking out about the condition and its impact.[16][17][18]



Year Association Category Work Result
2006 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Parental Unit Everybody Hates Chris (Shared with: Tichina Arnold) Nominated
2006 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2007 Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2008 Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2009 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2011 Are We There Yet? Nominated
2011 NAMIC Vision Awards Best Performance - Comedy Are We There Yet? Nominated
2012 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Are We There Yet? Nominated
2013 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Nominated
2013 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Brooklyn Nine-Nine Nominated
2014 Behind the Voice Actors Awards Breakthrough Voice Actor of the Year N/A Nominated
Best Male Vocal Performance in a Feature Film in a Supporting Role Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game Saints Row IV Nominated
2015 Online Film & Television Association Award [19] Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Brooklyn Nine-Nine Nominated
2015 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Brooklyn Nine-Nine Nominated
2016 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Nominated


  1. ^ "Flint native Terry Crews shines on screen". The Michigan Journal. February 6, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Terry Crews attributes his Hollywood star power comedy and dancing in 'White Chicks' and 'Everybody Hates Chris' to his Flint upbringing". Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ "No One Wants To Be With The Marlboro Man: Terry Crews On 'Manhood'". NPR. May 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Terry Crews NFL Football Statistics". Pro Football Reference/USA Today. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Tucker, Mark Lubischer and Betty Jo. "ReelTalk Movie Reviews". Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ Appearance on the Late Late Show with James Corden, September 23, 2016
  7. ^ a b "Terry Crews makes it big.". IFC. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "Terry Crews Talks Meatballs and Superheroes". EBONY. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Watch Terry Crews And James Corden Hilariously Show People How To Work Out - CINEMABLEND". CINEMABLEND. September 20, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  10. ^ "2012 Terry Crews Interview for Expendables 2 |". Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Terry Crews Reveals Secret Art Practice". artnet News. September 4, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b YouTube. 
  13. ^ "Actor Terry Crews Explains "How He Does Everything Unto the Lord" in Hollywood". 
  14. ^ "Actor Terry Crews and his wife say experience will keep them safe from reality TV pitfalls". The Times-Picayune ( February 20, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  15. ^ "No One Wants To Be With The Marlboro Man: Terry Crews On 'Manhood'". May 17, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Terry Crews' New Book Details Struggle With Porn Addiction - Black America Web". Black America Web. May 27, 2014. Archived from the original on May 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ ABC News. "Terry Crews Says Porn Addiction Nearly Ruined His Life". ABC News. 
  18. ^ Brandon Griggs, CNN (February 24, 2016). "Terry Crews: Porn addiction 'messed up my life'". CNN. 
  19. ^ "Terry Crews". Retrieved June 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]