Nell Carter (September 13, 1948 – January 23, 2003) was an American singer, and film, stage, and television actress. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin', as well as an Emmy Award for her reprisal of the role on television. She also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her starring role in the long-running 1980s’ sitcom Gimme a Break!.
Born Nell Ruth Hardy to Horace and Edna Mae Hardy in Birmingham, Alabama, Carter was one of nine children. She overcame adversity and personal hardships before finding success as an actress. Her father died in an accident with a power line. A man raped her when she was 16, and she became pregnant from the attack, giving birth to a daughter, Tracy.
Carter appeared alongside Bette Davis in the 1974 stage musical Miss Moffat, based on Davis' earlier film The Corn Is Green. The show closed before making it to Broadway. She broke into stardom in the musical Ain't Misbehavin, for which she won a Tony Award in 1978. She also won an Emmy for the same role in a televised performance in 1982. Additional Broadway credits included Dude and Annie.