Damon Wayans

Active - 1984 - 2016  |   Born - Sep 4, 1960 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Like his older brother, Keenan Ivory Wayans, African-American performer Damon Wayans matriculated from standup comedy to series television to movies. He was a regular on TV's Saturday Night Live and -- along with virtually everyone else in the Wayans family -- In Living Color. Exhibiting a fondness for the outrageous, Wayans attracted both adulation and condemnation for his many In Living Color characterizations, notably the dour Homey the Clown and the excessively effeminate co-host of the "Men on Film" skits. Damon's first film was 1984's Beverly Hills Cop 2; he has since functioned as co-star (with brother Marlon Wayans), co-producer, co-writer, and director of Mo' Money (1992), and has been heard but not seen as the voice of a troublesome baby in Look Who's Talking 2 (1992). In 1995, Damon Wayans played a role once essayed by Charlton Heston, in Major Payne, a remake of Heston's The Private War of Major Benson (1955).

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  • Born with a clubfoot; wore leg braces and corrective shoes until the age of 15.
  • Began his career as a stand-up comic in 1982.
  • Penned the 1999 book Bootleg, a collection of his humorous takes on topics ranging from family to racism.
  • Was named one of TV GUIDE'S 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time in 2004.
  • Had his first novel, Red Hats, published in 2010.
  • Appeared on his son Damon Wayans Jr.'s sitcom Happy Endings, playing the father of Damon Jr.'s character, in April 2011.