Reginald VelJohnson was an American actor who was best known for his roles as Sgt. Al Powell in "Die Hard" (1988) and as the family patriarch Carl Winslow on the long-running sitcom "Family Matters" (ABC, 1989-1997). Born and raised in Queens, New York, VelJohnson was primarily known for playing cops in both films and on television. One of his first cop roles was a small scene in the blockbuster comedy "Ghostbusters" (1984). He also played a law enforcement official in the TV movie "Kojak: The Belarus File" (1985), and in the 1987 comedy "Plain Clothes." VelJohnson's first big break, however, came in 1988 when he was cast opposite Bruce Willis in the action film "Die Hard." Of course, VelJohnson played a cop in the film, Sgt. Al Powell, which went onto become a smash hit at the box office. VelJohnson reprised his role as Sgt. Powell in "Die Hard 2," which came out in 1990. VelJohnson could have forever been remembered for his role in "Die Hard," but fate would prove otherwise. In 1989 he was cast as a father, who just happened to be a police officer by day, on the American sitcom "Family Matters." The show was a breakout hit and a staple of ABC's primetime block of family-friendly Friday night programming known as TGIF. As Carl Winslow, VelJohnson was a familiar face to American families throughout the 1990s. "Family Matters" ran for nine seasons on ABC, before ending its run in 1998. VelJohnson continued acting regularly after "Family Matters" ended, both in films and on television, most notably with recurring roles on "Mike & Molly" (CBS, 2010-16) and "Hart of Dixie" (The CW, 2011-15). Furthermore, in 2018 VelJohnson appeared in two films, "Funny Story" and "The Prayer Box," proving he had no intention of slowing down.
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