Jason Weaver is an American-born actor and singer, who is perhaps best known for his appearances in the sitcoms “Smart Guy” and “Thea,” the miniseries “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” and his performance in the animated film “The Lion King.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Jason Michael Weaver hails from Chicago, Illinois, born under the Cancer zodiac sign on 18 July 1979, which makes him 44 years old as of 2023. He’s the son of Robert Lincoln Weaver and Kitty Haywood, who is a famed singer known for being a member of the Chicago-based female group Kitty & the Haywoods, and for her songs “Giving It Up” and “Mystic Stranger.” Jason’s mother encouraged him to pursue singing and acting at an early age, but his parents parted ways when he was a child, his mother raised him single-handedly, and the actor saw very little of his father, who passed on when he was a teenager. Jason hasn’t revealed whether he has any siblings.
Weaver attended a local elementary school in Chicago, where he continually appeared in school plays, and participated in singing competitions. He was educated at the Illiana Christian High School, Lansing, Illinois, and later at the South Holland-based Thornwood High School. Weaver didn’t attend college after his matriculation
Jason was 11 years old when he made his TV debut, as Matthew Thomas in five episodes of Oprah Winfrey’s series “Brewster Place”. In 1992, he played the young version of Michael Jackson in the five-hour miniseries “The Jacksons: An American Dream”, then in 1993 and ‘94, he starred as Jarome Turrell in the ABC sitcom “Thea”, and was nominated for a joint Young Artist Award for Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Television Series for his performance, shared with Adam Jeffries, Brenden Jefferson, and Brandy Norwood.
“The Lion King” and Continued Success
Jason made his career breakthrough when he was selected to provide the singing voice of the young version of Simba in the 1994 animated musical comedy-drama, “The Lion King.” In the project, Jeremy Irons performed as Scar, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Nathan Lane as Timon, and Rowan Atkinson as Zazu. Initially, Disney offered Weaver a $2 million contract for his performance in the movie, however, his mom declined the offer, and asked for a $100,000 payout and a share of royalties accumulated for the remainder of the film’s circulation. Weaver has admitted that his mother’s decision to renegotiate his contract with Disney was one of the best moves in his career, as he’s earned at least $1.9 million in royalties.
— JASON WEAVER (@itsJasonWeaver) April 28, 2020
Jason’s next significant role was as Marcus in the sitcom “Smart Guy,” which revolves around the adventures of the gifted child, T.J. Henderson (played by Tahj Mowry), as he moves from elementary school and high school, where he is schoolmates with his elder siblings Marcus and Yvette (Essence Atkins). Jason appeared in all three seasons of the show from 1997-1999, which made him famous.
In 2002, Jason shared the screen with the likes of Nick Cannon in the coming-of-age teen comedy-drama “Drumline,” which was followed by an appearance in the black comedy “The Ladykillers” in 2004. Some of his next notable film appearances were in the comedy-drama “ATL” in 2006, and “Jada” in 2008.
From 2011 to 2014, Weaver voiced Condor in “The LeBrons” and in 2014, he landed the starring role of Curtis in the fourth season of the BET romantic comedy series “Let’s Stay Together.” Subsequently, Jason landed minor roles in various films, and appeared in single episodes of several television series, including “Black-ish.” In 2021 and ‘22, he played the recurring role of Shaad Marshall in the fourth and fifth seasons of the Showtime drama “The Chi.”
Jason performs under the name J-Weav. He signed with Motown Records in the mid-90s, and went on to release his first album “Love Ambition” in 1995, then in the year that followed, he released the EP, “Stay with Me.” In 2017, Weaver released the album “Magic of Movie” and three years later, he recorded the EP “Leaving Early.”
Some of J-Weav’s singles include “I Wanna Be Where You Are” (1992), “Can’t Stand the Pain” in 1996, and “One Call Away” in 2004 – featuring the hip-hop rapper, Chingy – which made it to Top Five Hits in the US. Jason appeared in the music video for “Rock Yo Hips” by the hip-hop group Crime Mob featuring Darryl R. Richardson III aka Lil Scrappy, and he’s also appeared in the music video for the song “Make Up Bag” by T.I. and The-Dream.
Awards and Nominations
Out of the five awards he’s been nominated for, Jason has won two. He’s a two-time winner of the Young Artist Award for his performance in “The Jacksons: An American Dream” in 1993 and “The Lion King” in 1995. In 2015, he was nominated for a 20/20 Award for Best Song for his performance of “Hakuna Matata” in “The Lion King.” Moreover, he received The Ambies Award nomination for Best Performer in Audio Fiction, for his performance in “We Stay Looking.”
Social Media Presence
Jason is active on Instagram (@itsjasonweaver) with almost 400,000 followers. He joined Twitter in May 2009, and is currently followed by around 28,000 fans (@itsJasonWeaver). The singer is also active on Facebook, on which he posts his photos and videos while performing.
Jason is married to his (former) long-term girlfriend, Myra Weaver. He keeps his personal life away from the limelight, so it’s not known when the two exchanged vows. They’ve welcomed two sons together, one of whom is Jaylen Zylus.
In a interview, Jason hinted that he previously struggled with addiction and depression. He follows the Christianity religion.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Weaver is of Afro-American roots, and has a pair of dark brown eyes and short black hair. He stands 5ft 9ins (1.75m) tall, and weighs approximately 165lbs (75kgs).
Weaver has worked on various commercially successful projects, including “The Lion King” which had a box office collection of over $763 million. This has increased his fame and wealth significantly. He also earns from his musical endeavors and is net worth is approximately $4 million, as of 2023.