Carl Anthony Payne, a successful actor, producer, and director, was born on May 24, 1969 in the small town of Clinton, South Carolina. He began working towards his acting career at a young age by studying at the First All Children’s Theater, which was an off Broadway reparatory theater company. He later attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City. Payne continued his education and training at Howard University in Washington, DC. He is best known for his recurring roles as Theo Huxtable’s best friend “Cockroach” on the ever popular and classic NBC’s hit series, The Cosby Show and as “Cole Brown” on the FOX network TV series Martin.
Payne stays on top of his career by not allowing him to be stereotyped or pigeon held. He continues to display his versatility on screen by playing roles such as Reynoldo St. James, on the popular BET series The Game, to most recently renowned producer L.A. Reid in VH1’s TLC Biopic. He has directed and produced music videos, web series and short films, all while continuing to showcase his stand-up comedy in different cities. Most recently Payne was directed and the independent drama, Misguided Behavior and also stars in the film, A Heart That Forgives: Everyone Has A Story, that is currently in limited release.
As a longtime resident of Los Angeles, California, now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Payne has remained relevant amount peers by his continued pursuit of excellence and commitment to legacy. Aside from being on the big screen, Payne’s commitment to community enrichment and charitable organizations is never ending.
His advice to young aspiring actors and professionals “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”