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6 Cute Little Faces That Paved The Way For More African Americans On Television

Do you remember these cute little faces of the 1970s and 80s? These actors and young actresses made a huge name for themselves on the TV screen. Today, some of them continue to be in the public eye; while others are either no longer with us, or have decided on a different profession. These young entertainers kept us laughing and wanting to see more of us on television.


1. Emmanuel Lewis / Webster

Emmanuel Lewis is an American actor who is best known for playing the title character in the 1980s television sitcom “Webster.”  Lewis graduated from Midwood High School in 1989 and attended Clark Atlanta University in 1997. You might not know it but at one time  Lewis was the child spokesperson for the Burger King Whopper. He appears to no longer be in entertainment.


2. Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman was an American actor, voice artist, and comedian, best known for his role as Arnold Jackson in Diff’rent Strokes. He was described in the 1980s as “one of the television’s most promising stars”. After a successful childhood acting career, Coleman struggled financially later in life. He died at the young age of 42.


3. Kim Fields

Kim Victoria Fields is an American actress, singer, and television director best known for her role as “Tootie Ramsey” on the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life. Who can forget “Tootie” and those roller skates taking her everywhere she needed to go. Fields recently came back to the public eye; she now appears on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.



4. Janet Jackson

There is no forgetting cute little “Penny Woods” on the CBS sitcom Good Times. It could be because she was such a great little actress, or it could be because it was little Miss. Janet Jackson herself. Regardless of the reason, little Janet gave an outstanding performance. Janet Jackson is still in the public eye with both her acting and music careers.


5. Todd Bridges

Todd Anthony Bridges is an American actor. He is known for his role as Willis Jackson on the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. He also appeared on the show Everybody Hates Chris as the character “Monk.” Bridges continue to make random appearances on different television shows.

danielle spencer

6. Danielle Spencer

Who could forget the sassy little “Dee Thomas” played by Danielle Spencer on the ABC sitcom “What’s Happening!!” which ran from 1976 to 1979? Spencer appeared later in four episodes of the series’ sequel, What’s Happening Now!!  She also published a book about her life as a Child Star entitled: Through the Fire: Journal of a Child Star. Spencer now works as a veterinarian.


Written by How Africa

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