Many remember Pooch Hall from his character “Derwin Davis” from the hit BET show “The Game”. Now Hall is on another hit show, this time on Showtime, “Ray Donavan” with Jon Voigt. The young actor’s smile, just like his name “Pooch”, is loveable. But where did it come from?
The answer is the same answer for where he gets his inspiration, his drive and his energy from: Family.
“I’ve been Pooch since I was in my mom’s pooch,” Hall says. “My father is one of those guys who never gets anyone’s name right and so the next door neighbor was always calling me Pooky when I was in my mom’s stomach. So my dad started saying Poochy. So it’s actually Poochy, but I go by Pooch.”
39-year-old Pooch is married to Linda Hall, a realtor in California and they have three kids, daughters Djanai and Djaedra, and son Djordan.
Pooch’s eldest daughter, Djanai, has the developmental disability, Cerebral Palsy, that results in her being unable to walk or talk on her own and has constant seizures.
Cerebral palsy is due to abnormal brain development, often before birth. The symptoms differ from patient to patient, but can include exaggerated reflexes, floppy or rigid limbs, and involuntary motions. These appear by early childhood. Long-term treatment includes physical and other therapies, drugs, and sometimes surgery.
Despite Djanai’s condition, it doesn’t stop her from changing the hearts and minds of others, including her dad.
“I try and keep my family life private. I don’t like to bring work home but it is becoming harder the more popular shows I’m on become,” says Hall. “I will be with my kids and they are wondering ‘Why do people want to take a picture of my daddy?’ My oldest daughter is developmentally delayed and handicapped. A lot of people don’t know that about her because I’m sensitive about her and protective of her and all my kids, but that really changed my life.
But when things get a little tough taking care of his special needs daughter, Hall, once again is able to lean on family.
“My oldest daughter requires a lot of attention and work and that’s where my wife comes in and is a strong woman. She can’t be as great as she can be because she has to make sure that my daughter can be her greatest.”
“Djanai is a gift and a beautiful being. A lot of people complain about stuff that is really dumb. My daughter can’t walk or talk and is one of the happiest people on the planet. All she knows is love. I take a page from her book. The world would be so much better if we don’t judge. I don’t complain about dumb s**t. She doesn’t know hate, she doesn’t know race, she doesn’t know judgement. She just knows love and fun. I took a lesson from her. “
Actor Pooch Hall and his wife Linda hosted a “Sweet Sixteen” to remember for their daughter Djanai Hall last year.
The party, titled “Special Needs Family Prom,” spolighted Djanai along with other children battling with developmental disorders. Djanai’s diagnosis spurred her parents to reach out to other moms and dads who have…