Vicki Lawrence (born Vicki Ann Axelrad on March 26, 1949, in Inglewood, California) is a singer, comedian, and actress. She is also credited as Vicki Lawrence Schultz; Schultz being the surname of her second husband, to whom she has been married since 1974, and by whom she has 2 children.
As a singer, she is most known for her #1 one-hit wonder, "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia," which was released in 1973. (Cher was offered the song first but turned it down, as she did with "Angie Baby," which ended up becoming a #1 hit for Helen Reddy.)
As a comedian and actress, she is best known for her work on The Carol Burnett Show, of which she was a part from 1967 to 1978, especially for her hilarious work as Thelma Harper. In addition to her obvious comedic talent, she was hired for the show because she resembled a young Burnett. She followed up with her own show based on a Carol Burnett skit, Mama's Family, which ran from 1983 to 1985 and from 1986 to 1990.
She also hosted the NBC version of the game show Win, Lose or Draw, and has also appeared often as a popular panelist on such game shows as Password (game), The $10,000 Pyramid, and The $25,000 Pyramid. Lawrence resurrected her signature character, Thelma Harper, on Hollywood Squares and on stage.
She won a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Talk Show in 1993 for the eponymous Vicki!, but the show was canceled after only one season, due to mediocre ratings and controversy over some of Lawrence's backstage diva-like behavior.