In 2023, the iconic CBS sitcom The Young and the Restless (popularly branded as Y&R) announced the return of actress Veronica Redd as the Abbotts family maid Mamie Johnson, a position she has not held for almost twenty years. But who is Veronica Redd, and what other shows and films has she appeared in, besides her most famous public persona?
Redd was born in Washington, D.C., on August 8, 1948, to a Black family in the Jim Crow era. Little is known about her early education or career, but it is clear Redd had a quick start in acting, with her first well-known appearance taking place in 1977. In The Jeffersons‘ episode “Once a Friend” from that year, Redd played the role of George’s old friend ‘Edie Stokes’. Stokes is a transgender character and a former colleague. The transition is initially met with shock but gradually accepted by the Jeffersons.
In additionally, Redd’s career took a turn for the better, with starring or side roles in Good Times (in 1978), Hill Street Blues (1981), Johnnie Mae Gibson: FBI (1986), The Women of Brewster Place (1989), and Blue Hill Avenue (2001), among many others.
In the meantime, Veronica Redd also taught acting at the Center for Performing Arts in Los Angeles for many years. One of her more notable students is the actor Dwayne Winstead from The Truth About the War in Heaven: Declaration of War.
But by far the most acclaimed character played by Redd is Mamie Johnson, the Abbotts’ maid from Y&R that has become synonymous with Redd’s public image. Mamie was originally debuted by actress Marguerite Ray in 1980, who served in the role for ten years. In 1990, the role was taken over by Veronica Redd. Ray passed away in 2020, presumably due to complications related to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Redd played as the iconic maid Mamie from 1990 to 1995, returning to the role from 1999 to 2004. Now at the age of 84, Redd has been called to reprise her role as Mamie on the 50th anniversary of the show. It is hitherto unclear how long her intended reappearance will be, given her advanced age and retirement from other work.