Jo Marie Payton biography
Born on August 3, 1950, in Albany, Georgia, Jo Marie Payton played Harriette Winslow, a quick-witted wife and mother, on the sitcom Family Matters. Her character originated on the sitcom Perfect Strangers. Audiences liked the character so much that she was spun off into her own show. Payton left Family Matters during it's ninth season, and has since made guest appearances on several TV shows.
Actress Jo Marie Payton was born on August 3, 1950, in Albany, Georgia. From 1989 to 1997, Payton won over television audiences as Harriette Winslow, a quick-witted wife and mother, on the situation comedy Family Matters. Her character actually originated on the buddy comedy Perfect Strangers in a recurring role as a sarcastic elevator operator from 1987 to 1989. Audiences liked the sharp-talking Harriette so much that the character was spun off into her own show.
Set in suburban Chicago, Family Matters focused on a middle-class African-American family. Payton appeared opposite Reginald VelJohnson who played Harriette's husband, Carl, a city police officer. While originally set as the star of the show, she was often more of a supporting performer, responding to the antics of her family and the nerdy neighborhood boy Steve Urkel, played by Jaleel White. Urkel, known for his trademark glasses, high-waisted pants and cartoonish voice, had a crush on the Winslow's daughter Laura. The character became a pop culture phenomenon and the series increasingly focused more attention on him.
Later Roles and Personal Life
Payton left the series in 1997 during the show's ninth season. Since leaving the series, Payton has made guest appearances on several televisions, including Moesha, Will & Grace, Judging Amy, Reba and Desperate Housewives. She also voiced the character of Suga Mama Proud on The Proud Family animated series from 2001 to 2005.
Jo Marie Payton has been married twice and has a daughter.