Experienced actress remembered by television audiences as Mama Thomas about ABC’s What’s Happening!! from 1976 to 1979. She discovered are a nightclub vocalist in her twenties. She got notable film tasks in 1979’s The Jerk and 1988’s Scrooged. She was wedded to Melvin Ruler from 1967 to 1989; the few had one boy. She acted with Diana Ross in the 1978 musical The Wiz.