Gimme a Break!: Where are they now? (updates on what the cast has done since the series ended) 

Nell Carter

Nell Carter, who played the stout, sassy housekeeper on the 1980s sitcom "Gimme a Break!" and won a Tony Award in 1978 for her sultry turn in the Broadway musical "Ain't Misbehavin'," died Thursday, January 23rd 2003 at 54.

The singer-actress collapsed in her Beverly Hills home and was found by one of her 13-year-old sons, spokesman Roger Lane said. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Carter had suffered from diabetes for years, Lane said, and she underwent two brain operations in 1992 to fix aneurysms. She recovered and continued to perform, mostly on stage.

At the time of her death, Carter was in rehearsals at a Long Beach theater for a 30th anniversary musical production of "Raisin," inspired by the play A Raisin the Sun, for International City Theatre in Long Beach, CA. The run was slated for Feb. 7-March 9. She would have played the mother role.

Blessed with a big voice and strong stage presence despite her 4-foot-11 height, the heavyset Carter prided herself on her range as a performer, doing musicals and drama as well as comedy.

"She was a pioneer in many ways," said fellow Tony winner Audra McDonald. "She had the ability to be such an incredible comedic musical-theater actress, blow a song all the way to the back of the wall and then come down and be so intimate and beautiful in a ballad."

In addition to her Tony for "Ain't Misbehavin,'" Carter received an Emmy in 1982 for a TV broadcast of the show, which was a revue of Fats Waller songs. Her quietly soulful number "Mean to Me" was a show highlight.

Carter garnered two more Emmy nominations in 1982 and 1983 for "Gimme a Break!," playing a housekeeper to a family headed by a widower who was the town police chief. The show ran from 1981 to 1987. In 1985, an episode was broadcast live — the first for a situation comedy in nearly 30 years.

She appeared in numerous tv series and movies after the show ended including: You Take the Kids, Bebe's Kids (voice), Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and The Crazysitter. She appeared in the music video and sang in the choir on the song "Voices That Care." She appeared on the game show "Match Game" in 1998-99 as a regular panelist.

Carter also played the cruel orphanage operator Miss Hannigan in the 1997 20th anniversary revival of "Annie" (January 1997-January 1998) and appeared in the movies "The Grass Harp" (1995), "Modern Problems" (1981) and "Hair" (1979).

Carter grew up in Birmingham, Ala. (born Nell Ruth Hardy on September 13, 1948), singing in her church choir. She was the fifth of nine children and grew up listening to her family's record collection which included of Dinah Washington, Doris Day , the Andrews Sisters, B.B. King and Elvis Presley --all of whom she synthesized into her unique vocal style. . She sang on the gospel circuit before moving on to coffeehouses and nightclubs. She longed to sing opera, then aspired to be a belter.

From early in her career until the mid-1980s, Carter struggled with alcohol and drugs, eventually shaking her addictions through a 12-step program.

Nell recently appeared on the WB sitcom 'Reba' in October 2001, on Ally McBeal in January 2002, and in a commercial for Liberty Medical Supplies.

Carter was married and divorced twice. She is survived by adult daughter, Tracey, from her former marriage to George Krynicki, and two adopted sons, Joshua and Daniel, both 13.

'Gimme a Break' Star Nell Carter Dies at 54

interesting article on Nell Carter from People Magazine 2-28-94

cast photo of the tv movie The Hank Gathers Story

Internet Movie Database entry

Nell Carter and Dolph Sweet

Dolph Sweet, the lovingly sarcastic police chief on television's "Gimme A Break" and an actor who began his career in a World War II prison camp, died May 8th, 1985 (shortly after filming the final episode of the 1984-1985 season) of cancer at Tarzana Hospital in Tarzana, California. He was 64.

He was born Adolphus J. Sweet on July 18th, 1920 in New York, New York. He was a former English and drama teacher at Barnard College of Columbia University who began acting when his fellow POWs staged a one-act play at a German prison camp.

After the war he was trying to break into acting but instead accepted a job at Barnard that 12 years later found him heading the college's drama department.

He eventually did make it to Broadway, appearing in "Rhinoceros," "Streamers," "The Penny Wars," "Billy" and "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window."

30 Movies

Sweet also was in more than 30 movies, including "You're a Big Boy Now," "Heaven Can Wait," "Which Way is Up?" "Go Tell the Spartans" and "The New Centurions." Other appearances included "The Lords of Flatbush", "The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training", and "Reds" to name a few. On television, he starred as Gil on the daytime soap "Another World" and in the short-lived 1980 series "When the Whistle Blows," about a gang of construction workers. He also appeared on "Dark Shadows".

He created the role of Police Chief Carl Kanisky in "Gimme A Break" in 1981. Sweet had missed four episodes in the 1983-84 season because of stomach surgery.

His co-star on the show, Nell Carter, who portrayed the stern housekeeper caring for Kanisky, a widower, and his children, delivered the eulogy at Sweet's funeral at St. Bridget of Sweden Church in Van Nuys.

Sweet is survived by his wife, Iris Braun. He has a son, Jonathan, by his first wife, who died in 1977.

Internet Movie Database entry

Kari Michaelson

Kari Michaelson was born November 3rd, 1961 in New, York, New York. Her original name was Kari Markussen - she did do some early acting under that name early on in her career, her stage name is spelled Michaelsen. She is of Norwegian heritage. Mom, Roberta Stevenson, was a dancer and died of bone cancer in 2000 and Dad, Arne Markusen, is a singer.

Kari Michaelsen has literally been a star of stage, screen and television, and she has now added the success in radio to her already impressive resume. During the 1980’s, Kari achieved international fame and became a popular ‘Hollywood Celebrity’. For five seasons, Kari starred as Katie Kanisky in the NBC Television Network’s hit series, “Gimme A Break”. She beat out actress Helen Hunt for the role.

Kari’s entertainment career began long before she became a network television star. In fact, she basically grew up as a ‘backstage baby’. Kari’s father was a professional singer and her mother was a professional dancer. If truth be told, Kari’s parents met during the production of a Broadway show in New York. With show business in her blood, Kari made her professional debut at the ripe old age of five in an off-Broadway production of ‘Gypsy’, followed by New York productions of ‘Our Town’, ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ and ‘South Pacific’. Kari’s mother, Roberta recalls, “ Kari was singing and dancing from the time she could walk.” Before leaving New York at the age of 13, Kari was already well established as a professional singer and dancer.

Upon moving to Southern California with her family, Kari attended Beverly Hills High School and became immediately involved in the school's highly respected drama department. Acting wasn't Kari's only interest as she was also a cheerleader as well as a member of the Beverly Hills High School gymnastics team. After graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Kari headed for Westwood and UCLA .

In addition to starring on NBC’s “Gimme A Break” for six seasons, Kari was a guest star on other popular TV shows such as “The Incredible Hulk”, “Diff’rent Strokes”, “Eight is Enough”, “CHiPs” (1981), “Hart to Hart” and “Full House” (1989). Kari has also starred in many made for TV movies, “Have You Ever Been Ashamed of Your Parents?”, “The Kid with a 2000 IQ” (1983 tv movie with Gary Coleman), plus the highly acclaimed “Scared Straight”, and not to mention the zany horror movie spoof, “Saturday the 14th” (1981). She also appeared in the 1993 film, Girl Talk which co-starred Liz Torres.

When “Gimme A Break” wrapped after six successful seasons on NBC, Kari continued performing, but also seized the opportunity to continue her education. She returned to UCLA and resumed her studies in the field of Psychology, but her interest in business led Kari towards marketing and promotion. Her interest in marketing and promotion, coupled with her show business experience has allowed Kari to join forces with some select business partners to form her own independent production company.

In late 1999, a weird, but wonderful set of circumstances, found Kari Co-Hosting KVEN’s “Real Radio” with radio legend Lee Marshall. The on-air chemistry between Kari and Lee was immediate. In listening to their show, it is easy to tell that Lee and Kari have great respect for each other and at the same time their having a ball! The audience constantly remarks on the natural, comfortable and warm relationship that exists between the two, maybe that’s why Lee calls Kari, “The other woman in my life.”

There is a LP called The Lew Irwin Reports, for the week of March 14, 1983, that has a brief interview of Kari where she talks about growing up in high school, about going to high school in California, and not being a snob. Kari has battled against anorexia and in recent years has been on many shows to discuss her illness. She is a member of Delta Gamma.

Kari co-hosted on a wake-up radio show on station KVEN (1450AM) in Ventura, California that was co-hosted by Lee Marshall.

In late 2000, Kari left KVEN. She now hosts a half-hour tv program called In the Spotlight on which she interviews celebs such as Martin Sheen and John Travolta and local celebrities on KADY (Ventura, CA) which airs twice weekly in four California counties.

She married David Waldock, 52, a Mercedes executive she met while car shopping, in July 2002. She's already mulling which room of their four-bedroom ranch-style home in Westlake Village, Calif., should become a nursery for the baby they hope to conceive soon after. "We already have a drawer full of stuff for this child," she says. Would she trade her current life for her Break days? Not a chance. "Now," she says, "I know where I want to go."

  • Note: biography and photos from the KVEN site with minor additions and corrections

    People Magazine - Where Are They Now? article (December 10th, 2001 issue)

    Kari with radio co-host Lee Marshall and a couple of Mastiffs (big dogs)

    Kari Michaelson audio interview (4956K) - from The Lew Irwin Reports, for the week of March 14, 1983 - about 4 minutes long, includes an 'Air Supply' commercial for Dr. Pepper!

    Kari Michaelsen on the highwire on Circus of the Stars (1983 - video clip - 31MB)

    Where are they now? type article on Kari Michaelson (and Matthew Laborteaux)

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Lauri Hendler

    Lauri Hendler, was born April 22nd, 1965 in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  She had guest appearances on CHiPs and Three's Company in 1978 and has also appeared on Mr. Belvedere and Harry and the Hendersons, and has made frequent game show appearances ($100,000 Pyramid, Super Password, Go, Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, Body Language, and Couch Potatoes to name a few). Also, was in an episode of Magnum P.I. in either 1980 or 1981.   She was in the 1983 tv movie: High School U.S.A.   In 1992, she did a voice for the animated movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest. She is married with no children. She did a showcase in June 1999 at The Court Theater in Los Angeles.

    More recently, she guest starred on Charmed on February 17th, 2000 and on The West Wing playing a lawyer on October 4th, 2000. In 2001, Lauri co-starred on the CBS sitcom 'Becker' and was a recurring co-star on the CBS drama 'Citizen Baines'.

    The Official Lauri Hendler Website

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Lara Jill Miller

    Lara Jill Miller, was born April 20, 1967 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

    So, you think your favorite cartoon character sounds familiar? Well, you’re certainly not alone. That’s because the voice you’re hearing is very likely that of LARA JILL MILLER, the talented young actress who has gained the industry’s attention as a premier voice talent.

    You’ll probably recognize her face as well. That’s because she spent 6 seasons in your living room, in perhaps her best known role on the hit NBC sit-com GIMME A BREAK. Although a stage veteran since the age of eight (she appeared on Broadway alongside the legendary Dick Van Dyke in THE MUSIC MAN), it was the role of leggy tomboy “SAMANTHA” that etched her face (and that voice!) into the minds and hearts of TV viewers everywhere.

    But despite being much in demand after her series’ lengthy run, this dynamic teen was determined not to become just another casualty of the Hollywood lifestyle that had wreaked havoc on so many of her peers. Deciding it was time to ‘give herself a break’ - she was determined to finish her education.

    After graduating from NYU with a degree in Politics and French (Dean’s List, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, Varsity Tennis), she went on to obtain her JURIS DOCTOR from FORDHAM UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW - passing the Bar Exam in three states (NY, NJ & PA).

    Between classes Lara continued to cultivate her passion for acting, maintaining an active theatre and voiceover career. Even while pursuing her studies, she was regularly accepting theatre offers on the east coast - the title role in JERRY FINNEGAN’S SISTER, the U.S. premiere of THE DALY NEWS, Neil Simon’s BAREFOOT IN THE PARK. She even flew as PETER PAN in the musical of the same name, leaving her law school graduation early to catch that flight to Never Never Land!

    An accomplished singer, upon her return to L.A. Lara was selected to perform the role of “DOROTHY” on NPR’s acclaimed adaptation of the classic THE WIZARD OF OZ (alongside Annette Bening, John Goodman, Rene Auberjonois, and Robert Guillaume). Over the next two seasons she became familiar to kids everywhere as “KATHY” on NICKELODEON’s THE AMANDA SHOW, and in a similar stint on the NICK hit ALL THAT. More recently she could be seen in the role of “KATE WHITAKER” on GENERAL HOSPITAL. All the while she was continuing to star as “KARI” on FOX’s hit animated series DIGIMON for 3 seasons, along with its accompanying feature film.

    Space doesn’t allow for a complete list of her voice credits, but Lara is excited to be voicing her two favorite roles to date: “CLIFFORD THE LITTLE RED PUPPY,” the celebrated red canine in the award-winning PBS series CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS (opposite Henry Winkler as his friend Norville the bird), and the title role of “JUNIPER LEE” in THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUNIPER LEE for CARTOON NETWORK. Last, she is currently working on NICK JR's new production WOW WOW WUBBZY, playing the problem-solving, tool-toting "WIDGET."

    Also listen for her as “OLIVIA” in NICKELODEON’s ALL GROWN UP (she gives Tommy Pickles his first kiss), “HARUKA” in ABC FAMILY’s DAIGUNDER and doing triple duty as “ALEJO,” “VIVIENNE” and “MIMI” in SONY’s ASTRO BOY. In addition, she voiced the roles of “WANDA” in WANDA WEST, “ELI THE ELEPHANT” in JUNGLE BOOK, “ANNE BRONTE” in THE BRONTES, and “MOUSE” in DUCK ON A BIKE - all pilots for DISNEY.

    Lara is an example of how the combination of talent, perseverance and diversity can lead to long-term success. The public certainly sees (and hears) it - she has a strong fan base, and nearly every day Lara is recognized on the street, her name a frequent buzz on many popular web sites. With her solid credits and great acting chops, she will impress and delight you.

  • Visit Lara Jill Miller Online

    Lara Jill Miller's Official Site

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Howard Morton, was born May 15th 1925 in New York City, New York.  Following Gimme A Break, he was in the 1985 movie Waiting to Act and he was 'Grandpa' in the 1988 tv series, "The Munsters Today". 

    Pre-Gimme A Break, he had many movie and tv appearances including One Day at a Time, Alice, The Jeffersons, The Incredible Hulk, Diff'rent Strokes, I Dream of Jeannie, and My Favorite Martian. He had a recurring role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman for 2 seasons.

    He died May 11th, 1997 in Los Angeles, California of a stroke.

    Internet Movie Database entry

    John Hoyt and Lara Jill Miller (1982)

    John Hoyt, was born John Hoysradt, in 1905 in Bronxville, New York.  He appeared in numerous tv series, tv movies, and theatrical movies prior to appearing on Gimme A Break (see the link to the Internet Movie Database to see the lengthy list, he was the original Doctor on the original "Star Trek" pilot).  He was married to a woman named Dorothy and had one son. Hoyt was said to be a proud longtime bachelor resident of a nudist colony.  He died September 15th, 1991 in Santa Cruz, California of lung cancer.

    photo of John Hoyt in his younger days

    John Hoyt's obituary as it appeared in The New York Times

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Jane Dulo

    Jane Dulo, was born in October 13th, 1918 in Baltimore, Maryland.  She appeared in numerous tv series (such as McHale's Navy and Get Smart) and also made many guest appearances.  Following Gimme A Break, she was in the 1984 movie: Oh, God! You Devil and the 1988 movie Beaches.  She died May 22nd, 1994 after cardiac surgery.

    What a Character!: Jane Dulo

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Peter Schrum

    Peter Schrum, who played Uncle Ed was born in January 1936 in Newark, New Jersey.

    Peter “Pete” Schrum, 69, known to Cantonians as the Mellet Mall Santa Claus, and worldwide as the Coca-Cola Santa, died Monday February 17th, 2003 in Prescott, Ariz.

    The Hollywood actor who played many roles on television and in the movies died following a heart attack, said longtime friend Tony Volpe of Canton (OH). Volpe grew up and attended Central Catholic High School with Schrum.

    Schrum was born Peter Schroom in Newark, N.J. He left high school before graduation and joined the Marines, then worked in construction and as a Steelworker, Volpe said.

    “Then he went into playacting.”

    Locally, Schrum acted with the Players Guild, Canal Fulton Dinner Theater and the Kenley Players, but most probably remember him as Mellet Mall’s Santa, which he played for nine years.

    He also portrayed Santa in Coca-Cola ads and memorabilia for 17 years, and went on to a career in Hollywood that lasted almost three decades.

    But Volpe remembers best Schrum’s connection with children.

    “Kids drew to him,” Volpe said. “He had a touch.”

    Children who at first were afraid of Santa always ended up on Schrum’s lap, telling their Christmas secrets, Volpe said.

    Schrum’s appeal wasn’t limited to children. “Everybody who came into contact with him, they just loved him,” Volpe said. “He was a super guy. He had a personality that was A-1.”

    Once a Santa, always a Santa, and Schrum never forgot home, Volpe said. Five years ago, after Volpe’s wife died, he formed the Mary Volpe Angel Foundation, and it was Schrum’s job to return from California and perform for the schools and charities the foundation helped.

    “He faithfully did it, and he loved it,” Volpe said. Schrum was unable to return last Christmas because injuries he received in a 1999 automobile crash in Arizona had made it too difficult to travel, he said.

    He appeared in the movies: “The Hulk,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” “Dead Man,” “Demonic Toys,” “Blue Desert,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Flicks,” “Eliminators,” “Trancers” and “Galaxina.”

    He also guest starred on television shows including: “Legend,” “Quantum Leap,” “Night Court,” “Valerie,” “Family Ties,” “T.J. Hooker,” “The Jeffersons,” “Gimme a Break,” “Vega$,” and a miniseries, “The French Atlantic Affair.”

    Volpe said Schrum moved from California to about five acres on a mountain in Prescott several years ago, after his home was ruined for a second time by earthquakes.

    “He’d achieved what he wanted to do. He was an actor,” Volpe said. “I used to kid him about it.”

    The actor took the kidding about his roles in stride, Volpe said. “He said, ‘They’re all small. It ain’t Clint Eastwood.’ ”

    Article from July 1999 when he was involved in an automobile accident

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Joseph Lawrence

    Joey Lawrence, was born Joseph Lawrence Mignogna on April 20th, 1976 in Philadelphia, PA.  Joseph Lawrence is charged with the task of uncovering the newest dancing teen sensations for the iconic “American Bandstand,” in his newest role as the young associate producer Michael Brooks in NBC’s new drama "American Dreams.”

    “Michael paves his own way with hard work and intelligence,” he says about his character. “I admire his passion in the pursuit of his goals. He is a great example of the American dream.”

    A native of Philadelphia (the setting for “American Dreams”), Lawrence began appearing in commercials nation-wide at the age of 3, catching the eye of former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson who promptly booked the young actor for a guest spot. His appearance on the late-night talk show proved to be the launching point for Lawrence’s career as the 5-year-old was cast in his first regular series role on the hit series “Gimme a Break,” opposite Nell Carter. His brothers: Matthew (who was on the final season of Gimme A Break) and Andrew Lawrence are also actors. Prior to Gimme A Break, he had a guest appearance on Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons.

    Lawrence earned even greater stardom on NBC’s comedy series “Blossom,” giving life to the impressionable and fun-loving Joey Russo. He returned to NBC again to star alongside brothers Mathew and Andrew in “Brotherly Love,” stepping behind the camera to direct several episodes for the series.

    Lawrence’s feature-film credits include Carl Reiner’s “Summer Rental” (starring alongside the late comedian John Candy), “Chains of Gold,” “Radioland Murderers,” “Urban Legends” and “Desperate but not Serious,” as well as voicing the title character in the Disney film “Oliver & Company.” His next appearance on the big screen will be in the upcoming release “R3,” from director Betty Thomas.

    Along with his acting credits, Lawrence is an accomplished recording artist, having released his multi-platinum album “Joey Lawrence” in 1993, for which he embarked on a world tour.

    Lawrence’s other interests include music and automobiles. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

    Lawrence Brothers Online

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Telma Hopkins

    Telma Hopkins, was born October 28th, 1948 in Louisville, Kentucky. 

    Hopkins has enjoyed immeasurable success as an actress and singer. She first came into prominence as a founding member of Tony Orlando and Dawn. A string of hits, including the classic "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," led to a successful variety show for the group, and from there, her acting career was born.

    Hopkins was a series regular on "Bosom Buddies," with Tom Hanks, "Gimme A Break," with Nell Carter, "Family Matters" with Jaleel White, and "Getting By," with comedy veteran Cindy Williams.

    More recently, she has guest starred on "Suddenly Susan," "For Your Love," "ER" and "Chicken Soup for the Soul," with Rod Steiger. In addition, she co-starred in two feature films, "The Wood," for Paramount Pictures, and "Rain," a Showtime independent film. She has also enjoyed recurring roles on UPN's "The Hughleys," as Pauline, and on "Any Day Now," as Judge Wilma Evers.

    Throughout her career, Hopkins has been actively involved with many organizations. In addition to being the spokesperson for both the National P.T.A. and Act On Arthritis, she has also worked on behalf of McClaren Hall, Rainbow Camp, Hollygrove Group Home and Caring for Babies with AIDS. For the past six years she has been a mentor, an endeavor that has brought as much good to her life as it has to the now 13-year-old boy she has mentored.

    Telma Hopkins plays Phyllis, Mona's mother who raised her as a single parent, in UPN's new comedy series HALF AND HALF.

    Hopkins lives in Los Angeles.

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Jonathan Silverman

    Jonathan Silverman, was born August 5th, 1966 in Los Angeles, California.   He has stayed quite busy after leaving Gimme A Break, appearing in numerous tv shows and movies.   He appeared in Weekend at Bernie's II and the tv series The Single Guy where he might be most recognized from.  He also was in the 1998 movie The Odd Couple II.

    From 2001-2003, he has appeared in the following movies: These Old Broads, Made, Lip Service, It Is What It Is, The Medicine Show, Bobbie's Girl, and Deacons of Defense.

    The Jonathan Silverman Web Page

    The Jonathan Silverman Fan Club

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Matthew Lawrence

    Matthew Lawrence, was born in February 11th, 1980 in Abington, Pennsylvania.  He is the brother of Joey and Andrew Lawrence. 

    He has appeared in numerous tv series and movies including: Mrs. Doubtfire, Brotherly Love, and on Boy Meets World beginning in the 1997-1998 season until 2000 as Jack Hunter.

    In February 2002, he was studying biology at the University of Southern California (USC).

    His recent credits include Unifinished Business, Cheats, and The Hot Chick.

    Lawrence Brothers Online

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Paul Sand

    Paul Sand, was born March 5th, 1944.  He has guest appeared on many tv series (including Dharma & Greg and The X-Files) and appeared in the movie Teen Wolf Too.

    He was awarded a Tony in 1971 for supporting actor in a drama for "Story Theatre".

    In November 2002, he appeared on 2 episodes of the HBO sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm".

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Rosetta LeNoire

    Rosetta LeNoire, played Maybelle Harper (Nell's mother) on Gimme A Break. She was born August 8th, 1911 in New York, New York. 

    Actress-producer Rosetta Lenoire, who was directed by Orson Welles in a landmark, all-black version of "Macbeth" in the 1930s and who played Grandma Winslow on the television comedy "Family Matters," died on Sunday March 17th 2002 in Teaneck, N.J., after a long illness. She was 90.

    Known to TV audiences for her long-running role as Grandma Winslow, LeNoire founded the Amas Repertory Theatre in New York in 1968. The nonprofit organization, dedicated to developing musicals and new talent, produced such popular shows as "Bojangles" and Tony nominee "Bubbling Brown Sugar."

    She also received the National Medal of Arts in 1999.

    Born in New York City, LeNoire took music lessons from legendary jazzman Eubie Blake. By age 15, she was a chorus girl working with her godfather, dancing great Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

    She made her Broadway debut in "The Hot Mikado" in 1939, going on to appear in such shows as "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Sunshine Boys" and "Lost In The Stars."

    LeNoire also co-starred in the film version of "Anna Lucasta" with Sammy Davis Jr. and Eartha Kitt and appeared in such TV series as "Search for Tomorrow," "The Guiding Light" and "Gimme a Break."

    She played Grandma Winslow on "Family Matters' from 1989 to 1997.

    What a Character!: Rosetta LeNoire

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Rosie O'Donnell

    Rosie O'Donnell, was born Roseanne O'Donnell on March 21st, 1962 in Commack, Long Island, New York.  Following her appearances as Maggie O'Brien during the final season of Gimme A Break, she has gone on to great success with both her talk show and acting career.  She has 4 children; son, Parker; daughter, Chelsea Belle; son, Blake Christopher; and daughter, Vivienne Rose O'Donnell born 11/29/99 to Kelli Carpenter (Rosie's partner). She also has done tv commercials for KMart with her friend, Penny Marshall.  Movies and tv shows she has appeared in include: A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, The Flintstones, Harriet the Spy, and Wide Awake.

    She hosted her popular talk show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, from 1996-2002.

    Internet Movie Database entry

    Alvernette Jimenez, played Nell's friend, Angie, in 3 episodes in the first season: "A Good Man is Hard to Find," "A Man in Nell's Room," and "Nell Goes Door to Door." According to a website visitor, she now works as a receptionist. Her career in showbusiness was brief. She has mixed feelings about her expierences on Gimme A Break and Nell Carter.

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