The Wonder Years cast includes Don Cheadle, Elisha Williams, Dulé Hill and Saycon Sengbloh. This info article contains minor spoilers for Saladin K. Patterson’s remake of the original ABC series. Check out more streaming guides in Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section.
Set in late 60s Alabama, The Wonder Years follows the Williams family as they navigate a turbulent time in American history. Twelve-year-old Dean experiences heartbreak in the pilot episode, and tries to process the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He aspires to be “Be Cool” like his father Bill, all the while learning about inner strength from his mother Lillian and sister Kim. Here’s a full rundown of the main players in the 21st century edition of The Wonder Years.
The Wonder Years Cast: Don Cheadle as Narrator
Character Profile: An older version of the main series protagonist. He establishes context for the focal events, and recalls how various experiences impacted his life. The narrator helps the audience understand his perspective as an adolescent in the American South during the late 60s.
Cheadle’s Resume: Buck Swope in Boogie Nights (1997), Basher Tarr in the Ocean’s 11 Movie Franchise (2001-), Graham in Crash (2004), Paul Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda (2004), Mo Monroe in Black Monday (2019-)
The Wonder Years Cast: Elisha Williams as Dean Williams
Character Profile: The 12-year-old protagonist. He learns valuable life lessons at home from his parents, and then applies that information to real-world experiences at school (and in society as a whole). Dean experiences romantic heartbreak but knows that he’s not the only one suffering in his community.
Williams’ Resume: Zed in Henry Danger (2019), EJ in 3… 2… Wonder! (2019), Bingo in Puppy Dog Pals (2020-), Dirk in The Loud House (2021)
The Wonder Years Cast: Dulé Hill as Bill Williams
Character Profile: Dean’s father. He’s a music professor by day and funk musician at night. Bill lives by the mantra “Be Cool,” and he’s known for supporting Black people in the community.
Hill’s Resume: Charlie Young in The West Wing (1999-2006), Burton Guster in Psych (2006-14), Larry Siefert in Ballers (2015-17), Alex Williams in Suits (2017-19), Marcus Duane Wainwright III in Black Monday (2020)
The Wonder Years Cast: Saycon Sengbloh as Lillian Williams
Character Profile: Dean’s mother. Like Bill, she’s a graduate of Tuskegee A&M. Lillian worries about her son Bruce — who is fighting in the Vietnam War — while raising a 12-year-old boy and a teenage daughter.
Sengbloh’s Resume: Angela Webster in Scandal (2017), Nora in Double Play (2017), Jules Becker in In the Dark (2019-20), Leah in Delilah (2021), Erma Franklin in Respect (2021)
The Wonder Years Cast: Laura Kariuki as Kim Williams
Character Profile: Dean’s sister. She’s a stylish teenager with militant philosophies. Kim helps Dean better understand the realities of late 60s America.
Kariuki’s Resume: JJ/Lightning in Black Lighting (2021)
The Wonder Years Cast: Julian Lerner as Brad Hitman
Character Profile: Dean’s classmate. He’s often referenced by Cheadle’s narrator. Brad is a Jewish character who contributes to Dean’s education about race and identity in America.
Lerner’s Resume: Samuel in Pottersville (2017), Young Pete Davidson in Saturday Night Live (2019), Calev in Happy! (2019), Young Luca in Dragon Quest: Your Story (2019), Nando Torres in Yes Day (2021)
The Wonder Years Cast: Amari O’Neil as Cory Long
Character Profile: Dean’s best friend. He’s the son of a baseball coach. Cory is an easy-going character who symbolizes the person that Dean aspires to be, at least as a 12-year-old at a Montgomery, Alabama school.
O’Neil’s Resume: Darryl in S.W.A.T. (2018), Max Forrester in Grey’s Anatomy (2018), Young Corey in All American (2019), Felix in Will & Grace (2019), Edgar in NCIS (2020)
The Wonder Years Cast: Milan Ray as Keisa Clemmons
Character Profile: Dean’s crush. She’s a fan of The Avengers. Keisa inadvertently breaks Dean’s heart after kissing Cory.
Ray’s Resume: Hell-No Price in Troop Zero (2019), Young Simone in Boomerang (2019), Shay in Charm City Kings (2020), Lil in Modern Love (2021)
The Wonder Years Cast: Allen Maldonado as Coach Long
Character Profile: Dean’s baseball coach. He’s “sweet” on the boy’s mother, Lillian. Coach Long clashes with Bill yet they briefly put aside their differences after Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.
Maldonado’s Resume: Curtis in Black-ish (2015-19), Bobby in The Last O.G. (2018-20), Landry in Project Power (2020), Devin in Sneakerheads (2020), Rooster Robbins in Heels (2021)
The Wonder Years cast also includes Charity Jordan (Selma, The Underground Railroad), Nakia Dillard (Split, Black Lightning) and Melanie Jeffcoat (Showgirls, Ordinary Joe).
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.