Sliding onto our screens in the 1993 Disney classic Cool Runnings, a group of three sprinters and a box car racer forever changed the face of Jamaican sport. Making over $150 million in box offices worldwide, the film was an instant hit.
But what has become of the stars that played our beloved Jamaican speedsters? One would think they would be living the high life somewhere in the Caribbean by now, riding out an ever-lasting stream of royalties.
Unfortunately, many of their acting careers progressed about as far as Jamaica’s bobsledding medal hopes.
Doug E. Doug - Sanka Coffie
A stand-up comedian by trade, Doug has dabbled in a number of different mediums since Cool Runnings launched his acting career. After a number of smaller comedic roles, Doug featured in Warner Bros. science fiction comedy Eight Legged Freaks, as well as voicing the Rasta jellyfish Bernie in the 2004 animated smash hit Shark Tale. On top of a four-year stint working alongside Bill Cosby in the TV series Cosby, Doug has held guest appearances in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as well as a short theatrical appearance in the musical Purlie in 2005.
Doug launched his own comedy YouTube channel in 2012 dubbed The Doug Life Show.
Doug made the most of his exposure from the film and squeezed every last bit of fame out of his character as he could.
“It’s been the biggest impression I’ve made on the public, Cool Runnings, as far as film is concerned. It’s changed my life in every way imaginable. I ended up working in film regularly after that.”
Leon Robinson - Derice Bannock
Once the head of the unlikely group of Olympians, Robinson prefers to be referred to as simply “Leon”. No last name, just Leon.
Leon’s success in Cool Runnings saw him land a leading role alongside notorious rapper Tupac Shakur in the 1994 basketball film Above the Rim. After featuring in the 20th Century Fox thriller movie Cover, Leon was voted one of the Sexiest Actors of All-Time by AOL Black Voices in 2009. Alongside acting roles in a number of independent films in 2013 and 2014, the 53-year-old is the lead vocalist and songwriter of reggae-soul band Leon and the Peoples.
Leon told Empire his work in the film wasn’t as much of a career boost as people might have thought.
Rawle D. Lewis - Junior Bevil
Quite possibly the lowest profile of the cast members, Lewis currently travels the world as a stand-up comedian. Interestingly, Lewis was initially not considered high-profile enough for the film and was employed to teach the actors how to pronounce an original Jamaican accent. However, someone clearly took a liking to him as he managed to push his way into a starring role. Lewis appeared briefly in the 1996 comedy Spy Hardstarring Leslie Nielsen, as well as a minor role as a security guard in the film K-Pax in 2001. After a failed attempt to write and produce his own film, Lewis decided to stick to stand-up.
Malik Toba - Yul Brenner
Yoba spring boarded his screen career off the back of the Disney classic, which was his first major project as a working actor. A year after the film’s release, in 1994, Yoba starred alongside Puerto Rican actor Michael DeLorenzo in the police TV series New York Undercover. Yoba continued with a strong television career, which included appearances on Law & Order and CSI: Miami. Yoba is now a regular on the 2015 TV series Empire.
Arrested Development fans may recognize Yoba as Ice, the bounter hunter/party planner in the show’s second season.
Despite his long TV career, Yoba is still most well known for his role in the film. He regularly gets lines thrown at him from people walking down the street.