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“K” is for King, Mabel (1932-1999)

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio
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“K” is for King, Mabel (1932-1999). Actress, singer, television personality. Born in Charleston, King had a starring role in the Broadway hit musical Don’t Play Us Cheap, in which two imps are sent by the Devil to break up a party in Harlem. She was a talented entertainer whose most memorable role was that of the oversized, all-powerful “Mama” in the ABC sitcom What’s Happening!!  The main comedic events of the show centered on her role as the loving mother to a teenage son, his friends, and a precocious daughter. King played the role of Evilene the Wicked Witch of the West in the Broadway production of The Wiz. Her stellar performance earned King a Tony nomination in 1975 for best actress. Mabel King reprised her role in the 1978 film version of the musical.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.