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Old 06-26-2010, 08:05 PM   #1
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Confused I wonder Why The Cast of 'What's Happening' Didn't Get Much Work After the Show Ended

I mean, I know that Danielle Spencer retired from acting to become a Vet & Mabel King wanted to return to Broadway. However what about Fred Berry, Haywood Nelson and Ernest Thomas? Why no work? Especially Shirley Hemphill, she was probably the funniest of everybody and nothing!I do recall Shirley had a brief return to sitcoms as a cab driver, but that failed.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:57 PM   #2
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Well I think Fred Berry destroyed his career with his addictions and his ego. He developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. And in fact he was fired from What's Happening Now. As for Shirley Hemphill her sitcom "One in a Million" may not have lasted very long but she had a successful career in stand-up comedy. And Ernest Thomas has been enjoying a renaissance in his career in recent years with guest starring roles on several shows and a recurring role on "Everyone Hates Chris".
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Marvo301
Well I think Fred Berry destroyed his career with his addictions and his ego. He developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. And in fact he was fired from What's Happening Now. As for Shirley Hemphill her sitcom "One in a Million" may not have lasted very long but she had a successful career in stand-up comedy. And Ernest Thomas has been enjoying a renaissance in his career in recent years with guest starring roles on several shows and a recurring role on "Everyone Hates Chris".
I liked him in Everybody Hates Chris. It makes me feel old though. lol
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Ernest Thomas (Raj) was also on an episode of the Steve Harvey Show.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
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Ernest Thomas (Raj) was also on an episode of the Steve Harvey Show.
Yes he played the minister who officiated the funeral service of Regina's late husband Jordan!
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:17 PM   #6
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Default I wonder Why the cast of What's Happening Didn't get much work.

yes. He was great as Mr.Othmar,The Funeral director on Everybody Hates Chris,Man,It makes ME feel old,too.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Well I think Fred Berry destroyed his career with his addictions and his ego. He developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. And in fact he was fired from What's Happening Now.
A lot of times I feel kind of sad hearing the fat jokes on What's Happening because it probably contributed to Fred getting heavier into drugs. Ernest Thomas got into drugs too.

As for the actors not getting that many other roles, there was probably some typecasting.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:16 PM   #8
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Fred Berry made a guest appearance on Alice in 81

And Fred Berry and Ernest Thomas was in a ep of Martin


I guess you mean permanent roles
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:11 AM   #9
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Fred Berry made a guest appearance on Alice in 81

And Fred Berry and Ernest Thomas was in a ep of Martin


I guess you mean permanent roles

As I was reading the last response to this thread, I was thinking of the "Alice" episode that you mentioned here! I guess that this just goes to show that great minds think alike!
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:16 AM   #10
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Ernest Thomas also had a role in Malcolm X
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:01 PM   #11
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I think they were all blackballed (no pun intended) from Tinseltown after the series ended in '79, due to all the behind-the-scenes drama...they were never seen or heard from again until "What's Happening Now!!" debuted in the autumn of 1985.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:38 PM   #12
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I think they were all blackballed (no pun intended) from Tinseltown after the series ended in '79, due to all the behind-the-scenes drama...they were never seen or heard from again until "What's Happening Now!!" debuted in the autumn of 1985.

Ernest Thomas and Haywood Nelson was part of a short lived series in 1980 and 1981

Rob from the soda shop guest starred on the Jeffersons in 1981 or 1982

Fred Berry guest starred on Alice in 1984

Shirley Hemphill had her own series in 1980

Mabel King made tons of guest appearances from 1982 to 1984 which included the Jeffersons



Dee was the only one who wasn't in anything from 1979 to 1985
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:32 PM   #13
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Yes he played the minister who officiated the funeral service of Regina's late husband Jordan!
He also performed the marriage services for Lovita and Cederic.
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:04 AM   #14
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Yep, this show did not really make any careers for the cast. When you get labeled, that follows you around in Hollywood. They tried to give Shirley her own show in 1980, Mabel's going back to Broadway (her health problems apparently had started in the early 1980's) and Danielle, according to TVOne focused on her education after WH ended by finishing high school and going to college. Hence her guest appearances on WHN. Mabel did a pilot based off a movie she was in but it was not picked up.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:08 PM   #15
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haywood nelson was in an awful movie called evilspeak with clint howard it must be seen at least once by those who like truly bad movies
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