Blake McIver Ewing is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, model, reality-television personality, a former go-go dancer, and child-actor. He is best known for playing Michelle's friend, Derek, on the hit family sitcom ‘Full House’ in the early ‘90s, opposite Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. He is also recognised for his role as ‘Waldo’ in the iconic feature-film adaptation of ‘The Little Rascals.’ Later, he appeared in movies like ‘Tarzan,’ ‘Raising Helen,’ and portrayed the little boy in ‘Ragtime’ - a performance for which he received an ‘Ovation Award’ nomination. Blake came out as homosexual in 2010, shortly after which he dropped ‘Ewing’ from his name. Ewing is a proud gay, and often speaks out about the ‘LGBTQ’ issues and the need for gay role-models for queer and homosexual youngsters who’re still discovering themselves and trying to find their voice.
Childhood & Early Career
Blake was born on March 27, 1985, in Los Angeles, California, to Bill Ewing and Susan McIver. Both his parents had a successful showbiz career in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. He has a brother, Zack, also an aspiring actor.
His father is a former actor, writer, director, and producer, known for films like ‘Meteor’ (1979), ‘The Slayer’ (1982) and ‘Christmas Child’ (2004). He was a senior executive with ‘Sony Pictures’ from 1986 to 2001, and retired as a senior vice-president. He is also the founder and the president of ‘Every Tribe Entertainment’ and the not-for-profit production outfit ‘Bearing Fruit Entertainment.’ His mother was a part of Dean Martin’s ‘The Golddiggers.’ She was a fan-favorite in the 12-member group, and its captain, between 1972 and 1973.
Blake got his acting break at the age of 7, after winning the junior vocalist competition on ‘Star Search’ (1992) with host Ed McMahon. Over the next few years, he made several appearances on TV shows, such as ‘Full House’ (9 episodes between 1992 and 1995), and ‘The Nanny’ (1993).
His made his feature film debut in 1993 in ‘Calendar Girl’, playing a 6 year-old. A year later, he was cast as ‘Waldo’ in ‘The Little Rascals’ (1994).
His gig on ‘Full House’ was initially planned as a single-episode guest spot, but impressed by his performance on ‘Star Search,’ the producers of the show decided to turn his special ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ feature into a recurring affair for the next three years. Ewing later described the experience as “one of those show business dreams” coming true.
In 1995, he appeared in films such as ‘Problem Child 3: Junior in Love’ and ‘Tom and Huck’, and featured on TV series, such as ‘Minor Adjustments’ (1995-1996) and ‘Clueless’ (1997). This was followed by a number of voice-acting roles in ‘Tarzan’ (1999), and as ‘Menlow’ in the animation series ‘Recess’, between 1997 and 2000.
He appeared in an episode of ‘The Drew Carey Show’ and lent his voice to the character ‘Eugene’ on both the series as well as the movie version of ‘Hey Arnold!’
He appeared in his last role of a minor, singing in a church choir in ‘Raising Helen’ (2004).
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He has kept a low profile since the early 2000s. After graduating from the ‘UCLA,’ he worked as a go-go dancer in Los Angeles throughout 2013 - which funded the production of his first album, ‘The Time Manipulator,’ which released in May 2014, along with the music video for the single, ‘Wish I Didn’t Need You.’
He has co-written and performed in the track ‘Along the River’ (from the soundtrack of the film ‘End of the Spear’), which was written and produced by his father, and has also contributed to the ‘It Gets Better Project’ on account of his own experiences while growing up as a gay teenager.
After a long absence, Ewing appeared on the premiere episode of Bravo's social-experiment series, ‘The People's Couch,’ on October 6, 2014. The unscripted reality-show consisted of witty commentary on popular TV shows and news from the past week, with Ewing hosting alongside fellow gay entertainer Scott Nevins.
On July 14, 2015, Ewing came out with an ‘equality anthem’ titled ‘This Is Who We Are.’ Since then, besides appearing as a host for ‘AfterBuzz TV,’ he has worked in the comedy ‘A Very Sordid Wedding’ (2017), alongside Whoopi Goldberg.
Family & Personal Life
Blake has stated in an interview that at the age of 14, he almost became a gay teen suicide “statistic,” but his music and the piano saved him. He has also gone on record saying that he struggled with body dysmorphia and ate very little while in college. “It’s a messed up, twisted way of thinking. When I realized I could own my own body and train it and do with it what I wanted to and make my own decisions, it was incredibly empowering,” says the actor.
Despite his fame as a child-actor and musician, Ewing was able to come out of the closet without much attention.
Blake is an avid television watcher and a fan of the series ‘Mad Men.’ He also likes reality shows like ‘So You Think You Dance.’ He, however, despises watching reruns of his childhood shows - “It’s always jarring. It’s very funny. My nieces call it Baby Blakey. When I see myself it’s like a different life and a different person.”