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Mother Jefferson
Mother Jefferson
Mother Jefferson, played by actress Zara Cully.
Personal Information
Gender: Female
Nickname Mama, as called by George
Also known as Olivia Jefferson
Occupation/
Career:
Retired domestic
Character
description:
George Jefferson's disparaging, meddlesome mother
oftentimes serves as antagonist to Louise, while sweet to others; loves Bloody Marys!
Spouse(s): William Jefferson (late husband, George's father)
Related to: Unnamed father
Unnamed Mother
Aunt Emma (younger sister)
George Jefferson (son)
Henry Jefferson (son)
Louise Jefferson (daughter-in-law)
Lionel Jefferson (grandson)
Ruby Jefferson (daugther-in-law)
Raymond Jefferson (grandson)
Jenny Willis-Jefferson (granddaughter-in-law)
Jessica Jefferson (great-granddaughter)
Character information
Appeared on: The Jeffersons
Character played by: Zara Cully
Jeffersons Wiki Script Gold

Mother Jefferson is the mother of George Jefferson and the mother in-law of Louise Jefferson, and the grandmother of Lionel Jefferson and the great-grandmother of Jessica Jefferson on The Jeffersons; she made her first appearance on All In The Family, appearing in the fifth season (1974-75) episodes titled "Lionel's Engagement" and "Movin' On Up", which would serve as the pilot for The Jeffersons series. Her character, would be spun-off into The Jeffersons spinoff in January that same season. On the show, Mother Jefferson is played by veteran character actress/black vaudeville performer Episode:Put It OnEngagement," where she takes offense at being referred to as "mammy," by Archie Bunker, who thinks the term is a variation of "mommy." Mother Jefferson is a catty, disparaging, and antagonistic mother-in-law to Louise, while appearing to be practically a sweet old lady to everyone else. Mother Jefferson is one of the stereotypical mothers-in-law who think their daughter-in-law isn't good enough for their son. In nearly every episode she was seen in, she is usually tormenting Louise by criticizing her cooking, her age, or her overall character, but Louise frequently came back at her with a witty albeit sarcastic response. (On a couple of rare occasions, however, Mother Jefferson sides with Louise, when she takes offense at George's boorish or sexist behavior.In one episode Episode:George and the Manager George Jeffersons refusal to hire a woman manager for his store promets Mother Jefferson to remark on how her father always used to talk the same way to her mother {about how women shouldn't have a job..before he takes his wifes paycheck!} Mother Jefferson was born in February 1901 near Washington/Lincolns Birthday of February 22; she has a young sister Emma who was born 1906; On February 9, 1951 Both sisters were playing in a church Bingo when she had to leave for a few minuites; she asked her sister to play her card--and Emma won a electric blamket-both femeales engaged in a non spealking feud for 25 years until Mother Jefferson Birthday in 1976 Mother Jeffersons Birthday broadcast January 31, 1976. In one episode Episode:The Wedding Mother Jefferson is seen sitting next to her granddaughter-in-law Jenny Willis. A long-running gag had Mother Jefferson blissfully ignorant of how much alcohol she actually consumes, usually in the form of a Bloody Mary, which she stated she drank "for the vitamins".


Zara Cully, who played Mother Jefferson, had been absent from the first 17 episodes of Season Three due to a serious case of pneumonia caused by a collapsed lung. Upon recovering she returned for a few episodes, noticeably thinner and more frail. She died early in Season Four, and the writers decided to eliminate Mother Jefferson's character rather than replace her with a different actress. No special episode was created centering on her death, but it was briefly referenced in the second episode of the Fifth Season, "Homecoming (Part 1)". "Mother Jefferson" is deceased. It was also mentioned about her passing in "George Finds a Father".