How Allen Payne Became One of Tyler Perry’s Favorite Stars

How Allen Payne Became One of Tyler Perry’s Favorite Stars

Who is Allen Payne?

He’s an actor with nearly 30 acting credits to his name, however, Allen Payne is probably still known best for his role as C. J Payne in Tyler Perry’s sitcom “House of Payne”, which began airing back in 2006. The show had 37 award nominations, winning 20, including the Image Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

How Allen Payne became one of Tyler Perry’s favorite stars and all about his life and career, you’ll find out by reading this article.

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Early life, family, and education

Born Allen Roberts under the zodiac sign of Cancer on 7 July 1968, in Harlem, New York City USA, this 54-year-old actor holds American nationality and his ethnicity is African-American. Allen was raised by his parents, Barbara Reeves and Allen Roberts Senior, and is their eldest son, although he hasn’t shared how many siblings he has.

Allen had an interest in performing from an early age, and while the other boys played football and basketball, he enjoyed dancing. When it comes to his educational background, Allen attended Pennsauken High School, and upon matriculating in 1986, he enrolled in college, and although he hasn’t shared which facility he attended, it’s known that he studied dancing. In the early ‘90s, Allen moved to Los Angeles, California to launch his acting career.

Roles in movies

Allen made his acting debut as Kadim in the 1989 movie “Rooftops”, also starring Jason Gedrick and Troy Byer, and followed with an uncredited role in the movie “Cookie”, also in 1989. Two years later, he was cast to play Gee Money in the action crime-drama “New Jack City”, which was his first lead role, starring opposite Ice-T and Wesley Snipes, and the movie won numerous accolades and awards, including a nomination for the Image Award-Outstanding Motion Picture.

Allen was next seen as Euripides in another action movie hit, “CB4” in 1993, followed by his role as Jason Alexander in the 1994 romantic crime-drama “Jason’s Lyric”, playing the lead role opposite Jada Pinkett Smith and Bokeem Woodbine. The movie followed the story of two brothers who choose different paths in their lives, but reconnect when they least expect it.

In the following year, Allen portrayed Cole Evans in “The Walking Dead”, and later in 1995, he was seen in the TV movie “The Tuskegee Airmen”, followed by his role in “Vampire in Brooklyn”, also starring Eddie Murphy.

Allen was next cast to play Ramon Garcia in the 1998 romantic drama “A Price Above Rubies”, which had two award nominations, and was well-rated by the audience, who said that this movie ‘offers an intense experience for the viewer’.

The early 2000s saw Allen in “The Perfect Storm” (2000), “30 Years to Life” (2001), and “Blue Hill Avenue” also in 2001, which brought him a nomination for the Black Reel Award for Theatrical- Best Independent Actor. He played the lead role of Tristan, a boy from a middle-class family with moral values who gets involved with crime and corruption.

Allen was next seen in “Crossover” (2006) and “Playas Ball” (2007) while his most recent movie role was his portrayal of Leon Watkins in the TV drama “The Fight That Never Ends” in 2021.

He’s announced his upcoming movie entitled “Outlaw Posse”, which is currently in development.

Roles in series

Allen made his first television series appearance as Lance Rodman in the series “The Cosby Show” in 1990. Until 1992, he had a recurring role playing this energetic teenager with an incredible smile, which became Allen’s trademark. He was seen in just 10 episodes of the show, but he certainly left the mark.

The Paynes have returned to the TV screen! Catch two new episodes of @TylerPerry #HouseofPayne TONIGHT, 09/09/2020, at 8/7c on @bet !

Posted by Demetria McKinney on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

In the following years, Allen guest-starred in “Roc” (1993), “Malcolm & Eddie” (1996), and “All of Us” (2004).

From 2006 through 2023, Allen played his most significant role as C. J. Payne in “House of Payne”, appearing in 261 episodes of this comedy-drama, which follows the story of a multi-generational family living together in one house. His co-stars are Cassi Davis and LaVan Davis, and the show created by Tyler Perry brought Allen international recognition.

Allen’s character, C.J. is a firefighter, he’s married to Janine and they have four children, Jazmine, Malik, and the twins Jayden and Hayden. C. J. is one of the favorite stars of the show, and most people say that this is because of the way how Allen brought this character to life.

Love life and relationships

Like many actors who are secretive about their personal matters, Allen also has been the subject of various rumors about his sexual orientation and his love life. Allen has no social media accounts, except Twitter, although he’s tweeted just once. There is an Instagram account run by his fans, so it’s hard to find more info about his private life.

He was romantically linked to Demetria McKinney, his co-star from “House of Payne”, who plays his on-screen wife Janine, however, the truth is that Demetria is engaged to Roger M. Bobb, her long-term boyfriend.

Some reports said that Allen was in a relationship with Brandy Norwood, an American singer, model and actress, perhaps known best for her role in the series “Moesha”, however, neither Allen nor Brandy commented about their alleged romance.

There have been rumors that Allen is gay, and some tabloids published photos featuring Allen and an unnamed man, which backed the rumors, but Allen hasn’t commented on them.

As of April 2023, it appears that Allen is single, there’s no record of his dating history, and it’s assumed that he hasn’t been married or engaged, and doesn’t have children.

Net worth

Starring in several hit movies and making appearances in popular TV series, Allen has accumulated decent wealth. However, it’s believed that most of the income he’s earned is thanks to his role as C.J. Payne in “House of Payne”. According to sources, as of early 2023, Allen has a net worth estimated at over $5 million.

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