Vicki Lawrence Biography

(Best Known for Her Character Mama 'Thelma Harper' in TV series 'The Carol Burnett Show')

Birthday: March 26, 1949 (Aries)

Born In: Inglewood, California, United States

Vicki Lawrence is an American actress, comedienne, and singer, best known for appearing on ‘CBS’ network's sketch comedy television series ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ in which she played various characters. She has earned multiple ‘Golden Globe Award’ and ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ nominations for her performances in ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’ In 1976, she won the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program’ for her role in the popular show. Lawrence is also known for her skills as a pop singer. In 1973, her song ‘The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia’ peaked at number one on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart. It also became famous in other countries, such as Canada, making Vicki Lawrence an overnight sensation. Apart from acting and singing, Lawrence has also hosted television shows, such as ‘Win, Lose or Draw.’
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Vicki Ann Lawrence, Vicki Lawrence Schultz, Vicki Ann Axelrad

Age: 75 Years, 75 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Al Schultz (m. 1974), Bobby Russell (m. 1972 – div. 1974)

father: Howard Axelrad

mother: Anne Alene Axelrad

children: Courtney Allison Schultz, Garrett Lawrence Schultz

Actresses Comedians

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females

Diseases & Disabilities: Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

U.S. State: California

City: Inglewood, California

More Facts

education: University Of California, Los Angeles

Childhood & Early Life
Vicki Lawrence was born Vicki Ann Axelrad on March 26, 1949, in Inglewood, California, USA, to Howard Axelrad and Anne Alene. She went to ‘Morningside High School,’ where she became part of a musical group called ‘The Young Americans.’
As part of the group, Lawrence performed at the ‘Oscars’ and met prominent personalities, including Louis Armstrong and Johnny Mathis. She also gained experience from touring with the group, and performing on the popular television variety show ‘The Andy Williams Show.’
During her senior year, Lawrence entered a contest called 'Miss Fireball of Inglewood.' A local newspaper, which wrote about the contest, stated that Vicki Lawrence looked strikingly similar to a young Carol Burnett. Subsequently, Lawrence's mother, Anne, urged her to write a letter to actress Carol Burnett. Upon receiving the letter, Burnett called Lawrence's father and told him that she would see the ‘Miss Fireball’ contest.
Coincidentally, Burnett was searching for an actress to play her sister in ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’ After meeting Lawrence at the contest, Burnett auditioned Lawrence and cast her to play Chrissy in a series of sketches titled ‘Carol and Sis,’ which were part of ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’
While being on the ‘Carol Burnett Show,’ Lawrence got herself enrolled at ‘The University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA). However, she dropped out of the university two years later to focus on her acting career. Subsequently, Harvey Korman and Carol Burnett took Lawrence under their wings and trained her in various skills.
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Acting Career
Vicki Lawrence played various characters in ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ from 1967 to 1978. Apart from Burnett, Lawrence became the only cast member to stay on the show throughout its 11 seasons. From the late 1960s to the late 1970s, Lawrence was nominated for two ‘Primetime Emmy Awards’ and three ‘Golden Globe Awards’ for her work in ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’ In 1976, she won the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.’
From 1978 to 1986, she played various roles in six episodes of an American comedy-drama television series titled ‘The Love Boat.’ Meanwhile, she became part of the regular cast of the 1979 four-episode sketch comedy television show ‘Carol Burnett & Company’ where she played various characters.
She made her TV movie debut in 1982 when she was cast to play Thelma Harper in a comedy-drama television film titled ‘Eunice.’ Interestingly, Lawrence had played Thelma 'Mama' Harper in ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’ Her character Thelma Harper became so popular that a new television situational comedy series titled ‘Mama's Family’ was created based on the character. She reprised her role as Thelma Harper in ‘Mama's Family’ from 1983 to 1990.
In 1994, she played Nora Kingsley in a TV movie titled ‘Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die.’ In 2001, she was cast to play Natalie Warner in the situational comedy television series ‘Yes, Dear.’ She played the role from 2001 to 2005, appearing in seven episodes. After playing Angie Deltaliano in four episodes of situational comedy series ‘Great News,’ which was aired in 2017, Lawrence was cast to play the starring role of Margaret in a comedy TV series titled ‘The Cool Kids’ in 2018.
Music & Other Major Works
Vicki Lawrence started hogging the limelight as a singer when her single ‘The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,’ which was released under ‘Bell Records’ in 1972, appeared on several music charts. The song sold more than two million copies worldwide. In April 1973, ‘Recording Industry Association of America’ (RIAA) awarded the song a gold disc for performing exceptionally well.
In 1973, she released a song titled ‘He Did With Me,’ which peaked at number one on an Australian music chart. It also peaked at number 75 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart. The following year, she released three singles, namely ‘Old Home Movies,’ ‘Mama's Gonna Make it All Better,’ and ‘Ships in the Night.’ In 1975, her song ‘The Other Woman’ peaked at number 81 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart.
Apart from singing and acting, Lawrence has also hosted many TV shows. From 1987 to 1989, she hosted the popular game show ‘Win, Lose or Draw.’ In 1988 and 1989, she was nominated for the ‘Daytime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Game Show Host.’ In 1993, 1994, and 1995, she was nominated for a ‘Daytime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Talk Show Host’ for hosting ‘Vicki!’
Over the years, Lawrence has appeared as a celebrity contestant on several TV shows. From 1975 to 1991, she competed in the popular game show 'The (New) $25,000 Pyramid.' From 1979 to 1981, she appeared as a contestant in 49 episodes of the famous TV game show 'Password Plus.' From 1984 to 1988, she took part in ‘Super Password’ as a celebrity contestant.
Family & Personal Life
Lawrence married singer-songwriter Bobby Russell in 1972. After divorcing him in 1974, she married make-up artist Al Schultz on November 16, 1974. On May 5, 1975, Lawrence and Al Schultz were blessed with their first child, Courtney Allison Schultz. Their second child, Garrett Lawrence Schultz, was born on July 3, 1977.
In 2011, Lawrence was diagnosed with chronic idiopathic urticarial. In 2015, she appeared on the talk show ‘The Doctors’ where she spoke about chronic idiopathic urticarial. In July 2015, Lawrence appeared on ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ along with her family members. She is active on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram.


Primetime Emmy Awards
1976 Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Variety or Music The Carol Burnett Show (1967)

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