Mabel King was born Donnie Mabel Elizabeth Washington in my hometown, Charleston, South Carolina. She was raised in Harlem where she eventually became a gospel and nightclub singer. In 1976, she was offered the role of Mabel Thomas on the sitcom, What’s Happening!, a role she played from 1976 to 1978. Unfortunately due to disagreements with the direction the creators wanted to take the show, King left What’s Happening! in 1978 after two seasons.
Mabel also battled diabetes, and eventually lost both of her legs and an arm to the disease. In 1999, she died from complications of diabetes.
Listen to Mabel (playing Evilene) singing “No Bad News” in The Wiz OR watch this clip below: