There are certain actors who stay on in our minds as happy, unforgettable memories. Allen Payne is one of those actors for sure. Although it has been quite some time that he has been out of the spotlight, his portrayal of C.J. Payne in the 2006 sitcom ‘Tyler Crosby’s House of Payne’. He has also featured in several other television shows as well as Hollywood movies.
His acting talent had captured the attention of the viewers and his career was on the rise but he suddenly took a hiatus from acting. Despite his absence, the audiences remember the intense actor due his strong character portrayals. As of April 2017, his net worth is estimated to be about 5 million USD. Allen is not very active on various social media platforms and likes to keep his personal life private.
Allen was born in Harlem area of New York City which is infamous for its poverty and high crime rates. Allen’s childhood and teens were spent on the streets and was quite trouble with his affinity towards various criminal gangs. His parents then enrolled him for acting classes at the local youth club which supposedly turned his life over for the better. He found his passion from acting and decided to make it a career.
His first television appearance was during 1990 in ‘The Cosby Show’ where he was a regular for two seasons. The name of the character he played was Lance Rodman. Referred to as the ‘biggest TV hit in the 1980s’, ‘The Cosby Show’ provided Allen his much needed exposure and break. Soon he landed several other roles in leading television series like ‘A Different World’(1992) which was a spin off from The Cosby Show and he continued in the role of Lance Rodman. Next on his plate was ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ aired in 1992 where he played Marcus.
Next were the TV movie ‘Double Platinum’ in 1999 and the series ‘All of Us’ in 2004. He also appeared in an episode of Forensic thriller ‘CSI: NY’ in 2004. He landed his first major role in television as Clarence James(C.J.) Payne in the sitcom ‘Tyler Perry's House of Payne’. He played the Fire Fighter for six consecutive series of the sitcom. His portrayal of the character earned him rave reviews from viewers and critics alike.
He has also worked in several major feature films portraying a wide range of characters. From playing second-in-command to a gang lynchpin, to faking the ‘gansta’ attitude to succeed as a rap-star to a romantic young man enamored with an unattainable woman, Allen played all his avatars with equal conviction. Incidentally his film career began earlier than his television career. He worked on his first film in 1989, which was ‘Rooftops’. Since then he has acted regularly in movies. Some of them are, CB4 (1993), The Walking Dead (1995), The Perfect Storm (2000), 30 Years to Life (2001) and Crossover (2006).
After 2006, Allen concentrated on his role in ‘Tyler Perry's House of Payne’ till 2012. Since 2012 he has been away from limelight.
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What Makes Allen Payne So Special
Allen Payne is one of those actors who have the rare talent to make the most inconsequential of roles memorable by the virtue of their performance. His acting talent and performances have been regularly appreciated by the critics and viewers were eager to see him giving life to yet another memorable character.
His portrayal of Gerald "Gee Money" Wells; the drug lord sidekick opposite Wesley Snipes in the 1991 film New Jack City was one of the most critically acclaimed performances of that year. Allen claimed that he took inspiration for the character from his days in the streets of Harlem and his neighborhood gang leaders.
He has a striking appearance with piercing brown black eyes, more than six feet in height and considerable bulk. Although he is not very active on social media, his fans keep a track of the fine actor’s progress and are eagerly waiting for his next venture.
Not much is known about Allen Payne’s personal life. He was born in and grew up in Harlem, New York City and has another sibling whose name is not known. Allen is exceptionally close to his family and was extremely upset after the death of his mother, Barbara. Death of his mother was the main reason for him withdrawing from the public eye. It was speculated for quite some time that Allen might be gay. But none of these speculations could be confirmed.