Famous TV Aunt Fights Debilitating Disease

May 29, 2009

The folks over at mental_floss recently unveiled their “8 Memorable TV Uncles,” naming a hodgepodge of characters from the hunky Uncle Jesse on Full House to the eccentric Uncle Leo from Seinfeld. At the end of the post, they opened up the dialogue. Who was missing? And they didn’t just want to hear about uncles; they wanted aunts and cousins, too.

“You forgot Uncle Arthur and Aunt Clara,” one Bewitched fan replied.

Another poster shared his fondness for Aunt Esther of Sanford and Son. That one took me back. Good old Aunt Esther. I always loved it when she would say, “Watch it, Sucka.”

Janet Hubert speaks at the

Janet Hubert speaks at the NOF awards dinner

I would add Aunt Vivian of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, originally portrayed by Janet Hubert, to the list as well. While the show certainly had its funny moments, I admire Hubert for a more serious reason.

Hubert is using her voice to raise awareness about osteoporosis, a potentially debilitating bone disease that affects an estimated 10 million Americans. Hubert and others remind us that osteoporosis does not respect race or gender.

On May 20, Hubert was a headliner at the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) awards dinner, at which legendary actress Sally Field and others were honored.

Janet Hubert and Sally Field

Janet Hubert and Sally Field

May is an important time for NOF thanks to its designation as National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. A recent NOF press release included a heartbreaking tale about a woman who lost two inches in height and said that her children were “afraid to hug me because I was so fragile.”

At AAUW, we are spreading the word about the national Know My Bones campaign by highlighting their information on our website.

Recently, I wondered, Am I getting enough calcium? What about Vitamin D? Weight-bearing exercise? How about I get back to Hubert? In the meantime, I’ve made a promise to myself to take the mental_floss “Bone Trivia” quiz.

All kidding aside, google Hubert.You’ll likely see her described as the actress who clashed with Will Smith. So much has been made of that old dispute, but Hubert isn’t the first or only actor to be replaced for one reason or another.

The movin’-on-up Jeffersons had one son — who in fact was Lionel #1 and Lionel #2. Mike Evans had the role from 1971–75. Then Damon Evans (no relation) played the character until 1979, when Mike Evans returned. (Sorry, it’s the TV junkie in me rising.)

If on the slim chance a TV junkie asks you whatever happened to the first Aunt Viv on the Fresh Prince, say she’s standing tall with NOF and share the link to her PSA.

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Lisa Goodnight By:   |   May 29, 2009

1 Comment

  1. Ashley Carr says:

    As a lover of popular culture, including TV, I think this was a novel way to share important information about this debilitating disease affecting women. Fun reading with a serious message to boot. Thanks for sharing.

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