Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Malcolm-Jamal Warner Returns New Character Isn't Just a Rerun of Theo Huxtable, He Insists

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Malcolm-Jamal Warner Returns New Character Isn't Just a Rerun of Theo Huxtable, He Insists

Article excerpt

EARLIER in television history, many child stars had a few years of glory, then faded from the scene - until their adult tragedies were chronicled in magazines at the check-out counter.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner had a different kind of transition. He prepared to move on in the television and film business almost from the day he joined the cast of "The Cosby Show" at 13.

As America's most popular TV show ended eight years later, "What next?" was a very old question to Warner, and he had many good answers.

"When the show first hit big," Warner recalls, "my mother said to me, `This show could be over next year. What would you do? Are you going back to Santa Rosalia Drive (their home in Los Angeles)?'

"That put me in the position when I was 13 years old where I didn't get a chance to sit back and enjoy being on this No. 1 show, to say, `Hey, I'm a star, life is good!' To me, it was: `What am I going to do when this show is over?' "

Warner maintained a steady schedule of acting classes, striving to broa den his skills. He directed his first "Cosby Show" when he was 18. After the series ended he starred in his own NBC series, "Here and Now." It lasted just one-half season, he says, "because the network didn't get behind it."

He continued appearing in TV movies ("The Tuskegee Airmen," "Tyson"), movies ("Free Fall," "Drop Zone"), and after-school specials, and directed episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "Sesame - Street."

Now Warner co-stars with standup comic Eddie Griffin in "Malcolm and Ed die," which premieres on UPN stations Monday. (In St. Louis, where UPN programs air on a delayed basis, the series will be seen at 2:35 a.m. Tuesdays beginning this week.)

Warner plays a would-be sports commentator, Eddie drives a tow truck. The two - divergent personalities become roommates because their mothers are best friends.

Does this sound like a replay of "The Odd Couple"? …

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