Damon Wayans is an African American actor and comedian who is famous for his role on the popular sitcom “In Living Color”. He was born in New York City to a social worker named Elvira Wayans and a supermarket manager named Howell Wayans. The family were strict Jehovah’s Witnesses and Wayans and his 9 siblings (five sisters and four brothers) were not allowed to socialize with other children in the neighborhood. This is why the siblings had a close bond with each other, and occupied their time entertaining each other with comedy sketches. Damon first appeared in stand-up comedy acts around 1982. He also made a brief appearance on the Eddie Murphy film “Beverly Hills Cop” in 1984.
For two years, Wayans was a regular on the hit comedy show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) but he was fired in 1986 for going off script and portraying the character of a police officer as gay instead of straight. Another stint he did during the 1980s was a TV show called “Solid Gold”. His main claim to fame is the hit television show “In Living Color” which was created by his brother Keenen for FOX TV. The show had a mainly African American cast and ran from 1990 to 1994. Wayans left the show in 1992 to started working in films. His film career included several prominent films such as “The Last Boy Scout”, “Major Payne” and “The Great White Hype”. Wayans also wrote and starred in the film “Blankman”.
Damon Wayans was considered for the role of “The Riddler”, the villain in the blockbuster movie “Batman Forever”. The role was eventually awarded to comedian Jim Carrey, who had been Wayan’s co-star on the show “In Living Color”. He also produced a cartoon series called “Waynehead” in 1996 which aired on The Warner Brothers Television network. It was semi autobiographical, based on Wayne’s childhood experiences growing up as a club footed boy (which, in fact, he was). The show only ran for a year before being shut down by the network due to lackluster ratings. His next project was a short drama serial called “413 Hope St.” for which he was the executive producer.
In 1998, Wayne starred in a comedy TV series on FOX called “Damon” in which he played the role of a detective. Between 2001 to 2005, he was the star of the ABC comedy series “My Wife and Kids” after which he starred in the comedy series “The Underground”. The show was also produced by Wayans and starred his son alongside him. The same year he also hosted the Black Entertainment Television Awards. Wayans has two books to his credit. The first is a New York Times bestseller called “Bootleg” which he co-authored with David Asbery. The book is based about his family life and was published in 1999. The second is a fiction novel called “Red Hats” which is about a 65 year old woman who is on the verge of suicide but learns to find happiness with the Red Hat society. This was published in 2011.
Damon Wayansstill performs comedy sketches and also has a company that develops mobile applications. He was married to Lisa Thorner with whom he has four children. The couple divorced in 2000. He has four Emmy award nominations to his name, and has won the People’s Choice Award for his role in the show “My Wife and Kids”.