On This Day In Comedy… In 1998 Actress, Singer, Theresa Merritt Hines Passed Away!



On this day in comedy on June 12, 1998 Actress, Singer, Theresa Merritt Hines died in the Bronx.

Born September 24, 1922 in Emporia, Virginia, Merritt gained early notoriety as an accomplished stage actress.   She worked the theater circuit for years and then had a breakout performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.   When her colleague, Mabel King fell ill, Merritt replaced her in the stage version of The Wiz, but the rigors of the production began to have adverse effects on her voice, so Merritt quit.   She needed something less strenuous.   Ah, TV.

Theresa Merritt starred in the ABC sitcom That’s My Mama opposite Clifton Davis and Lynne Moody.    Teddy Wilson and Ted Lange also co-starred in this show about a bachelor barber and his mother.   The show ran from September 4, 1974 – Christmas Eve 1975 and after 39 episodes it was cancelled.    Without missing a beat Merritt went to movies.   She played the part of Aunt Em in the film version of The Wiz.   She also appeared alongside Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, with Adam Sandler in Billy Madison and was featured in Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl and Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz.  

Theresa Merritt died of skin cancer at age 75.

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton


Check out this clip:

About author / Humor Mill

About US

The Humor Mill Magazine is a on line digital magazine, website and TV show that’s about the Urban Comic & Urban Hollywood for the general audience. Its for comedians/actors who are looking for that outlet to be seen, and its also about the under-served Urban Hollywood scene. The Humor Mill Magazine features comedy, music and movie news, while we also discuss some important issues. We also feature comics who have been on the scene for a while but haven’t quite become a household name yet. We also feature articles on Hollywood actors who we see all the time but just don’t know their name yet. All that, plus what’s going down for the week in the latest issue, The Humor Mill covers it all as it keeps you IN THE KNOW!


%d bloggers like this: