American comedian and actor Aries Spears rose to prominence as one of the cast members of the late night sketch comedy show “MADtv,” a gig he held from 1997 to 2005. After leaving “MADtv,” Spears joined Damon Wayans and other performers for Showtime's sketch comedy series “The Underground” (2006). Spears has also acted in several movies, including “Jerry Maguire” (1996), “The Pest” (1997), “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” (1998), “Josie and the Pussycats” (2001), “Higher Ed” (2001), “Love Chronicles” (2003) and “Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror” (2006). He has also appeared in the TV series “South of Sunset” (1993, as Ziggy Duane), “A Different World” (1993), “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” (1994) and “CSI: Miami” (2007) and provided the voice of Wizard Kelly in the Disney Channel series “The Proud Family” (2001-2004) and the TV movie installment “The Proud Family Movie” (2005). His voice can also be heard in the series “C-Bear and Jamal” (1996) and “The Wayans Family Presents: Thugaboo - Sneaker Madness” (2006, TV).
Childhood and Family:
Aries Spears was born on April 3, 1975, in Chicago, Illinois. He relocated to New Jersey at age 11. He attended Arthur M. Judd Elementary School and then North Brunswick Township High School in North Brunswick, New Jersey. Spears dropped out of high school at age 17 to become an actor.
Currently, Aries resides in Los Angeles. He is single.
The Proud Family
Aries Spears began performing standup routines when he was 14 years old. His TV debut came two years later when he performed in the HBO series “Def Comedy Jam.” After dropping out of high school, the then 17 year old Spears headed to Los Angeles to try his luck at acting. The following year, he made his series regular debut in the short lived drama “South of Sunset” (1993), where he played Ziggy Duane. The show earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences. Also in 1993, he portrayed Ty in two episodes of the NBC sitcom “A Different World.”
In 1994, Spears made the leap to the big screen with a small role in the independent comedy “Home of Angels,” which was directed by Nick Stagliano and written by James Oliva. Following a guest appearance in “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.,” (1994), he appeared in an unsold pilot called “Crosstown Traffic” (1995), supported LL Cool J, Victoria Dillard, Tim Reid and Howard Hesseman in the dramatic film “Out-of-Sync” (1995), directed by Debbie Allen, and was cast as Cuba Gooding Jr.'s brother in Cameron Crowe's well received comedy “Jerry Maguire” (1996), which starred Tom Cruise. Spears was then featured with John Leguizamo and Jeffrey Jones in “The Pest” (1997), a comedy by Paul Miller.
It was in September 1997 that Spears began his regular gig on the Fox sketch comedy series “MADtv” during the show's third season. He would stay on the show until May 21, 2005, making him one of the show's longest serving cast members. While on the show, Spears created a number of characters, including comedienne Belma Buttons, James Brown Jr., host Dollar Bill Montgomery and rapper Emcee Esher. He also impersonated many African American celebrities.
While working on “MADtv,” Spears continued to pursue his film career. He was cast as legendary comic Redd Foxx in “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” (1998), a biopic of singer Frankie Lymon. The film was directed by Gregory Nava and starred Larenz Tate as Frankie Lymon and Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox and Lela Rochon as the three women in Lymon's life, Zola Taylor, Elizabeth 'Mickey' Waters and Emira Eagle, respectively. In 2001, Spears made a cameo appearance in “Josie and the Pussycats,” based on the Archie comic of the same name and starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson. He then portrayed a college student named Lil' Bud in the comedy “Higher Ed,” which was written and directed by Jean-Claude La Marre. He went on to portray Playa in the romantic drama “Love Chronicles” (2003), starring Terrence Howard and Caroline Whitney Smith, and Gunnar Jorge in the Martin Short comedy “Jiminy Glick in Lalawood” (2004).
From 2001-2004, Spears voiced Wizard Kelly in several episodes of Disney Channel's animated series “The Proud Family.” After leaving “MADtv,” he reprised the role in an episode of “Lilo & Stitch: The Series” (2005) and the TV film version “The Proud Family Movie” (2005). He also did voiceover work in “Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness” (2006), an animated television movie from the Wayans brothers.
In 2006, Spears played Quon in “Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror,” which premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. The film's cast members included Ernie Hudson, Danny Trejo, Anson Mount, Daniella Alonso, Brande Roderick, Pooch Hall and Diamond Dallas Page. A regular performer at The Comedy Store, The Improv and The Laugh Factory during the early 1990s, Spears wrote and starred in his own standup special on “Comedy Central Presents” in 2005 and showed off his talent for comedy in the Showtime series “The Underground” (2006), opposite Gabrielle Dennis, Edi Patterson and Damon Wayans.
In 2007, Spears had the recurring role of Oscar Monahan in “CSI: Miami.” More recently, he appeared in “Supreme Court of Comedy” (2008), “Black to the Future” (2009), “All Star Comedy Jam” (2009) and an episode of “Chelsea Lately” (2009).