If you were a true 1990s kid, you probably spent hours in front of the TV watching Nickelodeon shows. Often being known as Nick, this television channel had gained a profound reverence for series such as Double Dare or Spongebob Squarepants. While offering the viewers such nostalgic entertainment, the network also created numerous long-lasting pop culture icons, and Kel Mitchell is one of them.
During his career, the Chicago native had been on countless television shows and brought laughter to audiences of all ages. Still, Kel Mitchell rarely talked about his personal life. Only when he stepped further from the spotlight did we realize we don’t know as much about him as we thought, and that’s why we are here. From Kel Mitchell net worth to what he is on to now, everything will be unfolded in this post!
Table of Contents
Early Life & Acting Career
For those who don’t know, his birth name is Kel Johari Rice Mitchell. The ‘All That’ actor and comedian was born August 25, 1978, on the Southside of Chicago, where he spent all of his childhood with two siblings, Kyra and Kenyatta Mitchell.
From a very young age, Kel harbored a love for the performing arts. He used to entertain the other children at school with his mimics and other antics. Fortunately, his parents, Roger and Sheryl, were very supportive of their child. Seeing the talent in him, they encouraged him to becoming an actor.
At the age of 12, Kel Mitchell enrolled in Vocational High School while taking ETA Creative Arts Foundation‘s drama classes.
This was when his acting career began. The ETA was a non-profit organization that provided training and performance opportunities for talented youth and adults. During his time there, Kel Mitchell was given opportunities to perform in theatrical productions and awed the audiences with his fascinating performances in plays such as ‘Kasimu and the Coconut Palm’ or ‘Dirt’.
However, it was the role in ‘Eden’ – a show at Victory Garden Theatre – that really changed the boy’s life. Right after the show finished, he was asked to join an audition for a series on popular kid’s channel Nickelodeon. At the time he flew to Florida and joined the casting, Kel was only 14 years old. Thousands of kids were present there but Kel beat everyone for the role, which would later take his career to the next level.
Kel Mitchell Movies And TV Shows
The show that transformed Kel Mitchell’s life was the sketch comedy series we all know and love, ‘All That’. From the first episode, which was aired on April 16, 1994, to the last episode of season 5 on October 23, 1999, Kel remained a regular cast member. His pairing with Kenan Thompson, the co-star on the series, attracted so much attention that they were cast together in numerous projects, including a spin-off to ‘All That’ namely ‘Kenan and Kel’. Later, the duo received a full-length feature film titled ‘Good Burger’.
Kel Mitchell in ‘Good Burger’ – Source: Relevant Magazine
Following the success of ‘All That’, the Chicago native quickly became a rising star in the Hollywood sky and landed some meaty roles in movies like ‘Sister Sister’ or ‘The Steve Harvey Show’. 1999 marked his first time taking a lead role as the Invisible Man in the movie ‘Mystery Men’. He appeared in the 2000 picture ‘The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,’ which also starred Robert De Nero, Jason Alexander, and Rene Russo.
At this point, the audiences were probably familiar with Kel Mitchell’s comedic styles. Aside from appearing on the small screen, he also provided his voice talent for the popular children’s show ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ as T-dog. The show ran from 2000 to 2003.
In 2001, Kel played Manny Sellers in the hit comedy ‘One On One’. Just a year later, he made his appearance in BET’s new series ‘Take The Cake’. His other notable work during the mid-decade period included the main role in ‘Honeydripper.’ He also tried out for a role in ‘Saturday Night Live’, but was passed up by Kenan Thompson. Following this incident, many wondered, ‘Are Kenan and Kel still friends?‘. Well, that’s something we will find out in the next part.
Dance Fu (2011) – Official Trailer
Aside from being an actor, Kel Mitchell is also a scriptwriter and producer. In March 2008, he wrote and produced his own film titled ‘Dance Fu’. Nonetheless, no matter how far he has gone in his career, Kel Mitchell still kept many of his acting gigs close to his roots at Nickelodeon. The star made numerous special appearances on TV series such as ‘Sam and Cat’, ‘Game Shakers’, and so on, paying tribute to his launchpad.
In 2000, fans congratulated Kel Mitchell on his wedding with the long-time girlfriend, Tyisha Hampton-Mitchell. The couple had two children together, but their bliss didn’t last long.
2004 was a rough year for the actor as it marked the end of his marriage. As a result, Kel found himself battling drug addiction, depression, and suicidal thoughts. On his personal blog, the ‘90s staple mentioned his struggles: “Suicidal, divorce, drug and alcohol usage, deep in sin, dealing with the loss of love ones to gang violence, debt, hurt, pain, vanity, lust, heartbreak, feeling LOST looking for answers.”
Following this, two years later, many were shocked to hear about the death of the ‘Kenan and Kel’ star. The announcement was shared via email – (remember your old Hotmail account with a name you can’t use on your LinkedIn page?), as well as MySpace:
“Kel Mitchell, otherwise known as Kel Kimble in the hit TV show ‘Kenan & Kell’ died on Sunday night at his home in LA. The reason for his death is currently unknown.”
The public’s outpouring of anguish was totally misplaced, though, since it was all a fraud. As mentioned by Snopes, Kel Mitchell, just like Paul McCartney, was just another victim of a celebrity death hoax. The star did take a break from the spotlight, but only to figure out what to do with his life, as he later told People.
Kel Mitchell talks contemplating suicide
And at last, he did. What saved Kel Mitchell from his depressive spiral was the rediscovery of his Christian faith. Being the grandson of a pastor, it was that belief he sought to recapture.
“I was trying to figure it all out on my own. But what I needed to do was turn to Him,” he told People. Soon after, Kel got his work as the stage manager at a nondenominational church in Los Angeles. Until today, he still shares the gospel of Christ as a motivational speaker.
To make it better, Kel’s married to his second wife, rapper Asia Lee. They had two children, a daughter in 2017 and a son in 2020. Having learned so much from the first relationship, the star makes a decision to slow down his career on the screen and focus more on his family. As Kel introduced their newborn son, Honor Mitchell, on an Instagram post, Kate Godfrey, Jason Weaver Damon Wayans, Jr., and Kyla Pratt were among those to congratulate him in the comments.
Kel Mitchell and Asia Lee
It was proof that Kel Mitchell’s decision to dial his career back didn’t affect the friendships he made in the entertainment industry. The bond between Kel and co-star Kenan Thompson has always been solid, despite many rumors surrounding the two. In a recent interview, Kenan revealed to Distractify that Kel Mitchel is his lifelong brother.
“We had a moment where we kind of weren’t speaking when we could have been and we both realized that,” said Kenan. “Watching his family grow up and watching my family grow up — it’s just a beautiful love movement basically and that’s how it needs to stay.”
How Much Is Kel Mitchell Net Worth?
How much is Kel Mitchell net worth? – Source: TheReal
Although Kel Mitchell doesn’t appear on TV shows as much as he did, we can all agree that the ‘90s were the golden age of his career. That leads us to a question, ‘How much is Kel Mitchell net worth now?’.
Well, according to Celebrity Net Worth and other sources, as of 2021, Kel Mitchell net worth is estimated at $3 million, a far cry from his buddy Kenan Thompson’s $13 million fortune. It doesn’t sound like a lot compared to other Hollywood greats, mainly because Kel was in the spotlight much less than his fellow 90s stars.
Still, this number is likely to grow now that the star is back in the entertainment industry. The duo Kelnanare joining hands to the relaunch of ‘All That’, and if the project can keep up with its previous success, it might result in a couple of pay raises for the actor.
Other Facts You Might Not Know About The Actor
Kel Mitchell’s Weight And Height
As shown in his biography, Kel Mitchell’s height is 5’9. He is weighed 72kg, accordingly.
He Once Appeared In Kanye West’s Music Video
Kel Mitchell was invited to appear in Kanye West’s 2009 music video ‘All Falls Down’, in which he played the role of a luggage collecting valet.
Kanye West – All Falls Down ft. Syleena Johnson
He Still Likes Orange Soda
One of the things fans remember most about Kel Mitchell’s character on the ‘Kenan and Kel’ show was the famous catchphrase ‘I love orange soda’. Little did we know that this was true both on and offset. Nowadays, though the star has been maintaining a healthy diet, he still enjoys a low-calorie orange soda from time to time.
Who loves orange soda?
He’s Also A Talented Dancer
Kel Mitchell was the runner-up in the 2nd season of Dancing With The Stars. In fact, he had practiced dancing way before joining the show.
Instead of ballroom dancing, though, he learned hip hop. In some of his TV series, the actor got opportunities to show off his talent. In 2004, he and actor Fredro Starr co-hosted Dancing 360, a short-lived dance competition show.
Kel Mitchell – All ‘Dancing With The Star’ Performances
Life wasn’t always easy for Kel Mitchell. The actor has gone through some difficult times and was on the verge of becoming another sad celebrity story. Still, even in his darkest days, Kel hasn’t blacklisted himself because of bad behaviors like some stars of the ’90s. Instead, he was able to get his life together and is on his way to reclaim the recognition once more. That makes him not just an actor, but also an inspiration.
Even when he hasn’t totally retired from acting, Kel would have nothing to regret if he does so one day. He has brought to us some of the most memorable roles in the late ’90s and influenced the life of many young people tremendously. Our childhood figure is now a proud dad, and a parent’s work, it’s been said, is the most fulfilling job in the world.