Kellie Shanygne Williams is an American actress best known for her role as Laura Lee Winslow, the perpetual love interest of Steve Urkel on the television series “Family Matters”.
Williams was born on March 22, 1976, in Washington, D.C. She is the oldest sibling in the family, having a younger sister Marti and a younger brother Donte. As a toddler, Kellie Shanygne Williams was quite withdrawn and didn’t speak much. To try to resolve the issue, her father enrolled her in a theater program. This proved to be an enormous success as not only did Kellie Shanygne Williams ultimately came out of her shell, but she fell in love with acting and furthermore made a career out of it.
Initially, Kellie Shanygne Williams started her career as a children’s fashion model and starred in TV commercials. However, she was much more into the theater and thus made many appearances on stage, including “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “The Colored Museum,” “Butterfingers Angel,” and “Goin’ Home”.
In 1989, Kelly Shanygne Williams was offered to appear in “Family Matters”, a spin-off of “Perfect Strangers”. She played the role of Laura Lee Winslow, the middle child of Carl and Harriette Winslow and a love interest for the ever-loving nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel. The show was a huge success and ran for nine seasons, with the final episode airing in May 1997. It is the second longest-running non-animated U.S. sitcom featuring a predominantly African American cast, behind only “The Jeffersons” which aired for eleven seasons. A big part of that success can be attributed to the love-hate relationship between Williams’ character Laura and the nerdy Urkel, played by Jaleel White. The role of Laura Lee Winslow subsequently marked Kellie Shanygne William’s career.
After “Family Matters” ended its nine-year run, Williams had very few roles, appearing as a guest star in “Moesha” for a couple of episodes and a side character in a TV movie called “After All”. At the time, Kellie Shanygne Williams was more interested in her education, subsequently majoring in psychology at the University of California (UCLA) in June 2000. The same year, she began acting in TV series “What About Joan” that lasted for two seasons. After that, she guest starred in a few TV series with a couple of minor roles in movies – “In the Mix” from 2005 and “Steppin: The Movie” from 2009, which proved to be her last major acting engagement to this day.
In 2006, Williams created the Kellie Williams Program with co-creator Jeff Rawluk (to whom she was previously romantically engaged but split in 2003) in the Washington D.C. area. The program provides
Washington, DC students aged 14-20 an opportunity to produce a television show to air on Comcast Cable Local On-Demand. This sort of social engagement is common for Kellie Shanygne Williams, who was a part of a number of projects such as “The Starlight Foundation International Youth Ambassador,” “Famous Phone Friends,” “Great Beginnings for Black Babies,” and “Hollywood for Children.”
In 2009, she married Hannibal Jackson. In June 2010 she gave birth to a daughter named Hannah Belle Jackson. Two years later, Williams gave birth to a son named John Ervin Jackson. She is currently residing in Washington DC with her family.
Kelly Shanygne Williams is 5′ 6″ (1.68 m) tall. Her middle name is pronounced Sha-neen. One interesting bit from her days filming “Family Matters” is that while their characters had a continuous love-hate relationship, in real life she and Jaleel White were actually quite good friends, eating lunch regularly and even sharing the same tutor during the taping of the show.
What’s Kellie Shanygne Williams Doing Now?
Kellie Shanygne Williams is strictly a family woman these days. It seems that she has quit acting altogether and focused on being a devoted mother and raising her two kids with her husband. Williams offered a small glimpse into her family life when she appeared in an episode of “Celebrity Wife Swap” in 2015. She swapped lifestyles and husbands with 90’s singer CeCe Peniston. We learned from the episode that Kellie Shanygne Williams lives a traditional lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom with her husband being the sole breadwinner.
Kellie Shanygne Williams still enjoys dancing and singing and keeps being involved in various charitable projects in Washington. So far, it seems like her acting career has taken a backseat to her family raising. Who knows, maybe we’ll see her act once her kids get a little bit older.
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