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Mabel King (1932–1999)

Actress who is best known for the role of Mama on the 1970's sitcom What's Happening!!! She also appeared in the movie The Jerk, with Steve Martin, and The Wiz, with Michael Jackson. Before What's Happening, she starred in the Broadway version of The Wiz, as the Wicked Witch of the West. See full bio »

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2 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

The Jerk
The Jerk Mother
Scrooged Gramma
The Wiz
The Wiz Evillene
What's Happening!!
What's Happening!! Mabel 'Mama' Thomas / Mrs. Thomas


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (26 credits)
 1988 Black Vampire
 1988 Scrooged
 1988 Wiseguy (TV Series)
Mae Nina
- Blood Dance (1988) ... Mae Nina
 1986 Tales from the Darkside (TV Series)
Ruby Cuzzins
- Baker's Dozen (1986) ... Ruby Cuzzins
 1986 The Colbys (TV Series)
Fortune Teller
- The Honeymoon (1986) ... Fortune Teller
 1986 Amazing Stories (TV Series)
Jennifer Mowbray
- The Sitter (1986) ... Jennifer Mowbray
 1984 The Jeffersons (TV Series)
Mother Tobin
- Some Enchanted Evening (1984) ... Mother Tobin
 1984 The Master (TV Series)
- Fat Tuesday (1984) ... Willie
 1984 The Jerk, Too (TV Movie)
Mama Johnson
 1983 Whiz Kids (TV Series)
- Fatal Error (1983)
 1983 Lottery! (TV Series)
- Los Angeles: Bigger Volume (1983) ... Mabel
 1983 ABC Weekend Specials (TV Series)
Mrs. Trussker
- All the Money in the World (1983) ... Mrs. Trussker
 1978-1981 Fantasy Island (TV Series)
Mama Parker / Bertha Jones / Lelani
- Basin Street/The Devil's Triangle (1981) ... Mama Parker
- Photographs/Royal Flush (1979) ... Bertha Jones
- Bet a Million/Mr. Irresistible (1978) ... Lelani
 1981 Getting Over
Mabel Queen
 1981 Palmerstown, U.S.A. (TV Series)
Aunt Toog
- Future City (1981) ... Aunt Toog
 1980 The Gong Show Movie
 1979 The Jerk
 1979 Barney Miller (TV Series)
Mother Zilla
- Computer Crime (1979) ... Mother Zilla
 1978 The Wiz
 1977 Scott Joplin (TV Movie)
Madam Amy
 1976 The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
Bertha Dewitt, Owner of Charcoal Kings
 1973 Don't Play Us Cheap
House guest at the party
 1973 Ganja & Hess
Queen of Myrthia
Show Show Soundtrack (3 credits)
Show Show Self (5 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (2 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Aappeared in "Don't Play Us Cheap". See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Article | See more »

Did You Know?


In 1986, she lost a toe to diabetes. In 1989, she had a stroke, leaving her left side paralyzed and virtually speechless for over a year. She also lost both her legs. In the 1990s, she almost died in surgery during a hip replacement. She was once dropped by an ambulance crew and another time fell out of her wheelchair and fell face first to the floor. She lost some of her top teeth. She died on ... See more »

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