Like her "Gimme a Break" character, Nell, Nell Carter was strict on her kids in real life.
Nell Carter's best friends were Telma Hopkins, Kari Michaelson, Lauri Hendler, & Lara Jill Miller who she worked with Gimme a Break.
Nell sang the Gimme a Break! theme song during the show's six year run.
During a production of Annie in 1997, Nell collapsed on stage because of complications from her diabetes.
At one point in her life, Nell suffered from a bad cocaine habit.
Between 1970 and 1973, Nell attended the Bill Russell's School of Drama.
Ironically, Nell died just twenty four days after co-star Peter Schrum, who played Uncle Ed Kanisky on Gimme A Break!
Nell was one of nine children.
In August of 1982, Nell Carter appeared on the cover of TV Guide.
Nell was 4'11" tall.
Nell decided to relocate to New York City at age 19, and studied acting while performing in the big city clubs, such as: Reno Sweeney, The Village Gate, Dangerfield's, and the famous Rainbow Room.
Nell was featured on a weekly radio show with a group called the 'Y Teens', and performing in coffeehouses and nightclubs in Birmingham, Alabama in her teen years.
Nell grew up singing with her family in her church choir, and began her career singing on the gospel circuit.
Nell was originally inspired to be an Opera singer, but cited such popular singers as: Doris Day, The Andrews Sisters, Johnny Mathis, Cleo Laine, and Barbra Streisand, amongst others as her influences to change.
Nell performed a show-stopping rendition of 'Never Had A Friend Like Me', from the Walt Disney animated film Aladdin, at The 65th Annual Academy Awards show in 1992.
Nell played the role of Mrs. Gordy on the educational Nintendo video game 'Perfect Fit', a game that teaches children what pieces fit in the outlines.
Nell appeared on various gameshows in the late 1980s, in hopes of being noticed for television sitcoms and movies. She was on Match Game and To Tell The Truth.
Nell hit the big screen in the 1979 film adaptation of the musical Hair. Her vocals are heard throughout the soundtrack.
Nell appeared alongside Bette Davis in the musical production of Miss Moffat, based on the movie that Davis starred in, The Corn Is Green. The show closed before it made it to Broadway.
Nell witnessed the death of her father at two years old, when he stepped on a live power line.
Nell headlined in a multi-racial production of Hello Dolly, in 1991.
Nell gave many speeches at medical conferences and colleges about diabetes, drug use, and obesity.
Nell was a television spokesperson for 'Liberty Medical Supplies' in 2001.
Nell performed at an AIDS benefit in 1996, a tribute to actress Angela Lansberry.
Nell appears on the CD-ROM game 'You Don't Know Jack'.
Nell was the first actress chosen to play 'Effie Melody White' in the musical stage production of Dreamgirls. She left the show after her first workshop, to move to Los Angeles, California to pursue television acting. Her role was filled by Jennifer Holliday.
Nell was a bi-sexual, a fact not many people knew until after she passed away. Her life partner at the time of her death was Ann Kasen.
Carter is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California. She is survived by her two adopted sons (Joshua and Daniel) and a daughter (Tracy).
At the time of her death, Carter had been rehearsing for a production of A Raisin in the Sun in Long Beach, California and filming a movie, Swing.
Although Carter had previously declared bankruptcy and owed $1.1 million in back taxes, her friends and family were surprised to discover barely $200 in her bank account.
Carter died from heart disease complicated by diabetes and obesity in 2003.
In the mid-90's, Carter appeared on Broadway in a revival of Annie as Miss Hannigan.
Nell declared bankruptcy in 1995. She was $1.4 million in debt and $1.1 million behind in back taxes. She filed again in 2002.
She married Roger Larocque in 1992. They were divorced in 1993.
She had divorced George Krynicki in 1992.
In 1992, she had two surgeries to remove aneurysms.
Her brother Bernard died of AIDS in 1989.
She entered a drug detoxification facility around 1985.
She attempted suicide in the early 1980s.
She married George Krynicki and converted to Judaism in 1982.
She earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her role in Gimme a Break!
In the late 1970s she took acting roles in Ryan's Hope and The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo before landing a steady role as housekeeper Nell Harper on the sitcom Gimme a Break!.
She broke into stardom in the musical Ain't Misbehavin, for which she won a Tony Award in 1978.
Nell was raped at gunpoint when she was sixteen. She ended up having a daughter because of the rape. Later, she had three miscarriages and decided to adopt.
Born Nell Ruth Hardy to Horace and Edna May Hardy in Birmingham, Alabama.
Nell: When I was growing up, it was not something you aspired to. I was a weirdo to want to be in show business. Most kids wanted to be teachers or nurses.
Nell: Being diabetic was not what I thought of as being normal, and I feared the stigma of having to take medicine and having people stick me with a needle.
Nell: I was at a Liza Minelli concert, when I hit my 'rock bottom'. I could barely stand, had no idea of where I was, or where I was going, thank God I got help. God and Liza Minelli.
Nell: My sexuality is not as much a secret, as it is a private issue. I don't want to be up in your bedroom, so I appreciate the same respect with mine.
Nell: Let me tell you. Rich is not better. Rich means that you have to stay there to maintain it. You have to put on more faces to pretend who you are, and you have more people in your face. And when the money is not there anymore, they're not either.