Jaleel White: 'I Really Don't' Miss Playing Steve Urkel

10/17/2011 at 06:30 PM EDT

Jaleel White: 'I Really Don't' Miss Playing Steve Urkel
Jaleel White in the '90s (left) and today
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage, Bob D'Amico / ABC
Jaleel White most notably played geeky, annoying neighbor Steve Urkel on the '90s sitcom Family Matters – but since then, the actor, who has portrayed Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley and a member of the opposite sex, doesn't feel recognized for his ability to take on a variety of roles.

"I'm very versatile, but somehow I didn't earn the tag of being called a versatile actor," White, 34, tells PEOPLE. "I'm still chasing that one Vanity Fair tag that says, 'This guy's a versatile actor.' I accept it. It's fine. But for me, it's like what do I have to do to get that [acknowledgement]?"

White, who says he gets "recognized everywhere I go," isn't big on reminiscing about the days of playing the character who made him a household name.





"I don't [miss playing Urkel]," he says. "I really don't. I'm not trying to get away from it or anything like that, but I don't miss the role at all – really. I just want to work. I want my daughter to say, 'I know what Daddy does,' not 'what Daddy did."

White – who most recently played an inmate on Fox's House, M.D. earlier this year – guest stars as a scheming wealthy director on the season premiere of fellow former child star Tatyana Ali's latest sitcom, Love That Girl!. The actor says it's "cool" sharing a screen with Ali, who he hasn't filmed with since his small stint on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air many years ago.

The episode, which airs Monday night at 8 p.m. on TV One, is the first of many more roles to come, predicts White.

"I just want people to know I haven't gone anywhere," he says. "The passion was gone for awhile, but I've got my mojo back."

Jaleel White: 'I Really Don't' Miss Playing Steve Urkel| TV News, Jaleel White, Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali and Jaleel White

Aaron Whitmore

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

What to Watch Today

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters