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Darius is a familiar face to TV series fans. Pehaps his most notable role was as "Eddie" on the hit comedy series "Family Matters". He currently stars on NBC's new comedy "Committed" as "Bowie James". Since launching his career at the tender age of 10 alongside veteran actor Paul Winfield in the film “Big Shots,” McCrary went on to be featured in many other films, including the Oscar-nominated “Mississippi Burning” and John Woo’s “Hostage.” However, it would be his role as Eddie Winslow in the hit television series “Family Matters” where he would make his mark on the small screen. Airing for over nine years, “Family Matters” would go on to become the second highest-rated African-American sitcom of all time -- behind only the monumental “The Cosby Show.” After “Family Matters,” McCrary starred in many more films, including “Kingdom Come,” John Carpenter’s “Vampires: Los Muertos,” “15 Minutes” and “Don King: Only in America,” where McCrary would receive critical acclaim for his powerful role as Muhammad Ali. Returning to television, McCrary has made guest appearances on such television series as “Moesha,” “Kingpin,” “City of Angels,” “Girlfriends” and “dr. vegas.” He revisits his television roots in the new NBC series “Committed,” starring Emmy Award winner Jennifer Finnigan (NBC’s “Crossing Jordan”), Josh Cooke (“Without a Trace”), Tammy Lynn Michaels (“The L Word”) and Tom Poston (“Newhart”) -- and written by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, the writing and producing team behind such award-winning shows as “Murphy Brown” and “Roseanne.” In addition to his full rehearsal and performance schedule, McCrary also spends a significant amount of time further developing his already impressive musical gifts. An accomplished vocalist, blossoming composer and aspiring recording artist, McCrary’s taste and style blend R&B, jazz, neo-Soul and inspirational music. McCrary was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his performance in the World Wide Picture release “Something to Sing About.”McCrary currently resides in Los Angeles.
Darius McCrary was born on May 1, 1976, in Los Angeles, California. Darius became involved in acting when his aunt, Chip Fields (mother of actress Kim Fields), was cast in a play whose musical director was Darius' dad. Chip, known for her ability to spot new talent, asked Darius' dad if she could take her nephew on an audition. Darius' first role was opposite Paul Winfield in "Big Shots," from which he went on to appear in many television series and commercials. His favorite was a spot as "Wendell," a petty thief on a show called "Hooperman." Darius says of the experience, "I love John Ritter; he was just awesome to work with." Darius also delivered a critically-acclaimed performance in the film "Mississippi Burning," as a young man who is racially harassed.
On "Family Matters," Darius feels like he is home at last. In fact, he describes his dressing room on the set, where he frequently hangs out with his friends Balthazar, Zack and cousin Corey, as "the pad-during-the-week!" Says Darius of the close relationships the nine-member cast share, "They're all great ... we have a real sense of closeness. It's like a family; we all understand each other!"
When you speak to Darius, you get the feeling that a strong sense of values and morals is important to him. He lists those two qualities as the main reasons the audience finds the show so attractive. Darius spends a large portion of his free time working with charity organizations to give something back to his community, by helping to feed the homeless and "kickin' it" with a group called "Sons of Thunder," reformed street youths from his uncle's church. They go on graffiti hunts where they locate and paint over graffiti. "It reminds me that just because I'm successful now, it doesn't mean things will be the same tomorrow," Darius explains.
This sense of values and a respect for his parents is something that Darius looks for in the girls he dates, as well. Darius admits, "I don't have a girlfriend right now but l am looking!"
Besides dating, Darius enjoys a whole slew of hobbies and sports. He loves racing remote-controlled cars with his uncle and cousins, playing basketball, going to batting cages and reading everything from biographies ("The Autobiography of Malcolm X" is a particular favorite) to the poetry of Shel Silverstein ("Anything I can learn from," says. Darius).
Darius' major hobby these days seems to be music. He plays the drums, sings and dances, and loves doing all of them whenever he has the chance. He often works with his dad, creating new songs which he calls "mellow with a groove to 'em." Could a recording career be far off? Who knows? As for singers he looks up to, Darius shouts, "Marvin Gaye's the man! But I also love Stevie Wonder and Johnny Gill."
Darius attends school with an on-set tutor Tuesday through Friday, and goes to a regular school on Monday. He loves going back to his old school and "kickin' it with all my homies ... all the crazy guys at school." And Darius has recently discovered something very interesting about himself. He likes algebra. In fact, he calls it his favorite subject! Says Darius, "You know what's really a trip? I really like algebra. I hated it and trigonometry at first and it was just a pain in my side ... but now I'm actually beginning to like it! I never thought I‘d hear myself say that!"
One of Darius' favorite experiences was a visit to the set of "Hook," which was filming on a set adjacent to "Family Matters." Darius met Robin Williams, who took him on a tour of the giant pirate galleon used in the flick. Darius enjoys all the great things that being on television has brought bim, but he also recognizes the special responsibility that comes with being a young star coming into children's lives every week. With Darius' convictions and obvious strength of character, you can believe he'll try to be a great role model.
Darius McCrary, one of today’s hottest young actors, has lit up the small and silver screens for well over a decade with appearances in feature films, television shows and theaters.
Returning to television, McCrary has made guest appearances on such television series as “Moesha,” “Kingpin,” “City of Angels,” “Girlfriends” and “dr. vegas.” He revisits his television roots in the new NBC series “Committed,” starring Emmy Award winner Jennifer Finnigan (NBC’s “Crossing Jordan”), Josh Cooke (“Without a Trace”), Tammy Lynn Michaels (“The L Word”) and Tom Poston (“Newhart”) -- and written by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, the writing and producing team behind such award-winning shows as “Murphy Brown” and “Roseanne.”
In addition to his full rehearsal and performance schedule, McCrary also spends a significant amount of time further developing his already impressive musical gifts. An accomplished vocalist, blossoming composer and aspiring recording artist, McCrary’s taste and style blend R&B, jazz, neo-Soul and inspirational music. McCrary was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his performance in the World Wide Picture release “Something to Sing About.”
More fun stuff about Darius McCrary
His Height: 5'9"
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eyes Color : Dark Brown
Darius Began His Career: At the age of one!
His Hobbies: Hanging out with his uncle's church group, the S.O.T., racing remote-controlled cars, playing basketball, karate, air boarding, bungee jumping, soccer, football, playing keyboards and drums, and singing.
Little-known Darius Facts:
· He eats only healthy foods and loves to juice everything. He jokes that he sees orange from drinking so much carrot juice.
· His ultimate goal is to be a versatile actor, who can do both comedy and drama à la Michael Keaton.
· He has a younger brother and sister.
Darius McCrary never wanted to act
Darius McCrary is best known for being a regular on the popular, long-running TV series "Family Matters." McCrary has also starred in feature films like "Big Shots" and "Mississippi Burning." In the World Wide Pictures' film "Something to Sing About," he plays Tommy - a person who wants a better life, but who's checkered past makes for a cloudy future. Editor Susan Brill caught up with Darius on the set to discuss his role in the film.
SB: Darius, we didn't know that you could sing! How do you feel about making your musical debut in this movie?
DM: I haven't released anything, but I was raised in a godly family and I was raised to sing. I mean, I didn't think I would act. I never wanted to act.
DM: It was totally God saying, "Here, I'll give you this." I never wanted to act, and sometimes I still don't.
SB: How did you get into it, if you never wanted to act?
DM: My dad was doing a play which has an apropos title, "Don't Get God Started." He was doing the music for it, and I would go to rehearsal with him. Chip Fields saw me and said, "This boy has so much energy. Let me just take him, let me just try." I was just like, "Whatever." My mom said, "No, you're not going to have my baby out there. No, no, no, no. He's a preacher." That's what everybody prophesied ever since I was little. "You're going to be a preacher." I went on the call, and, sure enough, I got it and it all worked out.
SB: How old were you then?
DM: I was nine at the time, and I got the role by the time I was about 10. Chip Fields, she's the reason I'm in this business. She started so many people in this business.
SB: Do you have mixed feelings about it now? Would you rather be singing?
DM: Yes and no. I'm not going to fight it. I figure, everything in God's perfect timing. He knows all, and there may be a reason why I'm acting and not singing. I feel that they are both - for lack of a better word - they're both evil. But acting is the lesser of the evil, I feel.
SB: Why do you think that is?
DM: Well, because I feel there is a lot that comes with this business whether you're acting or singing. Greed, jealousy. There are just a whole lot of things that come with it. I've just seen people so jaded and changed, and you know they have to lose everything to come back to God. It's like, "Why man? Just do it right the first time."
I've been so blessed. But this business to me has a lot of responsibility with it. I feel that singing is the one that's more evil because it has a lot of underlying tones. There's a lot more you are responsible for. You have to go with what's kind of "in" if you want to be successful.
I mean gospel projects aren't "in" right now...but the cool thing about this project is that it's a gospel project, and it's real.
I can honestly be happy doing this project, and I don't have to sell myself. Nine times out of ten, to get a hit record, you have to go out there half-naked and have naked girls in your video. I mean it's the truth.
Kirk Franklin is a very blessed individual to be able to do what he does, to go speak his testimony. God gave him directly what he has, and God usually does that to people. God gives you what He wants you to have, which is why I say that I'm very happy that I was able to do both [acting and singing] and in this order.
Darius McCrary co-star in the new comedy ''Committed''
Initially titled "Crazy for You," the name of this sitcom was changed to "Committed," perhaps so as not to offend the mental health community.
After all, why offend one special interest group when, with a subpar script, over-the-top performances and exaggerated characters, you can offend the entire universe of viewers? OK, maybe "offensive" isn't exactly the right word. Especially when "shrill" and "humorless" are available.
In this sitcom from Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, Marni (Jennifer Finnigan), a terminally perky and slightly loopy young woman, meets and becomes smitten by Nate (Josh Cooke), a neurotic and obsessive pack rat who works at a used-record store. Despite hitting it off from the start, he's unable to ask for her phone number, and she doesn't think to provide it. Forget about how they will meet again. The bigger question is how they have managed to avoid court-appointed guardianship.
Nate's friend is his co-worker Bowie (Darius McCrary), a sometime voice of reason when he's not suffering an occasional attack of macho behavior. Marni's friend is Tess (Tammy Lynn Michaels), the libidinous nanny in the apartment across the hall. To bolster the weirdness quotient, there's Tom Poston, who plays an unnamed clown who lives in Marni's walk-in closet. She explains his presence as a condition of her sublease, though it seems more like a case of too much caffeine in the writers' room.
Finally, there's recurring character Todd (RonReaco Lee), a wheelchair-bound cobbler adept at using his disability to embarrass and humiliate Nate. Their rivalry is the best part of this series, though even this theme has been exploited for more laughs on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Of greater concern, though, is the fact that none of these characters, including Marni and Nate, have enough heft to carry this sitcom, resulting in a cast with all supporting characters and no real leads.
Director Gary Halvorson, armed with a script less sophisticated than dinner theater in Ottumwa, coaxes excited, superanimated performances that practically turn Marni and Nate into parodies of sitcom characters. Cooke and Finnigan appear desperately in need of Prozac, which all but conceals Finnigan's innate charm and Cooke's good timing. Even the solid production design and set decoration can do little to offset the sitcom's fundamental flaws.
Perhaps if "Friends" was still on the air, NBC would have scheduled this show after that one, as it had with so many other disappointing sitcoms. Instead, "Committed" gets a spot on Tuesday nights, thanks to the disappearance of underappreciated and hastily burned-off "Father of the Pride."
Cast: Nate: Josh Cooke; Marni: Jennifer Finnigan; Bowie: Darius McCrary; Tess: Tammy Lynn Michaels; Clown: Tom Poston; Todd: RonReaco Lee.
With patience, you might get 'Committed'
Love can be crazy. Who can say what attracts strange people to each other — or people to strange TV shows?
And make no mistake: Committed, NBC's new series about two comically damaged human beings drawn together by mutual attraction and neurosis, is about as odd as network sitcoms get. Which means odds are, it will repel many of the people it most wants to attract.
Still, in a season in which sitcoms are neither getting nor deserving much affection, my advice to the comedy lovelorn is to give the somewhat twisted Committed a chance. As the two Jung lovers, Nate and Marni, Josh Cooke and Jennifer Finnigan make you root for a union that might otherwise make you fear for the future of mankind should they breed. Through skill and charm, they bring out the underlying sweetness in a show that is sometimes a little too frenzied in its efforts to be funny.
Two admitted "wack" jobs, Nate and Marni are the types who chase love away, often through inappropriate first-date sharing. ("And I'm like, wait, you can't touch me there, you're my uncle!")
He comes from a family of geniuses who do great things and go insane so he works in a record store to cheat destiny. She's upbeat and a tad more socially adept, though she keeps a dying clown (sitcom vet Tom Poston) in her closet because he came with the apartment. It sounds mean, but as she explains, "He's used to small spaces. You know the cars."
Clearly Nate and Marni are made for each other, though their friends aren't convinced. Her neighbor Tess (Tammy Lynn Michaels), an alcoholic nanny, takes one look at his apartment and tells her, "We should probably go. The police are going to want to talk to you before he kills again."
This week, the couple meet and match. Future plots are, let's say, different. In one, his friend Bowie (Darius McCrary in a big leap from Family Matters) discovers that the Chinese tattoo he thought meant "fiery strength" actually means, "Of two men who love each other, you are the one who plays the woman." In another, Nate's efforts to bond with Marni's passive-aggressive wheelchair-bound friend Todd (RonReaco Lee) over basketball collapse when Nate becomes inappropriately competitive.
At times there does seem to be an air of desperation to Committed — not uncommon in today's comedy climate, in which nothing seems to be working. Here's the bottom line: I'm willing to go with the dying clown, but move him out of the closet and into his own room.
Unlike most sitcoms this season, Committed is worth nurturing. I'm not in love yet, but I like the show enough to hope it gets something resembling intelligent network support.
Call me crazy.
Darius McCrary's family matters
To most Redondo Beach residents family matters, and Darius McCrary is no exception. The 25-year-old actor who played Eddie Winslow on the hit TV show "Family Matters" for nine years is quick to recognize the importance of family. After all, his father, Howard Mccrary, was the one who helped launch his career.
A talented musician, in 1985 he wrote, arranged in starred in his own play. Darius often went to rehearsals with his dad, and was encouraged by others take up acting. "I used to go to rehearsals, and was just being a gregarious, inquisitive child."
His mother, whom he describes as a strong-minded person who raised successful children, never let him take advantage of his good fortune. Nor did she let her other children. Both his brother and sister are currently going to college on partial and full scholarships. In turn he eagerly credits his influences, mentors, and friends.
"I've been blessed from day one. I grew up around really talented people. It was normal for me to be sitting in a room watching Barry White play dominoes," McCrary said. Later it became normal for him to be working with the likes of Gene Hackman, William Defoe, Robert DeNiro, Ving Rhames, Paul Winfield, Vivica Fox, Jada Pinkett, Erma Pete Hall, and Loretta Divine, amongst others.
"When you are around that all the time it inspires you to stick to acting. Because I feel there's always going to be a role out there that’s gonna warrant the gift God has given to me," McCrary said.
A special inspiration to him is his friend Ving Rhames. "He's my mentor, he's a great actor. There are just certain people you connect with," McCrary said. And he had enough years in the business to create a supportive group of friends. "It's really cool growing up in the industry because everyone has watched you grow up. Of course along with that comes pressure," said McCrary. Pressure to make good decisions within the industry, and most importantly, to stick with it. Fortunately McCrary does, and has quite an array of roles to show for it. A vampire in "Vampires: Los Muertes," a street tough, unambitious son in "Kingdom Come," a 1960s youth victimized by racial harassment in "Mississippi Burning." His favorite, and most challenging role, came from a HBO movie called "Don King: Only in America" in which he got to play Muhammad Ali. It was one of the first Muhammad Ali portrayals.
Still, he probably wouldn't play a boxer again. He is constantly searching for new roles and new challenges.
"I generally shy away from things I have already done. It's all about character growth, it's about what makes you grow as an actor," McCrary said. "It's hard to find roles though because you have to figure out what you see yourself as. You have to define those lines and stick to them otherwise you will be whisked into every project that comes your way. "
Not just any kind of project, he is also busy with a budding singing career. Right now he is working on an R&B album due out in about a year. "I could never do without my music. It's my first love. I was born into it," McCrary said.
But you don't have to be born into something for it to feel natural. The series that made him famous, "Family Matters", created another family for him.
"After nine years you just become a family. It wasn't really even like a job after awhile," McCrary said. And like any good family member he still keeps in touch with all his "relatives". In fact it was a friendly, familial atmosphere and the laid back beach environment that drew him to Redondo Beach. And for him, family matters.