Actor, artist, football player. Terry Crews is a force to be reckoned with. The guy has some serious comedic chops to play off his dominating physique. This has allowed the multifaceted actor to excel in a wide range of roles. He was the worrisome father on the comedy series, Everybody Hates Chris. He kicked butt as Hale Caesar and he was the barrel weapons specialist in the action series, The Expendables. He was even witty and clever as the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire! Crews seems to be able to shine brightly no matter where he points his ambition.
He's been nominated for a wide range of awards including the Teen Choice Awards, Screen Actors Guild, and multiple NAACP Image Awards. The industry has had little problem recognizing and appreciating the talents of Mr. Crews.
Constantly being in the spotlight opens up actors lives to much public scrutiny. The details of their existence gets chronicled backwards to their birth and forwards throughout their career. It's part of the price of fame. That, and usually a lot of money. There isn't much that hasn't been documented, but here are 15 things most people might not have known about the powerhouse that is Terry Alan Crews.
When Terry Crews was just a toddler, he took a nasty shot of electricity. Apparently he was chewing on an electrical cord and took such a heavy shock, that he still bears a slight scar on his lip. Some have speculated that this is where Terry Crews got his mojo. Like some super-hero straight out of the '60s, all it took was a few thousand volts and that's all it take to get a genuine Terry Crews.
There have been far more ridiculous origin stories than that. Just imagine if it had been a radioactive electrical cord? It would have just made the adult Crews that much more formidable, and possibly glow-in-the-dark.
We don't in any way recommend using frayed electrical cords or any other power tools to try and enhance anyone. If people want their kids to be as successful as Mr. Crews, we recommend healthy doses of love and liberal amounts of education. While the electrifying experience could have been devastating to a young Terry Crews, he seems to have a pretty good sense of humor about it. Even though it was extensive enough that he had to have some reconstructive surgery when he was a junior in high school.
14 Crews is a flutist
If the picture wasn't obvious enough, a flutist is someone who plays the flute. Like Terry Crews! He displayed his musical prowess on an episode of The Late Late Show with James Cordon. The segment was about 'hidden talents' and Crews appeared with another Hollywood legend, Lucy Liu. Crews admitted that 'besides the pec thing' (as he flexed his chest muscles to make his shirt pop up and down, which elicited an excited squeal from Liu) he did have an additional musical talent.
He explained that when he was eight years old, his great aunt asked him and his brother which instruments they would like to play. His brother chose a guitar. Crews, seemingly uninterested in the offer, threw out 'flute' as a means to exit the conversation. He then forgot about the conversation. Then Christmas time rolled around. There under the tree, was a guitar for his brother, and a flute for young Terry. From there, his mother made him play the instrument throughout his adolescence.
The segment continued with Crews competently playing the flute, much to the audience's approval. While the flute may not be the considered as the manliest instrument by most people, Crews has no problem proudly claiming his status as a flutist.
13 Grandfather Crews
How old does Terry Crews look? The guy is in such good shape, it's hard to guess. I'll save you some research and tell you that Terry Alan Crews was born July 30, 1968. So he's pushing 50 and looking like he's rocking his 30's. That's what clean living will get you. Crews is actually a well-known family man. He's been married to his wife, Rebecca King, since 1990. Together, they have five children, the oldest of which has recently made Crews a grandfather with the birth of her daughter.
Like the proud papa he is, he has embraced his title as grandfather with much pride and joy.
How does he have the energy to balance having such a large family with his ambitious acting career? A key factor is his two hour a day workout! In an interview with Stephen Colbert, he admitted to getting up at 4:00 AM because he “has to have it. I have all this energy.” He also admitted to having five different gym memberships just in case he can get a work-out in. While that sounds exhausting, it's a ritual that the star has maintained for many years. It obviously yields impressive results and helps him maintain his demanding lifestyle.
12 Crews isn't actually bald
Terry Crews has fostered a very distinct look as part of his image. From his commercial stints as the 'old spice' guy to his many movie and television roles, Crews has rocked the shaved head look.
The star literally takes a razor to his head everyday. His reasoning is that he wants to be consistent to the characters that people are used to seeing him portray. It's a bold choice to voluntarily go with the hairless dome. Not everyone can rock that look as successfully as Crews does. If you dig around the internet, you can find some pics of Crews with hair, but most of the time, he's as smooth as a polished bowling ball. He understands his brand and what audiences want.
He has a similar approach to his acting career. He proudly claims to have never taken any acting classes and basically approached the craft with the mentality geared toward giving the audiences what he thought they most wanted. And judging by the success of his career, he cracked that formula enough to land numerous television and movie roles. He has been steadily working since his start in 1999 with no signs of slowing down in the near future.
11 Crews is an accomplished artist
Nowadays, Crews is most recognized as an actor. Some might be familiar with his professional football career that preceded his thespian ambitions. But it was his artistic talents that were first recognized which opened the doors to his higher education. After earning his high school diploma in Flint, Michigan, Crews was awarded a Chrysler-sponsored art scholarship for the Interlochen Center for the Arts. That was followed by an Art Excellence scholarship and an athletic scholarship for football at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
While he had his sights set on a professional football career, he simultaneously developed a talent for sketching and painting.
Even though he was a professional football player, he was also known to supplement his income by producing portraits of his fellow players. His typical commission was about $5,000 for two months of work. He has done a lot of sports themed paintings including a series of licensed NFL lithographs. I hereby start a petition for a Bob Ross-style Joy of Painting show starring Terry Crews. He can bring his manic energy and crazy talent to the masses as he instructs us on how to paint happy little football players. This is what is needed to bring peace to these troubled times.
10 Crews is a man of faith
Growing up in his Flint, Michigan home, Crews was raised by a mother who was very religious. It was a strict upbringing, straight out of a Footloose trailer.
“We grew up Christian, but we were really on the far-right,” Crews says. “We weren’t allowed to listen to music. We weren’t allowed to go to dances. We weren’t allowed to go to the movies. We were in church a lot. I have to say probably in a seven-day week, we were in church four out of those seven days, and then we went twice on Sunday.”
While it doesn't sound like the funnest of childhoods, Crews did get a lot of time to focus on his art during the night and his athletics during the day. He was living in a city that boasted some of the highest crime rates in Michigan. This threat from the streets combined with his family's churchgoing habits kept the young Crews on the right path. While he has been very public about his struggles with his personal failings, he credits his faith for guiding him through the dark times and for giving him the strength to find happiness with his family and career.
9 Crews Lounger
As if the list of professions that Terry Crews claims isn't long enough, how about we go ahead and add furniture designer? Why not, right? We've already established that Crews has a lengthy pedigree when it comes to art, so it's not that illogical of a leap for him to dabble in artistic furniture. Feast your eyes upon the Ibis couch from his collection for Bernhardt Design. I'll be the first to admit, that's a snazzy looking sofa. That bad boy will set you back $5,500. But then you get to tell everyone who sits on it, “Hey man, you're sitting on an authentic Terry Crews Ibis couch.”
You know you would.
His collection includes some organically shaped float tables ($1,100), Aire benches that recall stones of the Nile ($700) and a swiveling Lillypad chair with ottoman ($3,800). Each piece is customizable using options that include polished or matte black stainless steel, American walnut and a selection of Bernhardt leathers and textiles. While I'm no expert, all of his creations are visually clean with smooth lines that very inviting. I'm sure his art background lent to his ability of being able to envision furniture that was both artistic yet functional. The average consumer might be willing to spend a little extra for quality and an interesting brand name attached.
8 Crews is a gamer
Terry Crews plays PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds! Even the most casual gamer will be familiar with the phenomena that is the 'battle royale' genre that has been dominating the landscape as the new 'it' game. For those who don't regularly blast pixels, the rise of this new kind of game has been a monster success.
The basic concept is that 100 players are dropped onto an island with no gear or weapons. They then have to scavenge through the landscape to look f any kind of weaponry and other helpful items. Keep in mind, every other player on the island is out to eliminate you from the game. The last one standing is the winner. A clever "storm" mechanic creates an ever shrinking circle that will take a player down if they are caught on the outside. This pushes all the players into a smaller and smaller area, forcing players to interact with one another at some point. This makes for some exciting battles.
Younger kids play a cartoon-like version of this game called, Fortnite. The adults tend to gravitate towards the more realistic PUBG. And it's Crews' favorite game!
"Our favorite was Overwatch at first, we loved Overwatch, we still love it," Crews said in a recent interview with PC Gamer. "But then we got into PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Holy cow, we can’t get enough.”
7 Crews started out as a courtroom sketch artist
As stated earlier, Crews is an exceptional artist. But his first real gig was a courtroom sketch artist in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Crews is often quoted as saying that this was his “first real job in entertainment”. It would take a forward thinking guy like Crews to equate quick sketching courtroom proceedings as a line to the entertainment industry. But given the man's success, only a fool would dare question his methods. One of his assignments as a courtroom sketch artist was for one of the worst criminal cases in the history of Flint, Michigan.
The year was 1987 and the young Crews was just a freshman in college.
He ended up landing a job at the local news station, WJRT, providing courtroom coverage sketches for news broadcasts (since photographers aren't allowed in a courtroom). The station manager was so impressed by Crews' work and personality that he told the future star, “You're gonna be big. You're gonna be somebody really big”. It's no wonder he got an art scholarship before he got a full ride for his sports acumen. But this over-achieving streak is typical of Crews. Most people would be happy for one talent that was strong enough to get them into college. Crews had two.
6 Crews was T-Money on Battle Dome
The first television show that Crews appeared on was the 1999 'survival' show, Battle Dome. It was an obvious clone of the American Gladiators show that was receiving moderate success. Battle Dome took the athletic competition of American Gladiators and combined it with more scripted antics like those seen in professional wrestling. Even the show's IMDB page says, “It was like American Gladiators, but different”.
Basically, contestants would run gauntlets through obstacle courses and face off in challenges against the "warriors." These nine antagonists were a range of professional athletes that were developed into distinct, over-the-top personalities. Again, much like professional wrestling. There was a whole carnival of events with extreme names like, “Battle Bridge” and “Interceptor” that pitted mortal humans against these hired muscle whose goal was to stop the contestants from winning.
Terry Crews was cast as "T-Money." How in the world has there not been a rapper with that name yet? As T-Money, Crews adopted a smug, arrogant personality. He rocked excessive bling and always had a posse. "Rollercage" was his claimed specialty and he was noted for not losing very gracefully. Not surprisingly, the show only ran for two years. But it gave Crews a launching pad and he's never stopped working in the industry since.
5 Adam Sandler loves Terry Crews
While Crews doesn't seem to have a whole lot of haters, he most definitely gets a ton of love from comedic madman, Adam Sandler. While Sandler's movies can run from the brilliantly funny (Happy Gilmore) to the absolutely unwatchable (Jack and Jill), they seem to have a certain draw and generally do quite well with audiences and the box office. Crews has appeared in no less than five Sandler produced films. The list includes the 2005 prison football remake, The Longest Yard, the possessed remote control comedy, Click (2006) and the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore rom-com, Blended (2014).
The list continues with the western spoof, The Ridiculous 6 (2015), and the last one being 2017's under the radar faux-documentary, Sandy Wexler.
I've seen all of them except Sandy Wexler. I don't think anybody saw that. But now that you know that Terry Crews is in it, I bet you're willing to check Netflix and give it a second look. It's obvious that Sandler has an appreciation for what Crews brings to the screen. Those who pay attention to Sandler films are familiar with a lot of the same faces showing up again and again. Apparently, Sandler is a loyal guy and I give him points for that.
4 His football career began with the Los Angeles Rams
Terry Crews began his professional football career by being drafted in the 11th round of the 1991 draft. The team that spotted talent in the young Crews were the Los Angeles Rams.
Crews only spent six years as a professional football player before deciding to retire in 1997 to pursue acting full-time. In that time, he bounced around and played for a few different teams. In addition to the Los Angeles Rams, Crews played for the San Diego Chargers, the Washington Redskins, and the Philadelphia Eagles. He also put in one season with the Rhein Fire (Germany) in the World League of American Football.
While he did make it the pros, Crews realized that he wasn't destined for super-stardom in the football industry. He repeatedly was forced to fall back onto his artistic talents to put food on the table for his family. “That’s how I survived, I was always on the end of the roster, I was never a big superstar, I was an 11th round draft pick. Humility gets you far. You gotta make some money, you gotta humble yourself. It would literally take me about two months to do a painting, and they would give me like $5,000 and I would survive off that, my whole family survived off that.”
3 The voice of Crews
In a move that should surprise no one, Crews has branched out his acting skills to include doing voice work for some animated features. He has appeared in two separate American Dad episodes and three installments of The Boondocks. He also was a featured voice in the 3D computer animated flick, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2. Crews seems to enjoy the work, especially since it makes an impression with his son. He commented on this excitement in an interview with Ebony magazine where he said,
“I love voiceover work. Some of the greatest stuff being made right now is in animation," he stated.
Crews continues by explaining how he immediately asked his agent to get hims some more voiceover work. "I flipped when I got the call that Blade was being put into an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man and they wanted me to play him. I told my son and he just flipped, too. So I knew I was making the right move.” Although, Crews was careful in his approach to playing such an adult-themed character. “With Blade, I had to avoid watching the movies, because their tone is much more adult, and you don’t want it to be too deep and dark. Ultimately, though, it’s about putting as much of your spirit into it as possible.”
2 Crews co-founded design company Amen & Amen
As we have established previously, Crews has taken his artistic drive and delved into furniture design. This interest has manifested itself into the design company he co-founded with fellow artist Nana Boateng. In a nod to the faith that Crews holds so personally, the company is called "Amen & Amen.”
Their website is a bit vague, with only a static "about" page and a few highlighted furniture pieces on display in an art gallery. Even their mission statement is a bit cryptic. “Amen & Amen is about the vigorous fight to reveal the grandeur, magnificence and splendor of craftsmanship. Avoiding the temptations of fear, concession and competition through the free exercise of courage and creativity. Thankful, yet unsatisfied with things as they are, we allow imagination to show us how to manage that which can not be created or destroyed, only fashioned and amended into handiwork that the world has never seen.”
If you didn't know that this was a furniture related design company, it might be difficult to surmise exactly what Amen & Amen provided their customers with. What I interpret that pretentious statement to mean is, “We are about to charge you a ridiculous amount of money for some furniture designed by a celebrity.”
1 Crews wasn't too impressed with Bedlam in Deadpool 2
In one of his latest and highest profile gigs, Crews was cast as the forcefield wielding Bedlam in Deadpool 2. The character's real name is Jesse Aaronson and is one of the few black characters to get featured in the Marvel Universe. First appearing in 1995's Factor X #1, Bedlam has been part of multiple mutant powered teams (such as X-Force and M.U.S.E.). He possesses the ability to create and project a bio-electro magnetic field. Essentially a protective force-field that can be used for offense or defense.
His power also allows him to alter or disable similar technology in his vicinity.
After an event that reset the mutant genome in every mutant on the planet, Bedlam's abilities expanded to be able to affect the human brains chemistry. This allowed him to project the illusion of pain or confusion into other people. Crews recently commented on the pros and cons of Bedlam's powers. “What I love about Bedlam is that he can control these electromagnetic forces. He can give you headaches, he can control lights and different things. But the thing is, his superpowers aren’t really that good. Like, he might be able to short circuit Iron Man’s outfit, but that’s about it. He ain’t going to stop any trains, he’s not going to fly.”
References: uproxx.com, terry-crews-conan, vulture.com, dailymotion.com (flute), variety.com, youtube.com (crews workout), indiewire.com, sesameworkshop.com, wikipedia.org (Terry_Crews), pinterest.com, relevantmagazine.com, losangelestimes.com, youtube.com, pcgamer.com, amazon.com, imdb.com (battle dome), imdb.com (Terry Crews), factinate.com, youtube.com (Crews Rams), news.artnet.com, youtube.com (animated crews), ebony.com, amennamen.com, screenrant.com, en.wikipedia.org (Bedlam), newsweek.com