*No matter how many roles Reginald Veljohnson has taken on since the end of “Family Matters,” he will always be Carl Winslow to folks of a certain age.
The 59-year-old Queens native is currently putting in recurring work as Dash DeWitt on the CW series “Hart of Dixie” and as Brother Heywood on CBS’s “Mike & Molly.” And beginning next month, a whole new generation will come to know the veteran actor as Able, a voice in the upcoming Disney XD series, “TRON: Uprising.”
The show, premiering Thursday, June 7 at 9 p.m., takes place between the 1982 “TRON” film and last year’s “TRON: Legacy.” It follows young program Beck (Elijah Wood), a new character who becomes the unlikely leader of a revolution inside the computer world of The Grid.
Veljohnson’s Able is a father figure to Beck and his friends, Mara (Mandy Moore) and Zed (Nate Corddry); and he owns the garage where the three of them work. Able appears to be a good guy in the TRON universe, but Veljohnson warns that his character has “a dark past” – which will be revealed as the series progresses.
“Basically he’s a good guy, because he cares about the young programs. He cares about Beck and Mara and Zed,” he told EURweb during interviews for the series. “He warns them against the troubles of the villains that he knows – Tesler (Lance Henriksen), and maybe even Tron (Bruce Boxleitner). He knows more about them than they do and he tries to warn them in his fatherly way.”
Veljohnson, the only “Family Matters” cast member to appear in every episode of the show’s nine-year run knows a little something about playing father figures. Just ask Urkel.
In fact, Veljohnson says “Family Matters” fans ask him about the show’s nerdy next-door-neighbor to this day, even though the sitcom has been off the air since 1998. Below, he attributes the continued interest to reruns – which splashes the Winslows and Jaleel White’s Steve Urkel across television screens every day.