Airing from 1996 to 2002, “The Steve Harvey” show entertained millions of households for years while shooting several of its cast members to global stardom.
“The Steve Harvey Show” debuted in the late nineties. It followed the life of a former R & B music sensation, Steve Hightower, who fell on hard times after being unable to secure a sustainable job as a musician.
His hunt for a means of livelihood led him to become a high school music teacher. However, nothing could have prepared him for the group of troublemakers he wound up having to deal with at school.
Worse still, he had to do so while coming to terms with his new reality of working a 9 to 5 job. Between transforming from his former life as a celebrity and confronting mischievous high schoolers daily, Hightower made a handful of friends and “foes,” each contributing to making his new life bearable.
Remarkably, Steve Harvey played the celebrity-turned-teacher, Steve Hightower, ultimately marking his career-defining role. But he was hardly the only star who made a name for themselves on the WB series.
Many like him have achieved Hollywood stardom since their time in the show. Here is a list of “The Steve Harvey Show” leading cast members who made it big in the industry and what their lives look like over two decades later.
1. Merlin Santana
Merlin Santana easily became the most beloved member of “The Steve Harvey Show” cast, thanks to his vacuous onscreen persona.
The legend played the major role of Romeo, a troubled kid at Booker T. Washington High School, Chicago. Despite his initial dislike for Hightower, he soon grew fond of the new music teacher.
In later episodes, Romeo slowly dropped the protective shell he built around himself. Eventually, he developed a father-son dynamic with Steve Harvey’s character.
While the WB series remains his most notable work, Santana had other credits, including “The Cosby Show,” where he starred previously. Additionally, he appeared on “Moesha” “NYPD Blue,” and 2002’s “Showtime.”
Sadly, the icon passed away in 2002, after sustaining a gunshot to the head. Three people were convicted in connection with the murder.
2. Wendy Raquel Robinson
Wendy Raquel Robinson rose to fame as part of “The Steve Harvey Show” cast. She played Regina “Piggy” Grier, the principal at the fictional Chicago high school.
In real life, Robinson is an accomplished actress, known for such movies as “Ring Master,” “Miss Congeniality,” and “A Thin Line Between Love And Hate.”
Her other notable credits include “The Game,” as sports agent Tasha Mark, and “Descendants,” where she played villainous fashionista Cruella de Vil.
3. Cedric The Entertainer
Hightower’s stay at Booker T. Washington High School would never have been complete without other supportive teachers by his side. One character that stuck by him was the gym teacher who went on to become his best friend.
Playing the role of the jolly character was comedic actor Cedric the Entertainer. The icon went on to achieve great success, becoming one of the most successful entertainers in the industry.
Some of his top movies include “The Barbershop,” and “Big Momma’s House.” He also lent his voice to animations like “Ice Age” and Madagascar,” and served as host on the twelfth season of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”
4. William Lee Scott
William Lee Scott portrayed another rebellious student at Booker T. Washington, Stanley “Bullethead” Kuznocki. For six seasons, the character stood by Romeo’s side as his best friend and “partner in mischief” who eventually bonded with Hightower.
Two decades after the show went off-air, Scott is still active in the industry. He starred in several films and TV shows, including “Criminal Minds,” “October Sky,” and “Gone In 60 Seconds.”
5. Terri Vaughn
Starring as Lovita Jenkins, Principal Grier’s secretary, Terri Vaughn stamped her name on the wall of stardom. She has spent the last two decades nurturing her career to greater heights, with such movies as “Meet The Browns,” and “All Of Us.”
She also has credits in “Sugar Mommas,” “Daddy’s Little Girls,” and the OWN drama series, “Greenleaf.”
6. Netfa Ifeyinwa Perry
African-American actress Netfa Perry is best known for her role as Sara in one season of “The Steve Harvey Show.” Although short-lived, the star left a lasting impression in viewers’ hearts during her stint as Bulletthead’s love interest.
Thankfully, her ousting from “The Steve Harvey Show” cast did not mark the end of her acting career. She continued landing roles in films and television shows while embracing other profitable ventures.
Some of her acting credits include “Judging Amy” and “Any Day Now,” as Allissa Rafaello and Brenda Stewart respectively.
7. Tracy Vilar
Tracy Vilair played Sophia Ortiz, a student at Booker T. Washington and Sara’s best friend for one season, garnering widespread recognition.
Since then, she has flaunted her talents in movies like “House,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” and “Partners.” The actress further boosted her stardom during her stint on the long-running medical drama, “Grey’s Anatomy.”
8. Lori Beth Denberg
Comedic actress Lori Beth Denberg added more spice and humor to the dramedy series for six seasons, starring as Lydia Liza Gutman.
The former child star has kept up her acting and comedic pursuits in the last two decades. She made appearances in “Good Burger,” “Dodgeball” and “Malcolm In The Middle,” among others.
At some point, she made a living working as a copywriter for an agency and worked with several non-profit organizations. Denberg also became an ordained minister.
9. Ariyan A. Johnson
Ariyan Arnette Johnson had a short run on “The Steve Harvey Show” as Aisha from 1997 to 1998.
The multi-talented star, who has tried her hands at dancing, directing, choreographing, and acting went on to establish herself in her various fields.
10. Steve Harvey
As the lead character in the 90s sitcom, Steve Harvey certainly earned all the accolades he received during the show and throughout his career.
Following his run on “The Steve Harvey Show,” the actor and comedian took his career to new heights. He landed major roles in several movies and TV shows throughout the noughties. His major works include “Little Big Shots,” and the gameshow, “Family Feud, “
Additionally, the comedian established himself as a television host in self-titled shows like “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” and “The Steve Harvey Talk Show.”
He also authored the best-selling book, “Think Like A Lady, Act Like A Man, ” later adapted into a movie.
Like others on this list, Steve Harvey has continued making waves in the entertainment industry, embracing movie, comedy, and show hosting.
His ventures have easily made him the most successful actor from the Steve Harvey Show cast, and one of the greatest entertainers in the world.
In fact, the star has come a long way since his showbiz debut, so much so that many still marvel at his personal growth and success story.