Shirley Ann Hemphill (July 1, 1947 – December 10, 1999) was an American stand-up comedian and actress who was born in Asheville, North Carolina. She was best known for her role on the popular television situation comedy What’s Happening!!, which ran from 1976 to 1979.
Throughout her career Shirley performed her stand-up routine on a number of popular TV shows including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, A&E’s An Evening at the Improv, BET’s Black Comedy Showcase and Black Comedy Tonight. She was also a regular at The Laugh Factory comedy club in Los Angeles.
On December 10, 1999, Shirley died of kidney failure at her home in suburban Los Angeles, California. She was reportedly found dead by her gardener.
Shirley died nearly a month after her What’s Happening!! co-star Mabel King