Shirley Hemphill

Actress and comedian Shirley Hemphill, who played a wisecracking waitress in the 1970s TV series “What’s Happening!!” died Dec. 10 of natural causes at her home in West Covina. She was 52.

Hemphill played waitress Shirley Wilson in the show about three high school students, and also starred in the sequel, “What’s Happening Now!” from 1985 to 1988.

A native of Asheville, N.C., she moved to Los Angeles to do standup comedy. She was discovered by “All in the Family” creator Norman Lear and signed up for “What’s Happening!!”

She had recently returned to stand-up comedy.

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