Remember Mama from 'What’s Happening!!'? She lost her only child & died from a long illness at 66

Cynthia Rita
Sep 18, 2018
09:44 A.M.
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- Celebritist recently learned from Lipstick Alley that the late actress Mabel King had a very sad life till her death.


- The actress, who acted as ‘Mama’ on the ABC sitcom 'What’s Happening!!', died in 1999 after battling stroke and diabetes.

- Prior to her death, the actress lost her only child, Larry King, to cirrhosis.

For the ‘old schools’ the ABC sitcom ‘What’s Happening!!’ would not sound new to them but for the ‘new schools,’ the name might not even ring a bell.

The sitcom aired on ABC from August 1976 to April 1978.

Mabel King acted as Mabel ‘Mama’ Thomas in the then favorite TV show.

A lot of us are oblivious to what happened to Mabel after ‘What’s Happening!!’ until she died in November 1999.


Mabel King went on to act as Evillene the Witch in the 1978 version of ‘The Wiz’ after she left the cast of ‘What’s Happening!!’.

She also starred in several other movies and television series such as ‘The Jerk’, ‘Fantasy Island’, ‘The Jeffersons’, Amazing Stories’ and several others.


Shockingly the actress had a very miserable life before her death in 1999 at the age of 66.

The actress was married to Melvin King in 1967 but the marriage crashed in 1989.

She and Melvin had a son named Larry King together and she never remarried again until her death.


Mabel lost her toes due to diabetes in 1986, suffered a stroke in 1989 and then later lost both legs and an arm to diabetes.

You can possibly guess what her life would have looked like at this point but that didn’t stop there as she still suffered more tragedies in her life.

As if fate hadn’t dealt her enough blows, her son became a con man and a drug addict and died of cirrhosis in 1996.


With the loss of her son, no husband to stay with and a protracted illness at the time of her death, she moved to a house in Woodland Hills on Exhibit Court that belonged to her attorney.

The actress finally died miserably after several years of dialysis in November 1999.

What a way live!

What do you think about Mabel’s sad life?

Let us know in the comments below.


Lipstick Alley

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