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Carl Anthony Payne II (born May 24, 1969 in Trenton, New Jersey) is an American actor. He studied at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, New York and Howard University, Washington DC. He is best known for his roles as Theo Huxtable's best friend Cockroach on The Cosby Show and the dimwitted Cole Brown on Martin.
With his crazy hats and dimwitted statements, Payne often comes off as an even goofier counterpart to the antics of Martin Lawrence, star of Martin, the Fox sitcom on which they both appeared. Payne played a similar recurring character on The Cosby Show as Theo's good buddy Walter "Cockroach" Bradley. A veteran of New York's professional children's theater scene, Payne made a relatively smooth transition to young adult roles on the small screen. Payne has appeared in more than 35 commercials and has made guest appearances on several dramatic series. Payne is also known for his singing, including the theme song to the newer "Martin" episodes. He is currently a recurring character on Under One Roof as Calvester's "hoodlum" friend.
He resides in Los Angeles, California. Currently, Payne participates in various stage plays such as Lord All Men Can't Be Dogs, Cheaters and Men, Money & Golddiggers, Theres A Stranger In My House. He co-starred in the stage play Love Me or Leave Me, which was turned into a television feature for the Gospel Music Channel in 2010.
Carl is also working on numerous independent comedy projects such as "Like Swirl" featuring Anthony Shaw and Rizzo Gray (Entourage). Carl also does standup comedy.
In 1992, he married Melika, and is now stepfather to singer Bobby Brown's oldest son Landon. He also has three other sons. He makes a brief cameo appearance in the film The Last Dragon (in the pizza shop.)
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