What is Vicki Lawrence’s Net Worth and Salary?
Vicki Lawrence is an actress, comedian, and singer who has a net worth of $8 million. Vicki Lawrence is probably best known for her character Mama on the CBS television variety show “The Carol Burnett Show” and the sitcom “Mama’s Family.” She also made frequent appearances on game shows, and hosted her own talk show in the early 1990s. As a singer, Lawrence had a number-one hit with her 1972 song “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”
Early Life and Education
Vicki Lawrence was born as Vicki Axelrad on March 26, 1949 in Inglewood, California to Anne and Howard. She is of Austrian Jewish and German Jewish descent. The family surname was legally changed to Lawrence when Vicki was a child. As a teenager, she attended Morningside High School, graduating in 1967. During her time as a student there, she performed with the Young Americans musical group. Lawrence went on to attend UCLA for two years before dropping out.
The Carol Burnett Show
As a senior in high school, Lawrence entered the Miss Fireball of Inglewood contest for the local firefighter’s ball. In a story about the contest in the local paper, a reporter noted that Lawrence bore an uncanny resemblance to a young Carol Burnett. Encouraged by her mother, Lawrence subsequently wrote a letter to Burnett, who in turn showed up for the Miss Fireball contest to crown Lawrence as the winner. Burnett happened to be looking for an actress to play her younger sister on an upcoming television show, and Lawrence ended up landing the part a few months later. On the show, called “The Carol Burnett Show,” she was shown the ropes by both Burnett and costar Harvey Korman, who taught her sketch comedy skills.
Lawrence became most famous on “The Carol Burnett Show” for her character Mama, whom she debuted in a sketch called “The Family” in the show’s seventh season. Her Mama was the cold-hearted, purse-lipped, elderly widowed mother of Burnett’s neurotic daughter character Eunice. Lawrence played many other characters on the show throughout the years, including Chris in the “Carol and Sis” sketches. Along with Burnett, she was the only continuous cast member during all 11 seasons of “The Carol Burnett Show” from 1967 to 1978. For her work on the show, Lawrence won an Emmy Award and earned multiple Golden Globe nominations.
Further Television Career
Lawrence’s Mama character was so popular with audiences that she got her own sitcom, “Mama’s Family,” in the 1980s. The original incarnation of the series ran from 1983 until its cancellation in 1984; the show was subsequently revived in 1986, with the reincarnation running until 1990. Lawrence also played Mama in the 1982 television film “Eunice,” for which she earned an Emmy nomination. Around this time, she had guest roles on “The Love Boat” and “Laverne & Shirley.” Lawrence was also known for her frequent appearances as a celebrity contestant on game shows, including “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “Password Plus,” and “Super Password.” From 1987 to 1989, she hosted the daytime NBC version of the game show “Win, Lose or Draw,” and received two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Game Show Host. Lawrence also earned multiple Daytime Emmy Award nominations as host of the talk show “Vicki!,” which ran from 1992 to 1994.
Lawrence continued appearing on television throughout the 1990s, including in episodes of “Hart to Hart” and “Diagnosis: Murder.” In the early 00s, she had a recurring role on the sitcom “Yes, Dear,” and from 2006 to 2011 played Mamaw Stewart on the Disney Channel teen sitcom “Hannah Montana.” Later, in 2017, Lawrence had a recurring role on the NBC sitcom “Great News.” The following year, she began a main role on the Fox sitcom “The Cool Kids,” starring alongside David Alan Grier, Martin Mull, and Leslie Jordan. The show lasted for one season until 2019. Since then, Lawrence has appeared in episodes of such shows as “The Resident,” “Call Me Kat,” and “The Really Loud House.” She also appeared alongside Carol Burnett in the 2023 television special “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love.”
In late 1972, Burnett scored a number-one hit with her recording of the song “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” which was written by her then-husband Bobby Russell. After the single was certified Gold by the RIAA, Lawrence released her debut album of the same name. Her follow-up singles included “He Did With Me,” which peaked at number one in Australia, and “Ships in the Night.” The latter was the title of her second album, released in 1974. Lawrence released her third and final music album, the disco album “Newborn Woman,” in late 1979.
Personal Life & Real Estate
Burnett was married to her first husband, singer-songwriter Bobby Russell, from 1972 until their divorce in 1974. She subsequently wed makeup artist Al Schultz, with whom she has two children named Courtney and Garrett. Vicki and Al have lived in Long Beach for many years. Their 5-bedroom, 4,000 square foot home has direct bay views and and is worth $3-4 million today.