One of the most beloved sitcoms of the ’90s, Family Matters fans recall the Winslow family and their nerdy and clumsy neighbor Steve Urkel (Jaleel White). A spinoff of Perfect Strangers, the Chicago set show followed Policeman Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson), his wife Harriette (Jo Marie Payton), their teenage son and daughter, Eddie (Darius McCrary) and Laura (Kellie Williams) and their younger daughter Judy (Jaimee Foxworth).
Throughout nine seasons of the show, which ran from 1989 to 1998, the spotlight was mostly on Steve, Laura, and Eddie. However, fans have always discussed the mysterious disappearance of Judy. In a Season 4 episode titled “Mama’s Wedding,” she goes to her room after getting on punishment, never to be seen from or heard from again.
It turns out that Judy was cast off the show due to budget constraints. However, Foxworth was just as shocked by her firing as fans were.
“The producers felt that they could do it, and no one would notice. They’d done it with previous shows they had. They figured no one would care. My fans took notice of it,” Foxworth explained to The Root back in 2017. “They figured they could just throw me away, no explanation at all. Some of my cast members knew before I did.”
Foxworth’s co-star, Darius McCrary, also spoke about her departure.
“I just think that what happened to Jamie Foxworth, who is just a beautiful…multitalented individual…I think it was just a casualty of war, and all is fair in war,” he said, the “war” being the acting and ratings landscape itself,” he told Comedy Hype in 2019.
“It affected my self-esteem as an actress,” Foxworth explained. “And I started feeling like I wasn’t good at my job.”
In 2009, the TV One series Life After Foxworth spoke openly about her departure from the show, her subsequent battle with addiction, and her life today.