VICKI LAWRENCE & MAMA
A TWO-WOMAN SHOW
Multi-talented Vicki Lawrence was born in Inglewood, California, where she excelled in singing and dancing, was a cheerleader and was voted “most likely to succeed” by her graduating class. And succeed is exactly what she did.
From 1965 to 1967 Vicki sang with the Young Americans musical group and appeared in the Academy Award®-winning film, The Young Americans.
During her senior year of high school, Vicki sent Carol Burnett a letter, which included a local newspaper article mentioning their resemblance. Vicki invited Ms. Burnett to the local fire department’s “Miss Fireball Contest” in which she was performing. Ms. Burnett, looking for an actress to play her kid sister on her new variety series, contacted Vicki and made arrangements to come to the event. The rest is television history. The Carol Burnett Show premiered in the fall of 1967; the same year Vicki entered UCLA to study Theater Arts. She spent eleven years with Carol, earning one Emmy Award® and five nominations. In 1995 Simon and Schuster published her autobiography, Vicki!: The True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball.
In 1968, Vicki went to Vietnam to visit the U.S. troops with Johnny Grant. Several years later, in 1973, Vicki received a gold record as a recording artist for her international hit single, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”
After the Carol Burnett Show ended, Vicki went on to star in her own television series, Mama’s Family, alongside Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Beverly Archer and Allan Kayser. The last original episode was made in January 1990, completing five years of first-run syndication. The show can still be seen daily throughout the country.
Vicki then went on to host her own daytime talk show, Vicki!, from 1992 to 1994. She received critical acclaim when she was the only talk show host since Oprah to be nominated for a daytime Emmy in her freshman year. In the fall of 1997, she briefly returned to daytime talk as the host of Fox After Breakfast.
On stage Vicki has appeared in numerous productions, including Carousel, Send Me No Flowers, No, No, Nanette, My Fat Friend, Chapter Two, Twigs, Hello Dolly, Special Occasions, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road, Annie Get Your Gun, Nunsense 3: The Jamboree and most recently, The Vagina Monologues.
Vicki also travels all over the country speaking to women’s organizations about her life and career, women’s health and being a woman in a man’s world. All the while she approaches everything with her characteristic sense of humor, reminding us all that, “life is much too serious to be taken seriously!” Today, she can be seen across the country splitting sides in her very own stage production, Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two Woman Show.
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