The American actor Allen Payne, is probably best known for his appearance in the film, “Jason’s Lyric”, and in the TV sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”

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Age, Early Life, and Education Background

Born Allen Roberts under the Cancer zodiac sign on 7 July 1968, in Harlem, New York City, he’s 55 years old as of 2023. He is the son of Barbara Reeves and Allen Roberts- the former was schoolmates with the late legendary American singer-songwriter, Samuel ‘Sam’ Cook.

The “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” star was brought up alongside his two younger siblings in the neighborhood of Harlem, and had to endure hardships as a child since the area is notorious for its poverty and high crime rate – it is reported that he had a somewhat troublesome childhood and that he grew up exploring the streets and mingling with several criminal organizations when he was a teenager. After seeing the condition of their child and noticing his interest in performing, Payne’s parents enrolled him in an acting academy in his hometown, which saw him turn over a new leaf.

Payne studied at Pennsauken High School, in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey; he also trained in dancing when he was a teenager. After his matriculation, Payne relocated to California, to begin an acting career.

Career – late ‘80s-‘90s

Payne made his film debut as Kadim in the 1989 Robert Wise-directed dance musical drama “Rooftops,” which is centered around the misfortunes of two Manhattan-based homeless teenagers. In the same year, he appeared in the comedy series “Cookie”, then from 1990-‘92, Payne assumed the recurring role of Lance Rodman in the seventh and eighth seasons of the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show”; co-created by Bill Cosby, the series follows an African-American upper-middle-class family the Huxtables, which resides in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1991, Payne was cast alongside Ice-T and Wesley Snipes, who played the New York City rising drug lord, Nino Brown, in Mario Van Peebles’ feature movie directing debut, “New Jack City.” His portrayal of the drug lord sidekick, Gerald Wells aka Gee Money, was one of his most significant performances of the early ‘90s. He’s disclosed that his early days in Harlem and interaction with the neighborhood’s gang leaders helped him portray his character perfectly. The action crime movie film was fairly successful, with a box office collection of around $47 million. In 1992, Payne appeared in single episodes of two series: the Will Smith-starred sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, and the “The Cosby Show” spin-off, “A Different World.”

In 1993, Allen played Dead Mike in the black comedy movie “CB4,” which starred Chris Rock. In the year that followed, he starred as Jason Alexander in the erotic romantic drama movie “Jason’s Lyric”, alongside Jada Pinkett and Bokeem Woodbine. In the film, Jason plays a hardworking and committed young man living in the drug-infested and violent neighborhood of Houston who works as a TV salesman to provide for his mother and brother. It also follows his attempts to convert his criminally-minded sibling, Joshua, and his romantic relationship with Lyric (Pinkett), who makes him see a future for himself. In 1995, Payne starred as Cole Evans in the war movie “The Walking Dead,” and his next notable film appearance was in the Eddie Murphy-starred vampire black comedy, “Vampire in Brooklyn.” Before the end of the 20th century, Allen appeared in single episodes of a few TV series, including the sitcom “Malcolm & Eddie.”

21st Century and Continued Success.

Allen began the 21st century with the starring role of Malik in the 2001 comedy movie “30 Years to Life”, and in the same year he starred in two more films: “Commitments” and “Blue Hill Avenue,” which earned him a Black Reel Award for Theatrical- Best Independent Actor. In 2007, he was cast to star as C.J. Payne in the sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” The series is about a working-class, multi-generational family which experiences a fair share of life’s struggles with love, faith and humor. Allen appeared in the show until 2012, after which he took a break from acting, and made a comeback in 2018. Recently in 2021, he played Leon in the TV movie “The Fight that Never Ends.”

Social Media Presence

Payne is active on Instagram (@allenpaynefp) with around 13,000 followers. He seems to be unavailable on Twitter and Facebook.

Personal Life

Payne was previously dating his “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” co-star, Demetria McKinney, who is 12 years younger than him, and hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She’s also known for her appearances in the TV series’ “A House Divided,” “Motherland: Fort Salem,” and “Superstition.” McKinney is currently engaged to the film producer, Rodger Bobb. On the other hand, Payne has remained tight-lipped about his romantic life and is apparently unmarried without any children, as of 2023.

Payne’s mother passed away in 2012, which saw him take a brief break from acting to mourn her. He spoke about her death in an interview with Black Doctor, saying ‘After my mother died, I stepped away from acting. I chose to look inward and find myself, and I think that’s important when you’re an actor. You spend so much time trying to work and being interpreted by fans, executives, and people in Hollywood, that you can lose a sense of yourself.’

Payne follows the Christianity religion.

Rumors and Controversies

In November 2021, rumors about Payne’s death flooded the internet. The rumor began when the YouTube channel, Star News, allegedly uploaded a video claiming that he’d died. Fortunately, the news turned out to be fake, and Payne is still alive and seemingly in good health.

Payne rarely speaks about his love life; this has resulted in speculations that he is gay. He hasn’t addressed the allegations, and as a result, his sexual orientation remains a mystery.

Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance

Payne is of Black ethnicity, and has a pair of dark brown eyes and black hair. He is about 6ft (1.83m) tall and weighs around 165lbs (75kgs). Some of his distinctive features include a toothy smile, deep-set eyes, and a deep raspy voice.

Net Worth

Payne’s successful career in the American showbiz industry has seen him accumulate a decent sum, and make a name for himself. He is authoritatively worth around $5 million as of 2023, and seemingly leads a luxurious lifestyle.

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