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See Theo From "The Cosby Show" Now at 51

Malcolm-Jamal Warner is still acting today, 30 years after the family sitcom went off the air.

When your first major role sees you starring on eight seasons of a hugely popular series, there's a good chance you'll forever be associated with your character. That's definitely the case for Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who starred as Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992. But while Warner is best known for the sitcom, he's found plenty more success as an actor, and you may have spotted him on the medical drama he's starred on for the past five years. He's also been expressing his creativity in other areas, including poetry and music. Read on to learn about Warner today at age 51, from his career to his family life.

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He's starred on many popular shows.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner at "Battle of the Network Stars" in 1988
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In addition to The Cosby Show, Warner has starred on the comedy Malcolm & Eddie, on the sitcom Reed Between the Lines, and now, on the drama The Resident. The actor has played Dr. AJ Austin on the medical series since 2018. Warner has also had recurring roles on shows including Community, Suits, American Crime Story, and Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce. He has worked behind the camera, too, as a TV director.

He won a major award for his poetry.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner at a screening of "Cosmic Slop" in 1994
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc via Getty Images

Warner is a poet, and in 2015, he won a Grammy for his contribution to "Jesus Children of America" by the Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Lalah Hathaway. They won the award for Best Traditional R&B Performance. Warner wrote a poem about the Sandy Hook shooting that was featured in the song.

"We had no idea. For it to be nominated for a Grammy was one thing," Warner told WBUR in 2021. "But to actually win, it was a great confirmation or reaffirmation in terms of the artistry and the substance behind the words."

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He's also a musician.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner at the 2019 Fox Upfront
Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Warner isn't only an actor, director, and poet, he's also a bass player. He released his first album, The Miles Long Mixtape, in 2003. His second, Love & Other Social Issues, came out in 2003, and his latest album, Selfless, was released in 2015. Warner still performs today, whether on his own or with other musicians.

"I had been doing poetry before I started playing bass, so I was already heavily entrenched in the underground spoken word scene here in Los Angeles," he told Jazz Monthly. "I was very active in the resurgence of the poetry boom out here, so I had already been doing poetry and when I first started Miles Long, it was to be the bass player, so I wasn't even doing poetry with the band. It was just me wanting to hold down the groove. But after a while, it just seemed to make more sense to incorporate what I was doing with the poetry and incorporate that into the music."

He's a father but he keeps his family life private.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner at SCAD aTVfest 2020
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for SCAD aTVfest 2020

Warner has a daughter with his partner, but he does not share personal information about his family publicly, including their names. That said, Warner does talk about his experiences as a father on social media. On Father's Day in 2021, he posted a picture of himself and his daughter with her face cropped out and also shared some of her artwork.

"The amount of love in our home is one of the things in life of which I am the most proud," he wrote in the caption. "The last picture is a bass guitar she made with her friend. I am one of the luckiest men in the world. My friends who've known me for the past 20+ years remind me that I deserve this. I agree. I've been working for this for a lifetime even though I didn't know it. But it's all too clear now. Color me grateful."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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