Don’t Call It A Comeback: He’s Been Here for Years



When people think of Hollywood, the list can go on and on about whom their favorite actors are. 

However, when people think of “Black Hollywood,” they can probably list their favorite black actors on one hand.  Why is that? 

So many talented Black actors today do not get nearly as much recognition as they deserve.  They have perfected the art of the profession by proving that they can be versatile and can adapt to any genre. 

Allen Payne has proven this repeatedly.  The ladies love him for his charm and good looks and the brothers can relate to him because of his “keeping it real” attitude. 

Don’t call it a comeback because the brother has been around for years.  This veteran actor has mastered his craft and deserves all the accolades that come his way.

Some remember him from his early days of acting as the wisecracking Lance Rodman on the “Cosby Show” and “A Different World.”  Others may remember him as the southern – love interest, Jason, to Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Lyric in the movie “Jason’s Lyrics.” His most memorable role that fans of all ages know him best as was Gee-Money in the 1991 hit movie “New Jack City” where he was the right-hand man to Nino Brown played by Wesley Snipes.

This talented brother stars every Wednesday night on TBS as C.J. Payne on Tyler Perry’s new hit sitcom “The House of Payne.” Allen Payne plays the lead role in this comedy where he is a loving husband and father whose world is turned upside down when his wife’s drug addiction causes the family to move in with his aunt and uncle. 

Once his wife has been admitted into rehab, fatherhood takes on a completely new meaning for him. Fans can appreciate Payne’s latest role portraying a strong, Black male figure whose number one priority is taking care of his family.  Since Hollywood has a way of portraying so many Black actors in a negative way, “The House of Payne” portrays a Black man in a way that has become obsolete in our society today. 

Tyler Perry is definitely contributing to shining a positive light on Black males and fatherhood by using an entire Black cast. 

When Payne was asked if he thought having an all-Black cast was important, his response was, “I think to show life as a reality is important.  I don’t think any of us live in an all-anything world anymore. I think it’s important that art reflects life.”   

Payne, 38, was born and raised in New York where he began acting.  During his earlier years when most Black males are at a very influential stage, Allen began acting as one of the ways that helped keep him out of trouble. 

Rumor has it that he turned down a chance for lucrative, steady work on television to pursue a career in features.  Allen Payne has consistently chosen the right roles and has proven that he is definitely a force in Hollywood. 

Payne says, “I’m going to do my part and just try to leave a legacy of a brother who worked hard, who understood who he was and spent a lot of time trying to help others reach that same point in their lives.”


            Allen Payne’s Credits Include:

  • Cosby Show (1990-1992) television sitcom
  • New Jack City (1991) motion picture
  • CB4 (1993) motion picture
  • Jason’s Lyrics (1994) motion picture
  • Vampire In Brooklyn (1995) motion picture
  • The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) movie
  • Blue Hill Avenue (2003) movie
  • Men Cry in the Dark (2005) stage play
  • The House of Payne (2007 – ) television sitcom

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