In order to be a legend you have to learn from and study the legends.
A legend today is known for their noted celebrity and larger-than-life accomplishments, whose fame is well-known.
Helen Martin was an American actress of stage and television. She was best known for her roles as Wanda on the CBS sitcom Good Times (1974–79) and Pearl Shay on the NBC sitcom 227 (1985–90).
Martin moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. She was a Broadway character actress for many decades, debuting in Orson Welles’ production of Native Son in 1941. She appeared in at least a dozen Broadway shows, including Jean Genet’s The Blacks, the musical Raisin from 1973 to 1975, Ossie Davis’ Purlie Victorious (and later the musical version, which was called Purlie), The Amen Corner and Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment. She was an original member of the American Negro Theater.
Martin became widely known later in life due to her roles in popular television series, which brought her a large audience. She had a recurring role as Wanda on the television series Good Times, and later as the neighbor Pearl Shay on the television sitcom 227, which lasted from 1985 until 1990. She also played on the short-lived sitcoms Baby, I’m Back (as mother in-law, Luzelle) and That’s My Mama.
She played a variety of grandmothers in films: Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996), I Got the Hook Up (1998), and Mama Doll in Bulworth (1998).
Helen Martin died of a heart attack on March 25, 2000, in Monterey, California.
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