“K” is for King, Mabel (1932-1999)
“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.