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Nell Carter

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Nell Carter
Birth name Nell Ruth Hardy
Born September 13, 1948 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Died January 23, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California, USA from a heart attack brought on by complications from diabetes
Sometimes credited as Nell Ruth Carter
Notable Roles
Notable Episodes



Starring Roles

Series Role Year(s) Season(s)
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo
(credited as Nell Ruth Carter)
Hildy Jones 1981 2
Gimme a Break Nell Harper 1981–1987 1 2 3 4 5 6
You Take the Kids Nell Kirkland 1990–1991 1
Hangin' with Mr. Cooper P.J. Moore 1993–1995 2 3

Guest Starring Roles

Series Role Episode Airdate
Amen Bess Richards 1x02 - The Courtship of Bess Richards October 4, 1986
227 Beverly Morris 5x01 - Take My Diva... Please! September 23, 1989
Jake and the Fatman Ethel Mae Haven 5x20 - Ain't Misbehavin' April 8, 1992
Brotherly Love Nell Bascombe 2x15 - Paging Nell February 2, 1997
Touched by an Angel Cynthia Winslow 7x24 - Shallow Water (1) May 13, 2001
Touched by an Angel Cynthia Winslow 7x25 - Shallow Water (2) May 20, 2001
7 Days Miss Lucy 3x22 - Live: From Death Row May 29, 2001
Reba Dr. Susan Peters 1x01 - Pilot October 5, 2001
Reba Dr. Susan Peters 1x02 - The Honeymoon's Over or Now What? October 12, 2001
Reba Dr. Susan Peters 1x03 - Someone's at the Gyno with Reba October 19, 2001
Ally McBeal Harriet Pumple 5x08 - Playing with Matches January 7, 2002
Ally McBeal Harriet Pumple 5x10 - One Hundred Tears January 21, 2002


Title Role Airdate Series/Banner
Ain't Misbehavin' Herself June 21, 1982

Talk, News and Game Show Appearances

Series Episode Airdate
The New Hollywood Squares October 13-17, 1986
The New Hollywood Squares December 15-19, 1986
The New Hollywood Squares March 23-27, 1987
The Weakest Link (USA) Classic TV Stars November 25, 2001

Awards and Accolades

Tony Awards

  • Won: Best Featured Actress in a Musical (1978)
Ain't Misbehavin'

Primetime Emmy Awards

(1 Win in 3 Nominations)

  • Won: Outstanding Individual Achievement - Special Class (1982)
Ain't Misbehavin'
  • Nominated: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1982, 1983)
Gimme a Break


  • Was one of nine children
  • Her father was electrocuted after stepping on a live power line when she was 2 years old
  • Was raped at gunpoint when she was a teenager
  • Began performing with the Renaissance Ensemble when she was 15 years old
  • Moved to New York City when she was 19 years old
  • Used to sing in coffee shops before landing her first role on Broadway in 1971
  • Was a diabetic
  • Attempted suicide during the early '80s
  • Had issues with drugs and alcohol
  • Her brother, Bernard died of AIDS complications in 1989
  • Married George Krynicki in 1982; filed for divorce in 1989 which was finalized in 1992
  • Married her second husband, Roger Larocque in June of 1992; they divorced in 1993
  • Had three children: daughter, Tracey and sons Joshua & Daniel (who were adopted as newborns)
  • Declared bankruptcy in 1995 and 2002