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Michael Wayans and Vanessa Simmons. | Source: Getty Images
Michael Wayans and Vanessa Simmons. | Source: Getty Images

Michael Wayans Comes from a Famous Family and Shares a Child with Vanessa Simmons

Aug 18, 2023
03:15 P.M.

Michael Wayans and Vanessa Simmons brought together two powerful entertainment families, the Wayans comedy dynasty and the Simmons hip-hop empire when they had their daughter a day before Valentine's Day 2014.

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The father of Vanessa Simmons' baby, Michael Wayans, also known as Mike Wayans, is the second child of comedy legend Damon Wayans Sr. He keeps a relatively low profile but has appeared and contributed to many Wayans Brothers productions.

There is no indication of the current status of his relationship with the mom of this child. While Vanessa posts many photos with their daughter, snaps with the actor-screenwriter are rare. She has a high profile as an actress, reality star, and entrepreneur.

Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Damian Wayans and Mike Wayans attend Vanessa Simmons’ baby shower at Sugar Factory Hollywood, on January 18, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Damian Wayans and Mike Wayans attend Vanessa Simmons’ baby shower at Sugar Factory Hollywood, on January 18, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Where Michael Wayans Fits on the Extensive Wayans Family Tree

Michael Richard "Mike" Wayans was born on March 28, 1985, in Los Angeles County, California, to Damon Sr. and Lisa Thorner. He was an older brother of Damon Wayans Jr. and two younger sisters, Cara Mia Wayans and Kyla Wayans.

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His parents split when he was 15, after 16 years of marriage. They cited "irreconcilable differences" in their August 2000 divorce filing. The couple married on April 24, 1984, two years after the birth of their first child.

Mike and his siblings lived with their mother in Beverly Hills, California, after the couple's separation on May 21, with Damon Sr. residing in Santa Monica, per the official court documents. Lisa requested joint custody of their four children.

Damon Wayans and Lisa Thorner attending the premiere of "Bulletproof" on August 28, 1996, at the Cinerama Dome Theater, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Damon Wayans and Lisa Thorner attending the premiere of "Bulletproof" on August 28, 1996, at the Cinerama Dome Theater, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Mike Wayans' father came to prominence as Banana Man in "Beverly Hills Cop," and on "Saturday Night Live" in the mid-'80s. Damon Sr. wrote for and starred in his brother, Keenen Ivory Wayans's sketch comedy, "In Living Color," with a few other siblings.

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Damon Sr. is the third of 10 siblings, most of whom, and their offspring, work in the entertainment industry in some capacity. Their parents are Elvira Wayans, a social worker, and Howell Wayans, who managed a supermarket.

The youngest sibling of the family, Marlon Wayans, joked that Damon Sr. "was always needy" when they were children, "and he still is needy." Marlon is famous for his stand-up, "White Chicks," the sitcom "The Wayans Bros.," and the "Scary Movie" franchise.

Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Kim Wayans, Damon Wayans and Keenen Ivory Wayans at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California, on August 25, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Kim Wayans, Damon Wayans and Keenen Ivory Wayans at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California, on August 25, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Mike's older brother Damon Jr. has been in many Wayans Brother films and TV shows but has also starred in other comedies and dramatic content. He was on "My Wife and Kids," a sitcom that the elder Damon created, and also served as a staff writer, and story editor.

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He was a voice actor in "Marmaduke" as Thunder with Owen Wilson, Judy Greer, and his uncle Marlon. He also lent his voice to "Big Hero 6," "The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave," and was Arnold in the adult animation "Bob's Burgers."

On TV, he has a lot of success in "New Girl," "Happy Endings," and "The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair," and was in an episode on his cousin's "Second Generation Wayans." A new project with his father, "Poppa's House," is in the works.

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Michael Wayans Is Not Vanessa Simmons' Husband ― Inside Their Relationship

Vanessa and Michael became parents to Ava Marie Wayans on Thursday evening, February 13, 2014. The "Boogie Town" actress shared the news of their pregnancy the previous September on social media with a sonogram of their "little princess."

This is the last post of the actor on her grid.

On whether they plan to expand their family, Vanessa told ET in August 2017, "Dealing with a 3-year-old is very challenging, but I think eventually, after Mike and I tie the knot." The actor had not proposed at the time, but the couple had discussed their future.

Rev. Run of RUN-DMC and Mike Wayans in a preview of "DADDY'S GIRLS" on July 21, 2009 in Gardena, California. | Source: Getty Images

Rev. Run of RUN-DMC and Mike Wayans in a preview of "DADDY'S GIRLS" on July 21, 2009 in Gardena, California. | Source: Getty Images

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As parents of a young child, she highlighted the importance of communication, "That's the biggest thing. Just making sure we're on the same page and communicating. Especially with a 3-year-old. Organization is key." The pair reportedly got together in 2005.

Born August 5, 1983, Vanessa is the daughter of Valerie Vaughn and Joseph Simmons, aka Rev Run from Run-D.M.C, and the niece of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Like the Waynes family, the Simmons clan's careers are intertwined.

The second-generation celebrity starred with her family in "Run's House" for six seasons between 2005 and 2009, "Daddy's Girls," and a few seasons of "Growing Up Hip Hop." The mom of one is also known for her work in scripted content.

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She starred in "The Caregiver," "Hip Hop Family Christmas" and its sequel, and 2023's "Deadly Entanglement." In the drama series "Monogamy," which she also executive produced, Vanessa played Caroline and Jackie Herman in "Games People Play."

"A Father's Love ❤️ [Mike Wayans] Happy Father's Day ❤️ We Love You," Vanessa posted in June 2019, with a throwback photo of Mike holding up an infant Eva. This is the last post of the actor on her grid.

While she still posts about Mother's Day, she no longer publicly celebrates her child's father. Their kid has been featured in promotional campaigns for Glitter & Lace, Vanessa's clothing brand for mothers and daughters.

Angela Simmons, Vanessa Simmons and Mike Wayans at Vanessa’s baby shower at Sugar Factory Hollywood, on January 18, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Angela Simmons, Vanessa Simmons and Mike Wayans at Vanessa’s baby shower at Sugar Factory Hollywood, on January 18, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Michael Wayans' Career Began with Him Playing a Younger Version of His Dad

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"I write scripts," Mike's private Instagram bio reads. The profile photo is a cartoon hand showing the middle finger. Though his IMDb profile has no credits for screenwriting, he has multiple credits for acting and in the music department.

In the 1994 comedy "Blankman" starring Damon Sr. as Darryl, a naïve inventor who becomes a superhero, Mike portrayed Darryl as a child. His elder brother Damon Wayans Jr. also made his acting debut in the flick and was Mike's scene partner.

Mike Wayans in a preview of the new season of "DADDY'S GIRLS" at K1 Speed, on July 21, 2009 in Gardena, California.| Source: Getty Images

Mike Wayans in a preview of the new season of "DADDY'S GIRLS" at K1 Speed, on July 21, 2009 in Gardena, California.| Source: Getty Images

His following acting credit was alongside his father, "My Wife and Kids." He portrayed a recurring character named Mike in five episodes spread out over seasons two to four. In 2009's "Dance Flick," he linked up with his family as a 'Confessing Crew Member.'

It was written by three of his uncles and directed by his cousin Damien Dante Wayans. He also performed "I Shot Him at a Quarter to 1" on the soundtrack. Mike composed the theme song of "The Underground," a 2006 comedy starring his dad and brother.

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