Vicki Ann Lawrence (born March 26, 1949, sometimes credited as Vicki Lawrence Schultz) is an American actress, comedienne and singer. She is perhaps best known for the many characters she originated on CBS's The Carol Burnett Show where she appeared from 1967 to 1978, for the entire series run. During the seventh season (1973-1974), The Family sketches first appeared and immediately became popular. It was then that Vicki originated the character of Thelma Harper/Mama, a supporting character, who was Eunice Higgins's mother. The Family sketches and Thelma Harper/Mama have become undoubtedly the most popular sketches from The Carol Burnett Show. In 1982, six years after the series ended, a made for TV movie entitled Eunice based directly on The Family sketches aired and received good Nielsen ratings. This prompted executive producer Joe Hamilton to develop a television series starring Vicki Lawrence as Thelma Harper/Mama from The Family. In early 1983 Mama's Family was first broadcast on NBC as a mid-season replacement series. It aired on NBC until the end of the 1983-1984 season when it was cancelled by the network. In 1985, it went back into production as Lorimar Telepictures began distributing the show in first-run syndication where it soon became the highest rated program in syndication. It continued in first-run syndication until the last episode was produced in 1990. Mama's Family has been aired in re-runs in the United States and around the world continuously since then, far exceeding the typical lifespan of a television series' to air its re-runs, which is usually no longer than ten years.