Steve Urkel Was Only Supposed to Appear on Just One Episode of ‘Family Matters’

Jaleel White as Steve Urkel

Actor Jaleel White is best known as Steve Urkel on the 90s TV sitcom Family Matters, but many don't know that he was originally only supposed to make a one-time guest appearance on the show, but viewers took to him immediately.

White made his TV debut at age three and went on to make several notable commercial appearances, including one with Bill Cosby for Jell-O pudding pops. He was chosen to play the infamous role of Urkel in 1989 when he was 13 years old.

Family Matters aired on ABC for nine seasons on Friday nights from 1989 to 1997, and for his performance, White was nominated for and won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Comedy Actor in a Comedy Series. After the show ended, he starred briefly in a CBS show called Block Party from 1997 to 1998, then in the 2019 television series Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?

Later, he went on to star in the brief-lived UPN comedy series Grown Ups 1999-2000, and then he took a temporary break from acting to study film and television at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, where he graduated in 2001.

He made a comeback to acting in the 2006 film Dreamgirls and even made guest appearances on Boston Legal, Castle, Fox's House, ABC's Castle, and USA's Psych.

He also served as the host of the Syfy game show Total Blackout in 2012, and in 2020, White took on the recurring character of Terry in the Netflix series The Big Show Show.

Follow him on Instagram @JaleelWhite