1. NOW: Coach Walter Oakes (a.k.a. Sinbad)
2. RIP: Vernon Gaines (a.k.a Lou Myers)
3. THEN: Lena James (a.k.a Jada Pinkett Smith)
Jada Pinkett Smith needs no introduction. Since her run on “A Different World” as the sassy Lena James, Jada has went on to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. She’s appeared in movies such as “Jason’s Lyric,” “Set It Off,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Ali,” two of the “Matrix” films and more. She married fellow actor, Will Smith and together the couple have two children, Willow and Jaden Smith.
4. NOW: Lena James (a.k.a Jada Pinkett Smith)
5. THEN: Winifred “Freddie” Brooks (a.k.a. Cree Summer)
Cree Summer played the role of Freddie Brooks on “A Different World.” After the show was canceled, she went on to do voice-over work for cartoons including a few 90s baby’s favorites, “Rugrats” and “Inspector Gadget.” She also appeared in television shows such as “Living Single” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel– Air” in the 1990s.
6. NOW: Winifred “Freddie” Brooks (a.k.a. Cree Summer)
7. THEN: Jaleesa Vinson (a.k.a Dawnn Lewis)
Following the end of “A Different World”, the actress who played Jaleesa, Dawn Lewis, went on to play Robin in “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” (remember that show!?). She also appeared alongside Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce in the film, “Dreamgirls” and starred in the theater version of “Sister Act.”
8. NOW: Jaleesa Vinson (a.k.a Dawnn Lewis)
9. THEN: Ronald “Ron” Johnson (a.k.a. Darryl M. Bell)
Dwayne’s witty sidekick, Ron Johnson, was definitely one of my favorite characters on “A Different World.” Darryl Bell played the role of Ron and kept us on our toes with his schemes to get rich quick, stay fresh and fly and of course get all the ladies! Darryl is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
10. NOW: Ronald “Ron” Johnson (a.k.a. Darryl M. Bell)
11. THEN: Denise Huxtable (a.k.a Lisa Bonet)
Lisa Bonet is probably one of the most recognizable faces from the cast of “A Different World.” Although she only appeared on “A Different World” for one season, she’s always remembered as Denise Huxtable. Since her roles on “Cosby” and “A Different World”, she went on to play in “Biker Boyz”, “Enemy of the State” and more.