JD McCrary was born to James West McCrary and Larisa McCrary in the Granada Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2007. He has an older stepbrother, Josh McCrary, who has appeared in television shows such as “Shameless.” In 2017, JD was named as one of the stars of Disney’s live-action remake of “The Lion King.”
JD will play Young Simba in one of the most anticipated movies of 2019. The young star has spoken in the past about how he beat out thousands of other ambitious youngsters to star alongside Donald Glover and Beyonce in the movie.
JD told Complex Magazine in 2017 that it was his mother who told him that he had gotten the role in “The Lion King.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. JD McCrary’s Parents Were Hugely Encouraging When He Told Them He Wanted to Be a Performer
JD told Vibe Magazine in a November 2017 interview that his parents were extremely encouraging when he told them he wanted to be a performer. JD said that his parents did not require any convincing when he said he wanted to go to auditions. When asked in the same interview what he preferred to do between acting, dancing and singing, JD said, “Singing, because my whole family sings, and I just wanna inspire people with my music.”
In April 2017, JD posted a video showing him singing a duet while on his bed with someone off screen. When a Twitter follower asked if the other voice was Jamie Foxx, JD replied saying the other voice was his father’s.
“The Lion King” star said in a separate interview with Blavity that it was his mother and father who first introduced him to Michael Jackson, the artist JD considers to be his biggest influence. JD said, “I gotta thank my mom and dad for that one! My dad is a singer, so he was always playing the best music growing up. Singing came naturally to me once I started talking, and obviously all I wanted to do is sing. One of my favorite songs is actually by The Jackson 5, “Who’s Lovin’ You.””
2. In 2017, a Red Pickup Truck Crashed Into the McCrary’s Los Angeles’ Home
Shortly after JD was cast in “The Lion King,” the family had to deal with horror at home after a red pickup truck crashed into JD’s bedroom at 10 a.m. on November 4, 2017. ABC Los Angeles reported that JD was in the kitchen when the incident occurred. The actor described the crash as being like an earthquake.
The ABC report said that the driver of the car sped off but left behind a baby and a bloodied woman, according to JD’s mother, Larisa. She told the station that the woman “was rambling something like ‘Oh, I was kidnapped. Oh, I don’t know. My wallet is over here.’ It just didn’t sound right… There’s something wrong with them and this whole situation and I hope that somebody catches them.” Larisa added that the woman fled the scene and authorities were unable to locate her.
3. JD’s First National TV Appearance Happened on His Mother’s Birthday
JD first rose to public attention in May 2017 at the age of 9 after an appearance on Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots” on NBC. When asked about the performance in a 2019 Variety interview, JD said, “I just felt natural and it was cool having my family watch me. It was on my mom’s birthday that we recorded it, which was really nice.” JD went on to talk about meeting Pink at the 2019 Grammy Awards saying that his mother is a “super fan” of the “Just Like a Pill” singer.
4. JD McCrary’s Brother, Josh, Has Acted With Eric Andre in the Past
JD’s brother Josh is a singer, actor and dancer in his own right. In fact, Josh has acted with JD’s “The Lion King” co-star, Eric Andre, on the comedian’s eponymous show in 2014. According to Josh’s IMDb page, he has also appeared in two 2016 episodes of the Showtime series, “Shameless,” alongside William H. Macy.
5. In the Wake of Nipsey Hussle’s Death, JD’s Father Had Some Strong Words
On the same day that rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot dead in Los Angeles, JD’ father took to his Facebook page to ask, “Why do we hate our own kind so much!!!!???” On that page, JD’s father, Jay West, refers to Pacoima, California, as his hometown.
While on JD’s mother’s Facebook page, Larisa McCrary writes in her About section, “Starting a new chapter of Our lives… Being married is a Wonderful feeling… And its ALL about my Hubby My 2 boys and Myself!!! So Focused and the Blessings keep coming!!! SO Thankful God is on Our sides and has and will continue to see us through ANYTHING!!! :).”