Nell Carter, who played the sassy, matronly housekeeper on the 1980s sitcom “Gimme a Break!” and received a Tony Award in 1978 for her performance in the Broadway musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” died Thursday, her publicist said. She was 54.
The singer-actress collapsed in her Beverly Hills home and was found by one of her 13-year-old sons, spokesman Roger Lane said.
Carter had suffered from diabetes for years, Lane added, and underwent brain surgery in 1992 to remove an aneurysm. She recovered and continued to perform, mostly on stage.
Carter was in rehearsals at a Long Beach theater for “Raisin,” the musical version of “Raisin in the Sun.”
In addition to Carter’s Tony win for “Ain’t Misbehavin,'” she won an Emmy in 1982 for a TV broadcast of the show.
Her NBC comedy “Gimme a Break!” ran from 1981 to 1987, and garnered two more Emmy nominations, in 1982 and 1983.
In 1985, an episode of the show was broadcast live