CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER (Nate Johnson/Producer)
Cedric The Entertainer is best known for his crowd-pleasing roles in the recent hit films BARBERSHOP with Ice Cube, INTOLERABLE CRUELTY with George Clooney, and THE ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY, MTV’s documentary feature directed by Spike Lee.
On the big screen Cedric has also been seen in BARBERSHOP 2, BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE with Martin Lawrence, KINGDOM COME with Whoopi Goldberg and SERVING SARA with Matthew Perry. He also displayed his vocal talent in DR. DOLITTLE 3 and ICE AGE.
Cedric will next be seen in THE HONEYMOONERS, in which he will star as Jackie Gleason’s famed character “Ralph Cramden,” BE COOL (the sequel to GET SHORTY) with John Travolta, and LEMONY SNICKET with Jim Carrey.
Cedric has celebrated many career successes spanning television, live performances and film. Some notable accolades include receiving the AFTRA Award of Excellence in Television Programming for his Fox Television series “Cedric `The Entertainer’ Presents...;” a record-breaking four consecutive NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of the lovable “Coach Cedric Robinson” on the WB’s #1 rated “The Steve Harvey Show,” which ran for six seasons. His first comedy book, “Grown-Ass Man” was released in January of 2002 and sold out across the country. In 2001, a viewing audience of over 144 million saw Cedric star in the Bud Light commercial that landed in the #1 spot during the Super Bowl broadcast (subsequently, USA Today dubbed him “Madison Avenue’s Most Valuable Player”). And, in 1994, Cedric received The Richard Pryor Comic of the Year Award from Black Entertainment Television for his groundbreaking work as host of Def Comedy Jam and BET’s Comic View (1994-95 season).
Now helming his own production company, A Bird and a Bear Entertainment, Cedric will develop and produce feature films.
As a philanthropist, Cedric founded The Cedric The Entertainer Charitable Foundation which provides scholarships and outreach programs to enhance the lives of inner-city youth and their families in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. He plans to extend the foundation nationally.
VANESSA WILLIAMS (Dorothy Johnson)
Vanessa Williams began her performing career as a singer. Her debut album, "The Right Stuff," went gold and earned her three Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. Her film roles include starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in ERASER and a leading role with Lawrence Garcia and Andy Garcia in HOODLUM. She won an NAACP Image Award for her performance in SOUL FOOD, which was also honored as NAACP’s Best Picture, and has also starred in DANCE WITH ME, LIGHT IT UP and the summer hit SHAFT.
Williams has performed in such high-profile television films as STOMPIN’ AT THE SAVOY, THE BOY WHO LOVED CHRISTMAS AND THE JACKSONS: AN AMERICAN DREAM, for which she received an NAACP Image Award. She garnered rave reviews in BYE, BYE BIRDIE, and starred in the miniseries NOTHING LASTS FORVER and the Emmy®-nominated THE ODYSSEY (which brought her another Image Award nomination). Williams garnered rave reviews in her Broadway review in KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. Williams was most recently seen on stage in the Tony Award®-winning revival of INTO THE WOODS, for which she received a Tony Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She recently appeared on NBC's critically-acclaimed "Boomtown."
SOLANGE KNOWLES (Nikki Johnson)
A multi-talented teenager and breakout star who has already released her first successful pop album, Solange Knowles makes her feature film debut in JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION. Knowles began performing at the age of 4 as a member of a Houston dance troupe and studied dance and theatre throughout her childhood. She started writing lyrics at age 7 and went on to become an accomplished songwriter, producer and singer before she even turned 16. Solange recently released her first album, entitled SOLO STAR. The album features songs and production from the Neptunes, Timbaland, Beyoncé Knowles, Kandi Burruss (TLC), Rockwilder, Linda Perry (Pink) and guest appearances from B2K, N.O.R.E., Murphy Lee (St Lunatics), Da Brat, and rising young rapster Lil' Romeo (on the beatific "True Love").
In addition to her solo accomplishments, Solange has toured the world as a key dancer with Destiny's Child, the platinum plus Grammy winning vocal act led by her older sister Beyoncé, and has written and produced songs for DC's Kelly Rowland including the title track from Kelly's debut solo album, SIMPLY DEEP . She also spent the summer of 2001 hosting the very first MTV TRL tour starring Destiny’s Child and featuring Jessica Simpson, Nelly, Eve, Dream, City High and 3 LW. Solange’s striking sense of style has been highlighted in such magazines as Teen People, Vogue, Seventeen, YM, Honey and J-14.
BOW WOW (D.J. Johnson)
Bow Wow made his motion picture debut in the family hit LIKE MIKE. His debut album, “Beware of Dog” sold over 3 million copies worldwide and the album’s first single, “Bounce With Me,” hit number one on both the Rap and R&B charts. On his sophomore release, “Doggy Bag,” Bow Wow again collaborated with So So Def CEO, Jermaine Dupri, and the first single from that CD, “Thank You,” was dedicated to his many fans. His latest album, “Unleashed,” was released in July 2003.
Bow Wow’s 2001 Scream Tour sold out across the country, and he opened the 2001 Grammy Awards, performing with Madonna. In addition, he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “youngest solo rapper to ever hit #1.” Expanding upon his amazing career as a recording artist and motion picture star, Bow Wow recently launched his own clothing line, Shago, geared to boys ages 7-14.
STEVE HARVEY (Mack Johnson)
The Grammy-nominated “King of Comedy,” Steve Harvey is the long-standing host of the syndicated #1 morning drive radio program (100.3 FM’s “The Beat”) in Los Angeles. 2004 marks Harvey’s first season as host and executive producer of The WB’s new talk/variety show “Steve Harvey’s Big Time.” He recently ended his seven-year run as host of “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” and his six-year run on The WB’s “The Steve Harvey Show.”
A native of Cleveland, Harvey’s first primetime television venture was the comedy series “Me and the Boys,” which earned him a nomination for a 1995 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series. As star of The WB’s “The Steve Harvey Show,” he won four NAACP Image Awards as Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, as well as one for Outstanding Variety Series for “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.” In 2001, Harvey received the ultimate honor of his career when the NAACP Image Awards named him Entertainer of the Year, a title he still holds.
Harvey turned his two comedy specials, “HBO Comedy Half-Hour” and “Steve Harvey: One Man,” into a platinum-selling DVD. In 2002, he also produced and released a music CD for MCA Records called “Sign of Things to Come,” featuring Mary J. Blige, Carl Thomas, Dave Hollister, Angie Stone, Yolanda Adams, among others.
Harvey’s feature film credits include the recent releases LOVE DON’T COST A THING and YOU GOT SERVED and a starring role opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles in THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS.
In 2001, Harvey and producing partner Rushion McDonald created the Hoodie Awards, an annual awards show honoring local business establishments, religious leaders, churches and high schools for their contribution and excellence within various neighborhoods in greater Los Angeles. Additionally, Harvey has served as host of the Hoodie Awards, Essence Awards, B.E.T.’s Celebration of Gospel, and the B.E.T. Awards. He is also a national spokesperson for Burger King and GMC’s Yukon Denali.
SHANNON ELIZABETH (Chrishelle)
Shannon Elizabeth first garnered attention from critics and audiences alike for her performance as the sexy Czech exchange student in the box office hits AMERICAN PIE and AMERICAN PIE 2. She also scored another success with Miramax’s teen horror parody SCARY MOVIE. Currently, Shannon can be seen on "That 70s Show" where she has a recurring role as Kelso's pregnant girlfriend. A native of Waco, Texas, Elizabeth began her high-profile international modeling career in New York City upon graduation from high school. After landing a national commercial, Elizabeth launched her acting career in Los Angeles by landing guest starring roles on prime time shows on various major networks.
She was most recently seen in Kevin Smith’s irreverent comedy JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, as well as in TOMCATS and THIRTEEN GHOSTS. She will next star with Christina Ricci and an all-star young cast in Wes Craven’s CURSED.
GABBY SOLEIL (Destiny Johnson)
Seven-year-old Gabby Soleil makes her feature film debut in JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION. She has previously been seen on television as Adrian in THE HUGHLEYS, and her notable television guest appearances include HALF & HALF and DANNY.