Shavar Malik Ross (born March 4, 1971) is an American actor, film director, screenwriter, film producer, editor, photographer, author, and entrepreneur. He is known for his recurring television role as Dudley Johnson, Gary Coleman's best friend in the NBC sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, Alex "Weasel" Park in the ABC sitcom Family Matters, and as "Reggie The Reckless" in the fifth installment of the Friday the 13th movie series Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985).
Ross was born in the South Bronx, New York. His parents separated when he was 6 years old. His mother took Shavar and his sister to Macon, Georgia, while his father went to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
In 1979, while visiting his father in California during his school's Christmas vacation, Shavar was discovered by top children's agent Evelyn Shultz. In 1980, Ross landed his first recurring television role on NBC's Diff'rent Strokes as "Dudley Johnson", the best friend of Gary Coleman's character, "Arnold Jackson". Also in 1980, Shavar appeared in the TV film Scout's Honor, also with Gary Coleman. Two years later, Ross became a voice actor for Hanna-Barbera and voiced Our Gang kid Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas from the animated TV series version of The Little Rascals. He also appeared in the television show Benson, as part of a "big brother/little brother"-type charity imposition that the governor made the employees participate in (season 2 ep. 11). Ross had a recurring role as T.C.'s son on the detective drama Magnum, P.I.. Another recurring role was on the series Family Matters as "Weasel". Ross has appeared in over 100 film and episodic television projects throughout his career, including such films as the fifth installment of the Friday the 13th movie series Friday the 13th: A New Beginning in 1985 as "Reggie A.K.A. Reggie The Reckless".
Additionally, in 1996, after completing four years of Bible School at The Ministry Training Institute; an auxiliary of Crenshaw Christian Center, Ross founded The Alive Church, a non-denominational Christian church in Los Angeles, and was its pastor for four years.
Shavar is founder and owner of Tri-Seven Entertainment, a film, television and online retail company which produces, develops, acquires and distributes inspirational products for a global audience. As a director, his first short film, Soul to Take (2003), garnered him an Internet distribution deal with Russell Simmons' media company Simmons/Lathan Media Group. His second short film, A Taste of Us (2004), dealt with the civil unrest of the 1960s segregation in the south and was originally made as a pilot presentation for the TV One Network. Lord Help Us (released nationally in May 2007), an inspirational urban romantic comedy starring American Idol‘s Nadia Turner, Oscar nominee Margaret Avery (The Color Purple), Debra Wilson (MADtv, Scary Movie 4), comedian Joe Clair (BET's Rap City, Take the Cake), Grammy-Award winning singer Al Jarreau and many others marked his feature film directorial debut.
Personal life Edit
In March 2017, Shavar founded Shavar Ross Academy, an online school via Teachable, designed to teach everyday people how to get started making money with their own online retail business.
Shavar resides in Los Angeles and has been married since 1992 and has a son named Seven Shavar Ross (born August 24, 1993) and a daughter, Chelsea Lynn Ross (born February 26, 2005).
In May 2006, Ross appeared on an E! Child Stars Special, Geeks, Freaks, and Sidekicks, where he revealed that during the taping of the very special episode of Diff'rent Strokes in which he was molested, he was going through a similar experience in real life; he was being "touched" by a family friend inappropriately while he was asleep.
In 2008, he played a "prosperity preacher" on David Alan Grier's show Chocolate News on Comedy Central.