Aalda is best remembered for her role as DiDi Bannister-Stoner on ABC's The Edge of Night from 1981 until the show's demise in 1984, making her one of the first African-American daytime soap opera heroines.
She previously worked as a writer-performer with the New York-based sketch comedy ensemble Off Center Theatre and toured with the Boston-based improv group The Proposition, which included prominent animation voice actor and director Charlie Adler.
She later made an appearance on the CBS drama Guiding Light.
She also had regular roles as the daughter of Redd Foxx and Della Reese on the CBS sitcom The Royal Family and as the wife of O. J. Simpson's character on the HBO series 1st & Ten.
Aalda also rose to prominence as Lita Ford, Anthony's yuppie-from-hell lover, on the CBS sitcom Designing Women, and as the hideously disfigured Lena Hart on the NBC serial opera Sunset Beach.
She was a correspondent for the magazine show NOW! on WNBC in New York and co-hosted the lifestyle show Designs for Living on the USA Network. The majority of her guest-starring gigs are in sitcoms.
Aalda has also acted in films, co-starring as rapper Kid's naïve mother in the urban cult film Class Act and as Coach Harrison in Nobody's Perfect.
Beaches and Pretty Woman, both directed by Garry Marshall, and The Wiz, directed by Sidney Lumet, featured her.
With a TEDx Talk and AARP accreditation as a "Age Disruptor," she is a leader in the happy aging movement. She is a frequent guest on podcasts on shameless aging.
She is the resident Age Anarchist for Women of Color Unite (WOCU), a 5000-strong advocacy group for women of color working in the entertainment business both above and below the line.
As a standup comedian and with her solo "existential comedy" show, Getting Old Is a Bitch...But I'm Gonna Wrestle That Bitch to the Ground!, which broke a 30-year box office record at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she spreads her message about positive aging.
Mariann Aalda's net worth is currently estimated at $8 million.
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