Pearl From '227' and Wanda From 'Good Times' Had A Career That Spanned 60 Years

Helen Martin

You may know this actress as Pearl from 227 and Wanda from Good Times but her name in real life is Helen Martin, and she actually appeared in more than 100 stage plays, television sitcoms, and films over the span of six decades.

Just to name a few, she appeared in several episodes of Sanford and Son, What's Happening!, Maude, That's My Mama, and Benson during the 70s and 80s. During the 90s, she also appeared on sitcoms like The Jamie Foxx Show, Full House, The Wayans Bros, and even films like Beverly Hills Cop III with Eddie Murphy.

As a young girl from Nashville, Tennessee, Helen took an early interest in acting when she moved to New York City to study acting with the WPA Theater and the Rose McClendon Players. It wasn't long before she made her first debut on Broadway in 1937 and continued appearing in dozens of Broadway shows until the 1970s.

She didn't really become famous though until she began appearing in nationally syndicated television shows. From that point forward, she became a well-loved and respected actress worldwide. In fact, she continued acting all the way up to her untimely death from a heart attack in March 2000. She was 90 years old.