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'The Jeffersons' Star Zara Cully's Grandniece is Carbon Copy of Her Famous Relative

Oyin Balogun
Aug 01, 2021
04:20 A.M.
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Zara Cully's grandniece looks just like her, and she is fond of singing her praises on social media even though she did not get to spend a lot of time with the icon before she passed. Meet her.

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Zara Cully graced the big screens for years as an actress, and even though she passed away some time ago, she left behind legacies and relatives, one of whom can probably pass for her at first glance.

That's right, there is a woman named Yvette Porter Moore who looks like a carbon copy of Zara Cully, and she has spoken extensively about the iconic woman on her blog and social media pages.

Zara Cully (as Mother Jefferson) in the CBS television situation comedy, THE JEFFERSONS. Premier episode aired January 18, 1975. | Photo: Getty Images

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Back in 2016, Yvette took to her Facebook feed to share a tribute dedicated to the late Zara in celebration of her birthday. The tribute came along with an old photo of the singer that captured her smiling with her gaze uplifted.

Zara looked young in the pictures, which made her obvious facial similarities to Yvette all the more apparent. A scroll through her Facebook profile will reveal other shots of Yvette that showcase the resemblance she shares with her late aunt.

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WHO WAS ZARA CULLY?

According to Yvette's blog, Zara was her grandmother, Agnes Cully Peters' oldest sister. On February 26, 1892, she was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Nora Ann Gilliam and Ambrose E. Cully.

The couple was originally from New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina; however, they moved in 1890 to Worcester, MA. Zara's mother reportedly gave birth to a lot of children, including her.

There are conflicting reports on the exact amount of children she had; some speculate that the number exceeds 20; however, Yvette stated in her blog that she could only name 12. Some never made it out of the womb, and a few died as they were born, and the rest did not survive their formative years.

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ZARA'S RISE TO FAME

As a young child, Zara had the uncanny ability to recite things she had only glimpsed once before — a photographic memory that made reciting several poems from memory a breeze for her.

Her excited mother would let them speak for a few moments even though all Zara seemed to care about was how she was coping in school

Zara grew up to become a teacher, and she taught acting for more than a decade in a studio she owned. She also lectured at Edward Waters College but was shaken by her experiences with southern racism.

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The racism rubbed her wrongly, and her reaction to it brought her into conflict with those around her. Luckily no harm came to her thanks to her status as a woman.

Zara had her first taste of fame when she bagged the role of Miss Sanford's sharp-tongued, always cranky mother-in-law on the famous drama "The Jeffersons."

Her contribution to the show was astounding, and her castmates felt it the most. Marla Gibbs, one of those who starred alongside the talented Zara, said she had the gift of delivery, knowing exactly how and when to deliver a line.

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HER DEATH

Zara lived a full life; she married James M. Brown Sr, aka Daddy J, and during the course of their relationship, they welcomed four children, one of whom died in childbirth.

Their children were named James M., Jr, Mary Gale (Polly), and Emerson, but unfortunately, they are all deceased now. Zara passed away from cancer on February 28, 1978. At the time, Yvette had just been ten years old.

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YVETTE'S BRIEF RELATIONSHIP WITH ZARA

Zara lived as a boarder at the same New York apartment with her sister Agnes Cully Peters between 1935-1940. However, it was not until the 1950s that she moved to Los Angeles alongside Yvette's mom, grandmother Agnes, and her brother-in-law "Unkie" Brown.

In the past, Yvette discussed the finer points of her relationship with Zara in a post she shared via her blog. As a child, she would get the chance to speak with Zara whenever she called her mother over the phone.

Her excited mother would let them speak for a few moments even though all Zara seemed to care about was how she was coping in school and if she was enjoying her extra-extracurricular activities. An "I love you" from Zara would often signify the end of the conversation.

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When Zara passed away, Yvette was among the droves of people who attended her funeral. As a mere child, she was stunned by the turnout of people. The late actresses' cast members from "The Jeffersons" were among the sympathizers, allowing Yvette to meet them.

Her favorite was Paul Benedict. Apparently, he kept her and her cousins from getting too caught up in the somber atmosphere of the burial by keeping them occupied. He reportedly kept them running around laughing.

To Yvette, the late actress will always be the wonderful woman who had been extremely kind to her family while alive. Perhaps it is why she always sings her praises.

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