Kellie Shanygne Williams
This young actress played the intelligent Laura Winslow, the eldest daughter, on the long-running sitcom "Family Matters" (ABC, 1989-1997, CBS, 1997-98). Her character functioned within her family unit chiefly to wisecrack her brother, but became part of the focus of the series with the introduction of annoying neighbor Steve Urkel (Jaleel White), whose one mission in life was to win Laura's heart. A Washington, DC native, Williams began as a child model and branched into acting at age six. She made her TV debut on the variety special "An All-Star Celebration Honoring Martin Luther King Jr" (NBC, 1986) and had bit roles in the features "Suspect" (1987) and "Men Don't Leave" (1990). In 1989, she landed the role on the ABC sitcom and practically grew up on the series. Her Laura Winslow was the typical teenager, reflecting contemporary tastes by changing her hairstyles and knowing the latest songs and dances. When the character graduated from high school, she was accepted at Harvard, but top retain Williams on the show, she was forced by a lack of finances to attend unspecified local college in Chicago. By the sixth season, Urkel was able to turn himself from nerd into his suave alter ego, Stephan Urquelle, and Laura became romantically involved with Stephan, although the character only made occasional appearances to keep the relationship going.