Occupationactress, VeterinarianYearsactive1976–2001NameDanielle Spencer
Danielle Spencer (born June 24, 1965) is one American actress and former kid star ideal known for her duty as Dee thomas on the abc sitcom What"s Happening!!, i beg your pardon ran native 1976 to 1979. She would later reprise the role on the series" sequel, What"s happening Now!!



Life and also career


Spencer was born in Trenton, brand-new Jersey come writer Cheryl Pelt. Spencer"s parents separated as soon as she was an extremely young. Her mother at some point married actor Tim Pelt, who Spencer thought about to be her father. Shortly after the family relocated to the Bronx, new York. Spencer came to be an actor approximately the age of 8 and began acquisition acting classes. In 1976, Spencer was chosen to co-star as bratty younger sister "Dee Thomas" in the program What"s Happening!! which to be loosely based upon the movie Cooley High. The display was a summer mid-season replacement, however performed so fine in the time slot that a full second season was ordered.

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On September 7, 1977, throughout the second season that the show, Spencer and Tim Pelt were in a severe vehicle accident the left Spencer in a coma for three weeks and killed she stepfather. Tim Pelt"s injuries were led to by make the efforts to safeguard Spencer during the crash. Spencer has actually no storage of the accident and also spent six months recuperating in arm and leg casts.


After the cancellation of the regime in 1979, Spencer and her mom relocated come Africa for a time. Upon her return she attended the college of California-Davis to go after a level in veterinarian medicine, a search that was motivated by her late stepfather. During this time "What"s Happening!!" had been in syndication for a variety of years. Repeats that the show"s 65 illustration did sensibly well in syndication and also in some industries the show actually had higher ratings in syndication than during the network run. In 1985, a sequel to the display was developed called What"s happening Now!!. Spencer go on to get involved in the renewal of she character, Dee, for three periods while quiet attending college. If matriculating her sophomore year, danielle pledged and became a member the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. After ~ the display was canceled in 1988 Spencer attended Tuskegee college Veterinary School, in Tuskegee, Alabama. She came to be a veterinarian in 1996.


Dr. Spencer considers it s her to be in semi-retirement from display business, yet still action occasionally. In 1997, she shown a vet in the hit movie As an excellent as the Gets and appearing in Peter Rabbit and the Crucifix in 2001. She proceeds to plot in little roles in film and also television as soon as it walk not problem with she veterinary practice.


The cast of "What"s Happening!!" were honored at the 2006 TV land Awards whereby Danielle Spencer bound with little House on the Prairie actress Alison Arngrim as the recipient for the "Character most In require Of A Time-Out" award.

Dr. Spencer released a book around her life together a kid star entitled: through the Fire: journal of a boy Star. The publication of her book led to renewed interest in she life and career and over the food of the next couple of years Dr. Spencer appeared on many television program such as Wendy Williams Show, TV One"s hit series Life After and Unsung Hollywood through her former actors members.


Spencer married Garry Fields, a marketing manager, at the Marina Marriott in Marina Del Rey, California in 1999. Her husband additionally works as publicist and manager for his wife.

She had actually been working as a vet for an ext than ten years when in 2004 after enduring balance and also chronic pain worries she to be diagnosed with spinal stenosis as result of the injuries she obtained in the vehicle accident in 1977. A surgical procedure to correct the difficulty left her partially paralyzed for eight months. Spencer left Los Angeles to receive treatment in ~ The Kessler Institute because that Rehabilitation in brand-new Jersey, (the same facility the treated actor Christopher Reeve). She credits the academy for providing her her life back.

Danielle Spencer has been working as a doctor of Veterinary medicine in California for much more than 25 years. In an interview with civilization Magazine, Spencer credited her battle with spinal injury and also paralysis with transforming her perspective on the therapy of pets from simply alleviating their pain to finding the underlying cause of their problems.

2014 to be a year filled v ups and downs for Dr. Spencer. She was inducted through the Smithsonian Museum as component of the permanent exhibition of the African-American social museum. She is the only child actor that holds this honor.

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She likewise channeled her lifelong passion for clothing and fashion and became affiliated in fashion design. She debuted her production "The Dani Collection" patterned after she own format of dress.

Spencer revealed ~ above September 26, 2014 that she was diagnosed v breast cancer. Speaking the end for breast Cancer Awareness month, Spencer, 49, who is currently a veterinarian, said BlackAmericaWeb that her diagnosis the ahead month took her by surprise. "With whatever that I"ve been v with the spinal cord injury, I stated I understand God is not going to give me one more affliction," she said, introduce to a 1977 auto accident, during the sitcom"s run, that caused near-paralysis because that a time. "So ns was totally shocked once the physicians told me." though the news come as a surprise, Spencer said the disease runs in she family. "I have actually a lot of aid and support about me," she said. Together of the interview"s publish date in October 2014, Spencer stated she was considering her therapy options, with surgical procedure at the top of the list. "I"m make the efforts to gain as plenty of opinions as feasible but it does look like that is what ns going to do," she said. "Hopefully after that there i will not ~ be any chemotherapy or radiation involved."

Although Dr. Spencer laments that as result of her accident she and her husband were no able to have any type of children of your own, she loves her life. She still acts occasionally and also she renders appearances together a motivational speaker. She told Ebony newspaper in 2012, "I’ve made tranquility with the truth that surgeries, back pain and also walking with crutches will certainly be part of my life forever. Some days are good, somedays room difficult. Yet in spite of the challenges, there are reasons to celebrate. My life has volunteering with a charity the feeds the homeless; providing treatment for pets through my work-related as a vet; and also relishing a wonderful 13-year marital relationship to the male who has been my rock. Ns fulfilled in ways I never imagined."