Warner Brothers

Dorothy Lyman called the cancellation of Mama's Family the best thing that ever happened to her

A true optimist can see the bright side of any situation, even when life seems to have taken a turn for the worst.

If you're looking for someone to see the sunny side of things, look no further than Dorothy Lyman. With a background in soaps like All My Children and sitcoms like Mama's Family, Lyman saw the television business from various angles.

More than that, Lyman paid her dues in the entertainment industry and, when faced with what many might view as a challenge, she took it in stride.

When Mama's Family was canceled in 1984, Lyman told The News and Observer that the show's untimely demise was actually excellent news.

"It was the best thing that ever happened to me," said Lyman. While Lyman explained that she loved the show and her time playing Naomi, she was grateful for the much-needed time off she'd get after the cancellation of the series.

"It's the first time in ages I haven't got up to an alarm and gone to a studio with millions of lines to learn," she said. "I feel at a sort of crossroads. For the first time in 16 years, my career has changed."

Of course, the change wouldn't last long, because Mama's Family would be brought back in 1986 after early episodes demonstrated promise with viewers. Lyman returned to the series until the show got a proper ending in 1990. This seems contradictory to her words in 1984, but Lyman loved Mama's Family because it allowed her to pursue various creative pursuits.

"I love TV. Television takes six months a year and in the six months I have off I have the luxury of being able to do a play," she said. "Television supports my theater habit. The two go hand in hand. The theater is for the artist in me; the businesswoman in me works for the network."

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