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Terry Crews Biography


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Birth Name: Terry Crews
Born: 07/30/1968
Birth Place: Flint, Michigan, USA


Born Terry Allen Crews on July 30, 1968 in Flint, MI, he was the son of Patricia and Terry Crews, Sr., who, by all accounts, ran an extremely disciplined household. A physically imposing figure, even from a young age, the young Crews' love of sports was only equaled by his interest in drawing. After earning his high school diploma from Flint Southwestern Academy, he received a Chrysler-sponsored art scholarship at the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts in Northern Michigan. This achievement was soon followed by an equally impressive Art Excellence scholarship and a full-ride athletic scholarship for football at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. As a defensive end for the WMU Broncos, Crews earned All-Conference honors and helped his team win the Mid-American Conference Championship in 1988.

In 1991, Crews was drafted into the NFL as an 11th round pick by the Los Angeles Rams. After two relatively unremarkable years in L.A., Crews was traded to the San Diego Chargers for another couple of seasons, before being handed off to the Washington Redskins and finally the Philadelphia Eagles, where he finished his NFL career in 1996. Maximizing his time spent on and off the gridiron, the still artistically inclined Crews created a line of lithographs that were licensed to the NFL. After retiring from professional football, Crews set his sights on a second career as an actor and relocated to Los Angeles. Two years later, he made an explosive appearance on "Battle Dome" (syndicated, 1999-2001) - a short-lived extreme sports competition - where he took the nom de guerre of "T-Money." The following year the budding thespian made his feature film debut with a small role as a hired killer in the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi thriller "The 6th Day" (2000).

After an uncredited appearance as a gang member opposite Denzel Washington in director Antoine Fuqua's intense crime drama "Training Day" (2001), the sportsman-turned-actor quickly popped up in bit parts in a number of films. Typically cast as the beefcake bad guy, Crews was seen in projects as diverse as the romantic-comedy "Serving Sara"(2002) and the urban comedy sequel "Friday After Next" (2002), starring writer-producer Ice Cube. Similar parts came his way in the battle-of-the-sexes comedy "Deliver Us from Eva" (2003) and the lowbrow Jamie Kennedy spoof "Malibu's Most Wanted (2003), prior to a somewhat meatier role in "Baadasssss!" (2003). Written, directed and starring Mario Van Peebles, it was a somewhat fictionalized account of his father, Melvin Van Peebles' ground-breaking and controversial blaxploitation film "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" (1971). From there he rotated through more familiar tough guy roles in features like "Soul Plane" (2004), "Starsky & Hutch" (2004) and "White Chicks" (2004).

With a somewhat larger role, Crews was given the opportunity to flex a bit more of his comedic muscle - and past NFL experience - in the Adam Sandler comedy hit, "The Longest Yard" (2005). A remake of the Burt Reynolds prison football classic, it brilliantly cast Crews as "Cheeseburger" Eddy, a thoroughly fearsome footballer with a soft side. Crews so impressed his "Longest Yard" co-star, Chris Rock, that the comedian handpicked him to play the integral role of his father on his semi-autobiographical sitcom, "Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN, 2005-06/The CW, 2006-09). A fictionalized depiction of Rock's misadventures as a child growing up in 1980s-era Brooklyn, the show debuted to solid ratings and critical praise. While earning kudos for his portrayal of Julius Rock on the series, Crews continued to appear in feature film projects, including a cameo as a poker-playing bully in the Rob Schneider baseball comedy, "The Benchwarmers" (2006), produced by Sandler.

Beginning to acquire a solid reputation as a comedic actor, Crews was given one of his more memorable roles in Mike Judge's sci-fi satire "Idiocracy" (2006). Cast as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, the leader of a future dystopian society in which the population has become incredibly stupid and lazy due to the effects of rampant consumerism, Crews was an outrageous highpoint in the under-seen film. Almost as laugh-out-loud funny was his brief turn as the doomed Freddy "Fingers" Wilson, a player in a deadly ping-pong competition in the Bruce Lee parody "Balls of Fury" (2007). Crews was also given the chance to show he could play it straight in roles like a formerly corrupt LAPD officer targeted for assassination in "Training Day" writer David Ayer's gritty crime drama "Street Kings" (2008). Of course, comedy was still Crews' bread and butter, as evidenced by his hammy turn as Agent 91 in the big screen adaptation of the classic spy comedy "Get Smart" (2008), starring Steve Carell as CONTROL Agent Maxwell Smart.

By now, Crews' grittier roles were nearly equaling his comedic turns and he played Resistance fighter Captain Jericho opposite Christian Bale in the third sequel in the popular sci-fi action franchise "Terminator Salvation" (2009). He saw even more action as Hale Caesar, a big mercenary with an even bigger gun, in writer-director-star Sylvester Stallone's action ensemble "The Expendables" (2010), featuring an all-star roster of classic and contemporary macho movie heroes, including Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis. Seemingly everywhere, Crews began appearing in a series of hilariously bizarre commercials for Old Spice "Odor Blocker Body Wash," directed by the off-the-wall comedy team of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Busier than ever, he did double duty as the star of his own reality series "The Family Crews" and the sitcom "Are We There Yet?" The reality show followed Crews and his unconventional clan as they dealt with the career of their muscle-bound patriarch and the needs of the continuously changing family dynamic, while the sitcom was a spin-off based on the popular Ice Cube family feature franchise.

Crews briefly appeared as an atrociously abusive fitness-boot-camp trainer in the comedy smash "Bridesmaids" (2011) then returned as Hale Caesar in the blood-soaked sequel "The Expendables 2" (2012), the latter of which added the likes of Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to its roster, along with an expanded role for Crews' old "6th Day" co-star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. On television, Crews picked up a recurring role on Aaron Sorkin's topical drama "The Newsroom" (HBO, 2012- ) as Lonny Church, a bodyguard and personal life coach assigned to look after controversial cable news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). He also briefly appeared as a celebrity contestant on the military-themed competition show "Stars Earn Stripes" (NBC, 2012), only to be eliminated in the second round. In 2013, Crews had a particularly busy year, appearing in the fifth "Scary Movie" installment and turning up in the revitalized sitcom "Arrested Development" (Fox/Netflix, 2003-06, 2013). He also joined the cast of the cop comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox, 2013- ), starring Andre Braugher and Andy Samberg, and took over for Mr. T in voicing the law-enforcing character of Earl Devereaux in the wacky animated hit "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2."




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