Shawn Wayans is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer best known for his work on the comedy television series In Living Color and the Scary Movie film franchise. He is also part of the famous Wayans family, which includes his siblings Keenen Ivory, Damon, Kim, and Marlon Wayans.
Early Life and Education
Shawn Mathis Wayans was born on January 19, 1971, in New York City, the ninth of ten children of Elvira Alethia (Green), a homemaker and social worker, and Howell Stouten Wayans, a supermarket manager. His family were once Jehovah’s Witnesses. Wayans attended the Bayard Rustin High School for the Humanities and graduated in 1989. He grew up in the Chelsea district of Manhattan’s Fulton Houses.
Wayans began his career as a DJ on the sketch comedy show In Living Color, created by his brother Keenen and featured his siblings Damon, Kim, and Marlon, as well as other comedians such as Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx. He later became a featured performer on the show, playing various characters such as Homey D. Clown’s sidekick and a member of the rap group The Head Detective.
Wayans then co-created and starred in the sitcom The Wayans Bros. with his brother Marlon, which aired on The WB from 1995 to 1999. The show followed the lives of two brothers who shared an apartment in Harlem and worked at a newsstand and a diner. Wayans also co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in the spoof film Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996), which parodied various urban movies such as Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society.
Wayans achieved mainstream success when he co-wrote and co-starred in the horror comedy Scary Movie (2000) and its sequel Scary Movie 2 (2001), directed by his brother Keenen. The films mocked popular horror films such as Scream and The Exorcist and became box office hits, grossing over $400 million worldwide. Wayans played Ray Wilkins, a closeted gay football player who was one of the targets of a masked killer.
Wayans continued to collaborate with his brother Marlon on several comedy films, such as White Chicks (2004), where they played two FBI agents who disguised themselves as white socialites to solve a kidnapping case; Little Man (2006), where they played a criminal who posed as a baby to retrieve a stolen diamond; and Dance Flick (2009), where they spoofed various dance movies such as Step Up and Save the Last Dance. Wayans also voiced characters in the animated series Waynehead (1996-1997) and Animals. (2016), as well as in the children’s films Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness (2006) and Thugaboo: A Miracle on D-Roc’s Street (2006).
Wayans has three children with his ex-wife Ursula Alberto: Laila, Illia, and Marlon. He is also an uncle to several nieces and nephews involved in show business, such as Damon Wayans Jr., Damien Dante Wayans, Chaunté Wayans, Craig Wayans, and Nala Wayans.
Shawn Wayans Net Worth
Shawn Wayans has an estimated net worth of $30 million as of 2021. He earned most of his wealth from his acting, writing, producing, and stand-up comedy career. He also owns a production company called Second Generation Entertainment with his siblings.
Shawn Wayans stands at 6 feet 2 inches or 188 cm tall. He has a slim build and weighs around 80 kg or 176 lbs. He has black hair and dark brown eyes.
Awards and Nominations
Shawn Wayans has won five awards and received nine nominations for his work in film and television. Some of his notable awards include:
- BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Box Office Movie for White Chicks (2005)
- MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss for Scary Movie (2001) shared with Marlon Wayans
- NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for The Wayans Bros. (1997)
- Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple for Little Man (2007) shared with either Kerry Washington or Marlon Wayans
- Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay for Little Man (2007) shared with Keenen Ivory Wayans and Marlon Wayans
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