Family Matters: When Did Rachel Leave The Show & What Is She Doing Now?

While the ABC sitcom "Family Matters" began in 1989 as a working-class look at a Black American family, what most will remember about it is how it launched one of the most deliberately irritating characters of all time. Still, there were plenty of other key characters on the show who predated nerdy neighbor and genius inventor Steve Urkel (Jaleel White).

One of them is Aunt Rachel (Telma Hopkins), Harriette Winslow's (Jo Marie Payton) sister, widowed mother to Richie (Joseph and Julius Wright, later Bryton James), and aunt to Eddie (Darius McCrary), Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams), and Judy Winslow, (Jaimee Foxworth). However, a few seasons into the popular sitcom, Aunt Rachel mysteriously disappeared... so where did she go?

Well, Hopkins landed a role as one of the two leads on another sitcom called "Getting By." The series followed a bi-racial household consisting of a pair of Black and White matriarchs who co-parented as close friends. Unfortunately, the series only lasted for two seasons, which is why Aunt Rachel inevitably returned to "Family Matters," even if her appearances were much more sporadic toward the end than in the first few seasons.

Rachel was still in plenty of episodes of Family Matters

All in all, Aunt Rachel would appear in 93 episodes out of the 215 that ultimately comprised "Family Matters," marking her as a part of nearly half the show's entire run. However, even if you don't know her from her most famous role, there are plenty of other shows that you may have seen Telma Hopkins in since.

The actor would go on to have a five-episode stint on comedian D. L. Hughley's sitcom, "The Hughleys," and also nabbed herself a central role in the fish-out-of-water sitcom, "Half & Half," appearing in all 91 episodes of the series. She has also had extensive runs on shows like "Are We There Yet?" "Partners" and "Family Reunion," among her many other roles.

Still, what may be strangest of all is that Aunt Rachel wasn't the only character to mysteriously vanish from "Family Matters." Not only did the youngest daughter, Judy, disappear during Season 4, but she was never acknowledged for the rest of the series and didn't come back to reprise her character even a single time after she was written out. Guess that's what happens when a random side character unexpectedly becomes one of the biggest stars of your show, if not the biggest.