American actress and singer Nell Carter. In 1970, Carter started her career by performing in theatres. She eventually transitioned to television. She was most recognized for her performance as Nell Harper in the 1981–1987 sitcom Gimme a Break! For her work on the show, Carter was nominated for two Emmys and two Golden Globes.
Prior to Gimme a Break!, Carter’s performance in the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ garnered her a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical in 1978. She also received a Primetime Emmy Award for her 1982 television adaptation of the same role.
In the imaginary Californian suburb of Glenlawn, Gimme a Break! was set. Nell Harper, played by Carter, offers to take care of Margaret Kanisky’s family in the television show. Nell adopts a maternal role for Margaret’s three girls and takes care of Carl Kanisky, a widower.
Season 3 of the program introduced Joey Donovan, a foster son (played by popular child actor Joey Lawrence). When a worried Nell made the decision to go see Joey, who had relocated to New York to live with his absentee father, the scene was changed to New York City in season 5.
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At their father’s request, Nell assumes custody of Joey and his younger brother Matthew (played by Lawrence’s brother, Matthew Lawrence). After Carl’s father Stanley sold the Glenlawn family home due to the guardianship duty, Nell is forced to relocate permanently to New York.
Gimme a Break! had its NBC debut on October 29, 1981, and ran for six seasons with 137 episodes. Her starring part in the show was Carter’s debut on television. She also sang the upbeat theme song for the show. She received two nominations for the Golden Globe and two for the Emmy for her portrayal of Nell Carter.
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Nell Carter Cause of Death
According to the Los Angeles County coroner, the actress Nell Carter likely had arteriosclerotic heart disease, with diabetes being a contributing factor.
On January 23, Carter, 54, was discovered dead in her Beverly Hills residence. According to Capt. David Campbell, a coroner’s spokesperson, the coroner’s finding was based on X-rays, blood tests, medical history, and observation of her body during a post-mortem examination the day after her death.
Campbell stated that because there was no indication of wrongdoing, the coroner complied with a request made in Carter’s will that her body not be submitted to an autopsy; as a result, the cause of death is listed as “probable” rather than “certain.”
An autopsy and toxicological tests determined the death was natural because of probable heart disease and diabetes complications, said coroner’s Capt. Deborah Peterson.
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According to Campbell, tests revealed that Carter had no illegal narcotics in his system. The singer-actress had a history of drug abuse in the 1980s, and at the time of her death, she was practicing for a major role in a Long Beach production of the musical “Raisin.”
Carter rose to fame in 1978 thanks to her Tony Award-winning performance in the Broadway production of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and she continued to be well-known in the 1980s thanks to her role as the police chief’s maid on the TV comedy “Gimme a Break!”
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What Was Nell Carter’s Net Worth at The Time of Her Death?
Nell Ruth Hardy, the daughter of Horace Hardy and Edna Mae, was born on September 13, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama. She began singing in the church choir as well as on a local gospel radio program. She started performing when she was 15 at local coffeehouses and then gay clubs.
When she was 19 years old, she relocated to New York and changed her last name to “Carter.” In 1971, the singer made her Broadway debut with Soon. She then made an appearance in the musical Miss Moffat as a follow-up.
When Carter featured in the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ in the late 1970s, she quickly became a household name. In 1978, she won a Tony Award for her performance. Carter also starred in Morton’s by the Bay, You Take the Kids and Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper. Nell Carter’s net worth at the time of her death in 2003 was $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.