Best remembered as Mother Jefferson in the 1970s and 1980s CBS situation comedy The Jeffersons, this popular character actor also appeared in such series as All In the Family, Cowboy in Africa, and Playhouse 90.
Early in her career, she acted in theatrical productions in both New York City and Jacksonville, Florida.
Shortly after her lung cancer death at age eighty-six, she received a posthumous NAACP Special Image Award.
She and her nine siblings grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her more than five-decade marriage to James M. Brown, Sr. resulted in four children.
She co-starred with acclaimed actor Sidney Poitier in the 1971 film Brother John.