Thelma Harper (nee Crowley) is a fictional character, who first appeared as a supporting character in The Family sketches on The Carol Burnett Show, followed by the Eunice movie (in which the Mama character dies, creating discrepancies in the life of the character), then as the main character in the sitcom Mama's Family (first on NBC, then revolutionized in first-run syndication), and finally in the ongoing Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show. The Mama character has also made numerous post-television show guest appearances on various television programs, such as Hollywood Squares and The Talk. The character is portrayed by actress Vicki Lawrence. On Mama's Family, Thelma ruled the roost with a smart mouth, snappy retorts, a fiery temper, and an abrasive manner. She solves every problem with a can of budweiser, a slab of meat loaf, a smack upside the head, and a healthy dose of the unvarnished truth."
Lawrence performed on the Carol Burnett Show for 11 seasons. In the seventh season, in 1974, The Family skit was created, which debuted the "Mama" role. Four years after the Carol Burnett show ended, a TV movie special, titled "Eunice" (the character of Mama's daughter) was broadcast. The special included the key characters from The Family sketches, including Mama. In 1983, Mama's Family was then spun off as a separate sitcom based on the Mama character. In syndication, the show and Thelma role continued into 1990.
Lawrence has continued to play the role in various comedy tours and other television venues to the present day. In her autobiography, Vicki called Thelma "the only role which I got to go to makeup to get ugly!" It is Lawrence's most well-known role.
Lawrence originally turned down the offer of starring as Mama in her own television series, having misgivings about playing the role without Harvey Korman (who played Mama's son-in-law, Ed Higgins) and Carol Burnett (who played Mama's daughter, Eunice Higgins) constantly by her side. Burnett and Korman had told Lawrence that they'd only appear as guest stars and that it was Lawrence's time to take what she learned off of The Carol Burnett Show and make it on her own. After continual urgings by Korman and Burnett, however, Lawrence finally accepted the offer shortly after the Eunice movie.
Other articles related to "harper, thelma, thelma harper":
... Carl Harper, a predominately unseen character (although once played by Ken Berry in a flashback episode), he is the deceased husband of Mama and father of Ellen, Eunice, and Vinton ... While he's occasionally made mention of, especially by Thelma, he only appears in flashback episodes ... Aunt Effie Harper, Thelma's sister-in-law ...
... Lawrence has resurrected the character of Thelma (still in her late 60s) several times on the game show Hollywood Squares, on stage in her two-woman show, on ... Thelma "wrote" a book in 2008 entitled Mama for President ... Thelma also appeared on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? on October 2, 2009 playing for charity ...
... Moody 1923 Esna Boyd Robertson Sylvia Lance Harper Suzanne Lenglen Elizabeth Ryan Kathleen McKane Godfree Phyllis Covell 1924 Daphne Akhurst Cozens Sylvia Lance Harper Hazel ... Helen Jacobs Sarah Palfrey Cooke 1936 Thelma Coyne Long Nancye Wynne Bolton Simone Mathieu Billie Yorke Freda James Kay Stammers Bullitt Marjorie Gladman Van Ryn Carolin Babcock 1937 Thelma Coyne ...
Famous quotes containing the word harper:
“They tell us that women can bring better things to pass by indirect influence. Try to persuade any man that he will have more weight, more influence, if he gives up his vote, allies himself with no party and relies on influence to achieve his ends! By all means let us use to the utmost whatever influence we have, but in all justice do not ask us to be content with this.”
—Mrs. William C. Gannett, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 5, ch. 8, by Ida Husted Harper (1922)