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MAYBELLE HARPER

MAYBELLE HARPER  is a fictional character portrayed by Rosetta LeNoire on the NBC American Sitcom Gimme A Break! which ran from 1981-1987.


Maybelle Harper was born and raised in Alabama and was always a good Christian woman. However, she had a wild side to her that she kept from her family. Growing up, she always loved dancing and her dream was to become a dancer. As she became an adult, she met and fell in love with the Reverend Harper, and before they got married, she met a Saxophone player named Ernie at a club she would dance at and the two decided to enter a dance contest together on the 4th of July. Maybelle was flatter by Ernie, who excited her and made her feel special, and the two almost won the dance contest but Maybelle slipped and slid across the dancefloor. That night, they had to spend the night in a motel called the Tweedle Dee Motel because of the rain that washed the bridge out, and Maybelle found out that Ernie was going on the road and wanted to go with him. He told her she couldn't come and she needed to stay in Alabama because she was engaged to a man who loved her and she became upset at this, though realizing it would not have worked with her and Ernie afterall if she had gone on the road with him.

Maybelle married the Reverend Harper shortly after and had two daughters with him, Nellie Ruth and Loretta. She always favored Loretta more because she was smarter and always did what Maybelle asked of her unlike Nell, who left home and dropped out of high school to sing on the road in slummy nightclubs and married a man who was a trumpt player named Tony Talmuch much to Maybelle's objection that it wouldn't work for her and it didn't when he soon left her and they got divorced.

In 1981, Maybelle became a widow when the Reverend Harper passed away after a heart attack. She visited Nell in 1983 for Christmas when the family chipped in to fly her out to Glenlawn for the holidays.

In early 1985, Loretta was getting married, and Nell, Addy, and Joey took a trip to Alabama for the wedding which was at Nell's family home there. Maybelle was now grouchier than ever to Nell and decided to move to Glenlawn after Loretta's wedding to Howard, but after a heart to heart with Nell, she decides to stay in Alabama, tells Nell that years ago she always wanted to be a dancer, and decides to get a condo with one bedroom so she wouldn't have to clean too many rooms anymore.

In the fall of 1985, Mama Maybelle comes to Glenlawn to have an eye operation and reveals to Nell she loves her voice. Maybelle then comes back to Glenlawn once again to nurse Nell back to health when Joey accidentally shoots Nell with the Chief's old gun, and then a few weeks later takes another trip to Glenlawn when Loretta decides to leave Howard and takes a trip to see Nell and stays with her but Maybelle and Nell talk Loretta into going back with Howard.

In the fall of 1986, Maybelle decides to move to New York City after Loretta's husband Howard leaves his job as a weatherman in Denver, CO and he, Loretta, and their son Jerome move to New York City. With Nell now living in New York City, Maybelle surprises her at her new "slummy" apartment in Greenwhich Village which needs a lot of fixing up. Throughout 1986 and 1987, Maybelle visits Nell at her new apartment on several occasions and babysits and watches Joey and Matthew from time to time.

In the spring of 1987, Maybelle and Nell go to Alabama to try and save their famile's church after a foe of Nell's, Mary Ellen Baldwin, decides to tear it down and build condos there. Shortly after, Maybelle is reunited with Ernie after seeing him at the fights at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She introduces Ernie the Saxophone player to Nell and Ernie tells Nell the story of how he and Maybelle were dance partners in a contest one 4th of July in Alabama, a year before Nell was born and several months before Maybelle married the Reverend Harper. Nell then questions Maybelle about what Ernie told her and asks for clarification as she can't believe Maybelle was that wild of a person back before she was born. Maybelle tells Nell that she was already engaged to her father when Ernie came along years ago, there was excitement, he flattered her, made her feel special and still does, but she back then when she was younger that it would never work with her and Ernie like it didn't for Nell and the trumpet player Tony Talmuch she married after she quit high school and left home.

Pages in category "Maybelle Harper"

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