• July 19, 2024

Betty White loved her ”adopted” family on Mama’s Family – Catchy Comedy

Betty White was an acting legend whose long list of television and film credits dates back to 1945. Although White is no longer with us, her roles let her legacy live on.

Some of the shows she’s best remembered for included: The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore ShowHot in Cleveland, and more.

But one of her smaller roles was in Mama’s Family in 1983. She joined forces with Vicki Lawrence to bring a spicy sibling rivalry to the small screen.

White played the role of Ellen Harper Jackson, the younger sister to Thelma ‘Mama’ Harper, portrayed by Vicki Lawrence.

While White didn’t appear in many episodes of Mama’s Family, her presence was important to the series.

In a 1983 interview with The Olympian, White described her character as the exact opposite of Thelma Harper: pretentious, semi-self-absorbed, status-conscious, and stuck-up. Mama was even resentful of her sister’s sense of materialism during the series run.

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Before Mama’s Family, it was The Carol Burnett Show that first introduced us to our favorite fictional Mama. White only made three to four guest appearances as Ellen on the variety series that inspired the spin-off.

White said the two onscreen sisters also developed a sibling rivalry-type relationship off-screen. The two actresses would often make fun of each other, toss jokes around, and spend time together between takes.

Ellen may not have been the warmest person in the world, but she was vulnerable, which is one of the only traits White shared with her character. The addition of a sibling in Mama’s Family provided comic relief and White’s character served as a foil to Mama’s plans and ideas.

“Ellen is raunchy and coarse,” White said. “Every family has one. She can never make a success of anything. She does the most for Mama and gets the least credit.”

White loved being part of Mama’s family.

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