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Did he do that? Jaleel White sheds shackles of Urkel

Jaleel White

Jaleel White Photo Credit: Handout

His reign as Steve Urkel ended in 1998, but family still matters to Jaleel White.

The "Family Matters" star has shed the short pants, suspenders and nasal disposition of his famed '90s nerd for a variety of projects, none more important than fatherhood.

In fact, raising his 21-month-old daughter inspired White, 34, to sign on as the teacher Mr. Todd in "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer," the cinematic adaptation of the popular children's book series.

A movie for families with young kids, "Judy Moody," which opens Friday, may well be the first chance White's daughter gets to see what her daddy does for a living.

How has your daughter changed you?
One of my goals for this point in my career is for my daughter to be aware of what her daddy has done and does. [And] really more the present, to be quite honest - what I've done in my past, she'll discover on YouTube in her own good time.

Where do you hope to take things professionally from here?
I want to tap into every market. I don't care if it's sci-fi, I don't care if it's family. This was my chance, for my daughter's sake, to do something family-oriented, [but] I want to be that guy that can pop up in any demo.

Are you dreading the day your daughter discovers "Family Matters"?
As far as the "Family Matters" stuff or what she discovers about me on YouTube or anything like that, I just need her to have a strong foundation of who I am as a person before any of that happens. And when that happens, it's just, "Hey, that was a gig that Dad worked."

Are you at a comfortable place with your "Family Matters" experience?
I'm definitely at a comfortable place with it. ... It's really cool, because I have kids who come up to me and they'll call me "Jaleel White." ... I swear I'll have eight- and nine-year-olds go, "Oh my God you were in 'Big Fat Liar' and you'll be in 'Judy Moody' soon!"

Why is that important to you?
It's really the coolest thing because their generation is just so different. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, I can't really get bogged down in what somebody over the age of 40 or 35 thinks about [me]. I'm living my life for my 2-year-old, and that starts today.

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