Contributed by: Jesse Cardenas
I'm sure all of you know that Akeem's father was played by James Earl Jones
, who did the voice of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" trilogy. Madge Sinclair played the Queen of Zamunda. Did you know that they also played King and Queen as Mufasa and Sarabi in Disney's THE LION KING! Two King/Queen roles in an African setting :)
Contributed by: Nate Stone
Akeem's mother (the Queen), actress Madge Sinclair also appeared in the TV mini-series "Roots". She played Kunta's (Toby's) wife (I think her character's name was "
Shari Headley (Lisa McDowell) was married for two years to Christopher "Kid" Martin one of the members of the successful 80's rap duo Kid 'N Play.
Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, "Fancy" from the Jamie Foxx Show, is one of the rose bearers.
In a recent interview, Eddie Murphy
stated that some critics found no comedic significance in the barbershop scenes, not realizing that three out of the four characters were played by Murphy and Arsenio Hall.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. makes a very early career appearance in the first barber shop scene getting his hair cut.
Contributed by: Tina Harris
Eddie's brother is also is the movie. The scene where Curits Vonde-Hall is so happy to see Eddie. The man who looks quite puzzled is Eddie's brother.
Future Jedi Samuel L. Jackson brilliantly plays the armed robber who holds up McDowells Restaurant!! "Don't stall me, fat boy!" Jackson is a long time friend of Eddie Murphy and was making one of his first big screen appearances.
The Cab Driver who gives Eddie and Arsenio the bird before taking them to Queens is Jake of "Body by Jake" exercise video fame.
Contributed by: Lisa Atley
played one of the employees at McDowells Restaurant. He was in the robbery scene and later in movie he tells Akeem and Semi how he plans to move up to manager in 2 years.
In Lisa's office, behind the door, there is a picture of director Spike Lee and his sister Joie Lee. Lee is an acclaimed director of influential African-American 80's films such as "Do the Right Thing" and "School Daze"
The bum tenant that falls down the steps in Akeem and Semi's apartment complex is actually Eddie Murphy's uncle, Ray Murphy.
Contributed by: Mark Corning
(Cleo McDowell) played the father on the African-American 70's sitcom "Good Times". He later co-starred as a major in "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" with Bruce Willis and as tough, but honest, head of the guard in Stallone's "Lock-Up".
Shari Headley was in the Blackstreet video "Before I Let You Go (Can I Get A Kiss Goodnight)"
Contributed by: Matthew J Bevis
One of the topless 'bathers' (the one who emerges from the water in front of Murphy to announce that "the royal p***s is clean", is Victoria Dillard, who played Janelle Cooper on TV's "Spin City". She was on the show from 1996-2000.
Contributed by: Kimberly Whitehead
Victoria Dillard, the royal bather, was also in "Deep Cover" with Laurence Fishburne.
In the scene where Akeem gives the bag of money to the two homeless men, those guys are, of course, Don Ameche
and Ralph Bellamy
, the ex-filthy rich brothers from "Trading Places
", also starring Eddie Murphy. Thatís why one of the brothers says: Wake up, where in business again.
Actress Shari Headley (Lisa McDowell) guest-stared on ABC-TV's daytime drama, "All My Children" as police detective, Mimi Frye.
Contributed by: Dr. Kimberly Ellis
In the railroad scene when Akeem searches for Lisa, a large "Fences" poster from August Wilson's Pulitzer-Prize winning broadway play, can be seen on the wall in the background. Eddie Murphy had a strong desire to play the role of the son in this father/son drama, but he's much too old for the part now.
Rapper Busta Rhymes used Coming to America as a premise to his "Put your Hands Where my Eyes Can See" Video.
Arsenio Hall's brother, Vondie-Curtis Hall, is the overzealous Zamunda native that they meet at the basketball game. V.C. rose to fame in the mid-90's on the CBS drama "Chicago Hope". This is probably the only movie to feature a star of both "Chicago Hope"(Hall) and its cross-channel rival "ER"(Eriq La Salle).
Contributed by: Jon Christensen
Since Coming to America, Arsenio Hall
has only been in one other well known movie, "Harlem Nights" also with Eddie Murphy...
Contributed by: Kevin Allustiarti
One of the girls they talk to in the bar, the one who says something, then says "him too" referring to Arsenio Hall's character, actually is Arsenio Hall. A girl hitting on her male counterpart!
There is a well judged crossover cameo by Mortimer and Randolph Duke from another Murphy hit, "Trading Places
Contributed by: Brandi Graves
The Lady that was supposed to marry Eddie Murphy was Vanessa Bell Calloway; She was the mother in Biker Boyz, and was a host on a Talk show on BET called "Oh Drama", and many other things. She is also staring on the BET Reality series Baldwin Hills!
Contributed by: Lisa Atley
One of our favorite E.R. doctors (Dr. Peter Benton) plays Lisa's boyfriend, Eriq La Salle.
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What follows are trivia items we now believe
are bogus. Some of them will have explanations, some will not. We just leave 'em
in for interest, really.
The big dance scene in the Zamunda palace, before Eddie Murphy meets his future bride is actually the same dance that was in the Thriller video, sped up.