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‘You Took Away My Baby’: ‘Family Matters’ Star Jo Marie Payton Admits She Was ‘Very Hurt’ Producers Wrote Out Her TV Daughter Judy

Jo Marie Payton and cast members from the hit series “Family Matters” seem to be on the same page about bringing the Winslow family together. However, the woman who played the family matriarch, Harriette Winslow, wants to make huge adjustments first. 

According to People, Payton and fellow cast members Reginald Vel Johnson (Carl Winslow), Kellie Williams (Laura Winslow), and Darius McCrary (Eddie Winslow) attended the ’90s Con, celebrating television stars and series from the 1990s. Jaleel White, who starred on the sitcom as Steve Urkel, wasn’t in attendance

Jo Marie Payton portrayed the family matriarch Harriette Winslow in “The Family Matters.” (Photo: @jomariepayton/Instagram.)

Payton told the audience she would only consider a series reboot if producers bring back her youngest child, Judy. She said she was “personally hurt” that Jaimee Foxworth’s character was mysteriously disappeared after its fourth season.

“I said, ‘You guys need to tell me something that is not only creative but also politically correct to straighten out this situation because there’s nowhere in the world a family — You gave me three kids, you took away my baby,'” Payton recalled. “If you had taken away my oldest child, we could have always come up with [different excuses in each episodes] that she was at the mall or with her friends.”

She said, “You took away my baby, and when I asked you, ‘Why did you take away my baby girl?’ you said, ‘Nobody would notice.'”

Payton noted she wouldn’t be “excited about, going back into it” without Judy. If she had her way, the 71-year-old said, “the very first episode has to be that [Judy] comes down those stairs.”

“Because the worst feeling in the world for a parent is not to know where your child is,” she added.

“Family Matters” co-stars Williams and McCary seem just as eager about reuniting in the family series that aired for nine seasons from 1989 to 1997.

Williams said, “You need to contact Bob Boyett and Netflix and tell them.”

Meanwhile, McCrary says “the possibilities are endless today” but believes it’s ultimately up to fans.

“You guys have so much more power in your hands than you did. There was three networks, four networks NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox. Now there are so many platforms,” he told the audience. “You guys can start an online campaign. Get on Facebook, talk, share … If you guys had this much power in your hands, Judy would have never got left at the mall.”

“Family Matters” became one of the longest-running Black family sitcoms after its debut on ABC on Sept. 22, 1989. The original cast also included Telma Hopkins as Rachel Crawford, Bryton James as her son, Richie Crawford, Shawn Harrison as Eddie’s friend Waldo, and Cherie Johnson as Laura’s best friend, Maxine. Jaleel White joined the show as the soon-to-be popular nerdy character and family friend Steve Urkel during the first season.

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