- Taught acting classes for more than a decade on her own and at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, FL.
- Appeared on the CBS drama Playhouse 90.
- Movie debut was in the 1969 drama The Learning Tree.
- First regular TV series role was as Mother Jefferson on the CBS comedy show The Jeffersons; made first appearance in 1975.
- Used to take public transportation to auditions because she never learned how to drive.