Best known as slightly geeky would-be ladies' man Dwayne Wayne on the television series A Different World, actor Kadeem Hardison's engaging onscreen persona and easy flair for comedy has earned him steady work as a supporting player in both film and television. Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1965, Hardison became interested in acting when he was in his early teens, and he began studying theater at New York's Eubie Blake Theater, where one of his instructors was Earle Hyman, who later portrayed Grandpa Huxtable on The Cosby Show. Hardison's work with Hyman helped win the young actor a guest spot on a 1984 episode of The Cosby Show, playing opposite Lisa Bonet; the same year, Hardison made his big-screen debut with a small role in the hip-hop musical Beat Street. Hardison made a handful of appearances in movies and television projects over the next two years, but his debut appearance on The Cosby Show earned him a major dividend in 1987, when Denise Huxtable, Lisa Bonet's character on The Cosby Show, was spun-off into her own series, A Different World, and Hardison was cast as fellow student Dwayne Wayne. While Bonet left the show after its first season, Hardison remained in the cast for its entire seven-season run, and directed several during the show's final two seasons. During his down time from A Different World, Hardison continued to work in motion pictures, with supporting roles in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and School Daze and a leading role in the independent horror film Def By Temptation. After A Different World went off the air in 1993, Hardison concentrated on film work, with roles ranging from the horror/comedy Vampire in Brooklyn to the political drama Panther. In 1997, he took another stab at series television on the short-lived sitcom Between Brothers, and began adding more TV guests spots to his resumé, appearing on Touched By an Angel, Just Shoot Me, and the revived Fantasy Island, while still maintaining a busy schedule of film work. In 2008 he played a small role in the romantic comedy Made of Honor, and co-starred in the 2011 horror Ashes, which followed a doctor who unintentionally releases a deadly plague.
Biography by Rovi
- Studied acting at the Eubie Blake Theater in New York City.
- TV debut was on the 1981 ABC after-school special Color of Friendship.
- First regular TV role was on the NBC comedy Different World, which ran 1987-93.
- Has won several NAACP Image Awards.
- Was the inspiration behind ex-wife Chanté Moore's 1999 hit song "Chanté's Got a Man."