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Jaleel White Net Worth

Jaleel White Net Worth
Net Worth$10,000,000
Full NameJaleel Ahmad White
Date of Birth/AgeNovember 27, 1976 (age 42)
Height5’11’’
Source of wealthActor, Voice Actor, Producer, Writer
Country of originU.S.
State/City of originCulver City, California
Last Updated2019

Net Worth

Jaleel White net worth is 10 million dollars.

Much of White’s worth has come from his appearance in 204 episodes of the television show, “Family Matters.”

Although White achieved great wealth and fame from that show, he has since struggled to break out of the shadow of the character that made him rich and famous.

But unlike other former child actors, White has remained a working actor through parts in a variety of television programs.

 

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Although White has been acting since the age of 3, his greatest claim to fame came in 1989 when he was cast as Steve Urkel. When he debuted as the character, he earned an impressive salary of 100,000 dollars per episode.

It might be difficult to imagine now, but Steve Urkel was only supposed to be in one episode of “Family Matters.” What was supposed to be a brief cameo by Jaleel White’s character occurred on episode 12 of the very first season?

But audiences loved the character of Steve Urkel, and the character became so popular that Urkel came back for the very next episode.

 

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The character of Urkel, as played by White, would go on to appear in three other television shows. Jaleel White would also have the opportunity to play 8 different characters on “Family Matters.”

By the show’s final season in 1997, White was making $180,000 per episode. White also had a merchandising clause that provided him with up to 5 percent of the net profit made from Urkel merchandise.

Considering that Urkel appeared on lunchboxes, view-masters, backpacks, games and art kits, fees from merchandising made up a considerable part of White’s net worth.

 

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Early Life

Jaleel Ahmad White was born on November 27, 1976. He was born in Culver City, California and his family later moved to Pasadena. His mother, Gail White, worked as a manager, while his father, Michael White, worked as a dentist.

Jaleel grew up as an only child. While he began acting at a very young age, his parents also emphasized a strong educational background.

 

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Jaleel attended the John Marshall Fundamental High School and South Pasadena High School before graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2001 with a degree in film and television.

The White family also believed in a strong moral background. Although many other child actors would experience difficulties with drug and alcohol abuse, Jaleel would not fall prey to those circumstances. He has always been very outspoken about not indulging in drugs or alcohol.

 

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Personal Life

White stands at 5’11” tall. Although acting, film, and television have always been the main source of entertainment for White, he also enjoys painting and writing short stories.

His personal romantic life has been very rocky. White has one daughter, Samaya, who was born in 2009. White has always been a very active and enthused father and posts many candid photos of his daughter on social media.

 

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While there is no doubt that White is a loving father, the relationship with Samaya’s mother, Bridget Hardy, ended with allegations of cheating and abuse. Hardy and Jaleel began a relationship in 2006 and broke up in 2012.

After the break-up, Hardy alleged to “Star Magazine” that Jaleel pushed her so hard into a toilet seat that the seat broke. Hardy also alleged that White tried to keep her pregnancy a secret so that he could continue to maintain a “playboy image.”

Bridget also alleged that White called her “white trash” because she wasn’t working. According to Hardy, White offered her 200,000 dollars to give up custody of their daughter.

Ultimately, no charges were ever filed against White for the alleged abuse.

 

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Career

White began his career in 1984 at the tender age of 3, when he made his debut on “The Jeffersons.” The next big role that White auditioned for was the character of Rudy Huxtable, who was originally intended to be a male character.

The next major role came when White was cast in “Charlie and Company.” The show did not become a hit with audiences and was canceled in 1986 after only one season.

From 1986 until 1989, White continued to act in a series of one-shots and guest appearances in television shows such as “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” “Mr. Belvedere” and “One to Grow On.”

 

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But in 1989, White was cast as Steve Urkel, which would be the most defining role of his career. After 50 frat boys in the audience started chanting the character’s name, the producers of the show realized that Urkel would be a breakout character.

When the adult actors began to take a backseat to the character of Urkel, there grew to be resentment on the set. White told the LA Times that “there was some jealousy… not with the kids on the show, though.”

 

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Bill Bickley, who worked as an executive producer on “Family Matters,” told the LA Times that “some of the adults in the cast” were also upset about Urkel’ popularity. But ultimately, both the cast and crew knew that Urkel’s popularity contributed to the show.

Urkel was so popular on the show that Jaleel White eventually played seven other characters, including Myrtle Urkel and Stefan Urquelle.

After “Family Matters,” White went on to star in a variety of television and film projects, including:

  • “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”
  • “Sonic Underground”
  • “Dreamgirls”
  • “Kissing Cousins”
  • “Our Friend, Martin”
  • “Grown Ups”
  • “Fake It Til You Make It”
  • “Total Blackout”
  • “Drunk History”
  • “Me, Myself & I”

Throughout his career, he has won several awards, mostly for his role as Steve Urkel. He won the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award in 1996. He has won the NAACP Image Awards a total of three times.

 

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Interesting Facts

The famous glasses that Steve Urkel wore came from White’s father. Michael White used those glasses to keep debris out of his patient’s eyes.

While both Jaleel and Michael assumed they would be replaced later, they became such a staple of the character that they remained part of his costume.

In 2018, White was the subject of a death hoax. Posts across Facebook ran with the title of “RIP Jaleel White.” It became a trending topic on Twitter until one of White’s representatives confirmed that he was not dead.

 

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Highlights

Jaleel White began his impressive career as an actor at the age of 3. Although it would take nine more years of commercials, small parts, and failed auditions to land his defining role, he eventually became a household name as Steve Urkel.

Facing jealousy from adult actors, difficulty in branching out into new roles and domestic problems in his personal life, White continues to act and expand his wealth well into the 21st century.

 

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Favorite Quotes from Jaleel White

“Did I do that?”

“And so for better or worse, the crown jewel of my legacy still remains Steve Urkel and Stefan Urquelle.”

“Somehow our youth doesn’t get honored; our youth just gets hazed.”

“Kids get roughed up in showbiz. It ain’t always drugs.”

 

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Tips for success from Jaleel White

1. Embrace what you are known for and include it as part of your career. While other child actors have been reluctant to embrace the roles that made them famous, Jaleel White has always embraced the legacy of Urkel.

2. Don’t be afraid to diversify your career, even if it’s not guaranteed to work in the long run. Although he is certainly best known for playing Urkel, Jaleel White has never shied away from branching out and trying new parts. This ability to take risks in his career has allowed him to continue to grow his wealth and fame.

 

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