Terry Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1968 and was drafted by the NFL's Los Angeles Rams in 1991. After several years playing pro football, Crews retired and pursued an acting career, which took flight on the big screen in 2000's The 6th Day. Many film roles have followed, among them those in White Chicks (2004), The Expendables (2010) and its sequels, and Bridesmaids (2011). Crews has also found success on the small screen, having recurring roles on Are We There Yet? (2010- ), Arrested Development (2013) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013- ). Also known for appearing in a series of Old Spice commercials, Crews launched The Family Crews, a reality series starring his whole family.
Early Years and Football Career
Terry Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, on July 30, 1968. He graduated from Flint’s Southwestern Academy before earning an Art Excellence Scholarship to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts. He then earned a full scholarship to play football at Western Michigan University, where he was an art major.
As a part of the WMU football team, Crews was a major force, earning all-conference honors as a defensive end and playing on the 1988 Mid-American Conference champion Broncos. In the 1991 NFL draft, the 6’2”, 245-pound Crews was drafted in the 11th round by the Los Angeles Rams. He played two seasons with the Rams before becoming an NFL journeyman, playing with the San Diego Chargers (1993-94), Washington Redskins (1995) and Philadelphia Eagles (1996). He also managed to squeeze in a season with the Rhein Fire (Germany) in the World League of American Football.
During Crews’ football years, he also tapped his artistic talents, creating a line of NFL-licensed lithographs for a national sports memorabilia company.
'Old Spice Guy' & Acting Career
In 1997, Crews retired from professional football and briefly took on the role of T-Money on the TV action competition Battle Dome (1999). The following year, he made his big-screen debut in The 6th Day, followed by a string of small roles in such films as Serving Sara (2002), Friday After Next (2002) and Deliver Us From Eva (2003). In 2005, Crews made a bigger splash when he returned to the small screen, landing the recurring role of Julius on the Chris Rock comedy Everybody Hates Chris.
With his face seen on TVs across the country, Crews began getting more film parts, and roles in White Chicks (2004), The Longest Yard (2005) and Norbit (2007) followed. Crews soon began landing larger roles in high-profile movies such as Balls of Fury (2007), Get Smart (2008), Terminator Salvation (2009), The Expendables (2010) and Bridesmaids (2011). Crews also reprised his Expendables role as Hale Caesar in two sequels and a video game based on the series.
The second decade of the 2000s has been a good one for Crews. He became a reality TV star in the BET show The Family Crews (2010-2011), which featured his entire family. He also took on roles in three popular TV shows: Are We There Yet? (2010- ), Arrested Development (2013) and the Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013- ). In 2014, Crews also continued his film work, starring in the Adam Sander-Drew Barrymore comedy Blended, and he was named the host of the TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? With all of this work under his belt, however, Crews may still be best known for starring as the pumped-up spokesman in a string of popular Old Spice deodorant commercials.
In 2014, Crews became an author with the release of his memoir Manhood: How to Be a Better Man—Or Just Live With One. In the book, he details his childhood growing up in a strict Christian family with an alcoholic father and tells how he made his dream of a career in Hollywood come true. He also confesses to an addiction to pornography that started at the age of 12, and how later in his life it almost ruined his marriage. He got over the addiction and reconciled with his wife, Rebecca, a former beauty queen and Christian recording artist, whom he has been married to since 1990.
The couple has five children: daughters Azriel, Tera, Wynfrey and Naomi Burton and son Isaiah.
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