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Why Aunt Piggy From Our Kind Of People Looks So Familiar

Fox's "Our Kind of People" has come out of the gate swinging as one of the most intriguing new dramas of the 2021 fall TV season. A glossy, briskly-paced primetime soap set in the wealthy Black community of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, the show is centered on Angela Vaughn (Yaya DaCosta), a single mother with her sights set on entrepreneurial success, and follows multiple concurrent Oak Bluffs storylines in parallel with the development of Angela's hair care business. 

In addition to Angela and her teenage daughter Nikki (Alana Bright), the principal household at the center of "Our Kind of People" and its lavish one-percenter milieu also features Angela's aunt, Patricia Williams, known affectionately as "Aunt Piggy." As a proudly working-class woman who never hides her true, irreverent self for the sake of the community's approval, Aunt Piggy plays a major role in diversifying the show's dynamics. Her scenes of clear-eyed counseling to Angela come laced with personal history for both actresses, as well as the weight of one of the most momentous and widely revered careers in American TV history. 

Here are a few other places where you may have seen the actress who plays Aunt Piggy — the great Debbi Morgan.

Debbi Morgan made TV history as All My Children's Angie Baxter

The ABC daytime soap "All My Children," which was on air for more than 40 years, is a monument of American television, with a production history that mirrors the ups and downs of the medium's broader history. Like every long-running soap opera, it featured dozens of principal cast members throughout the years — and one of the most memorable was Debbi Morgan.

Born in 1956 in North Carolina (via Turner Classic Movies), Morgan began her acting career in the 1970s with parts in movies and TV shows like "Good Times" and "Roots: The Next Generations," before "All My Children" launched her into what would become one of the most prominent acting careers in U.S. daytime television history. From 1982 to 1990 (with further short appearances throughout the years after), she played Dr. Angie Baxter, the daughter in a well-known Pine Valley family and the love interest of Police Chief Jesse Hubbard (Darnell Williams). Morgan made history with the role, becoming the first African-American winner of the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (via IMDb). Together, she and Williams blazed a new trail of representation and made Angie and Jesse possibly the most iconic daytime TV Black couple ever.

The characters became so central to the "All My Children" mythos that they were brought back multiple times over, with their final appearances happening on the 2013 Prospect Park revival of the series (TV Insider). In an interesting coincidence, one of the many actors Morgan worked with in that time was her future "Our Kind of People" costar Yaya DaCosta, who played Angie and Jesse's daughter Cassandra Foster in 2008.

She gave a legendary big screen performance in Eve's Bayou

Debbi Morgan made her name in soap operas, adding stints on NBC's "Generations" and ABC's "Port Charles" to her legendary "All My Children" bow. But her career has not been limited to daytime TV. Cinephiles will recognize her for a major role in one of the most scintillating films of the 1990s: Kasi Lemmons' "Eve's Bayou."

A strange, sensuous Southern Gothic drama, "Eve's Bayou" was the first feature film by Lemmons, which immediately placed her on every list of greatest directorial debuts in cinema history. Telling the story of Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett, in her breakthrough role), a 10-year-old Louisiana girl growing up in the 1960s, "Eve's Bayou" is narrated in retrospect by an adult Eve. The film explores the nooks and crannies of memory, familial history, and American Creole identity with confidence and panache worthy of a filmmaker well into their career. 

One of the film's most memorable characters is Eve's fortune teller aunt, Mozelle Batiste Delacroix, played by Morgan. A troubled, thrice-widowed woman whose supernatural abilities come as both a blessing and a curse, Mozelle is the emotional center of the film's complex tapestry. Morgan received rapturous acclaim for her performance, winning multiple Best Supporting Actress awards (via IMDb), and in 2009, PopMatters placed her on a list of "100 Essential Female Film Performances."

She played a memorable villain in Charmed

Few shows are more identified with the particular aesthetic of the late 1990s/early 2000s than "Charmed," WB's highly popular supernatural drama centered around a trio of witch sisters. In addition to the core cast of Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and later Rose McGowan, the series has a large, sprawling ensemble of powerful beings, many of them wicked demons, warlocks, and other villains.

In Season 4, one such foe of the Charmed Ones is introduced. The Seer, played by Debbi Morgan, is an upper-level demon who serves as the primary advisor to the Source of All Evil. Much like Mozelle in "Eve's Bayou," the Seer possesses the ability to look into the future, which, in addition to her immunity to spells, makes her one of the most powerful beings in the show's universe. Unlike Mozelle, however, this Morgan character uses her powers for evil, manipulative purposes; her ruthless climb up the Underworld's hierarchy provides much of the thrust of the show's 4th and 5th seasons.

She returned to the soap world with The Young and the Restless

By the time "All My Children" ended its ABC run in 2011, Debbi Morgan had already found steady work on another highly popular daytime soap opera. Starting on October 7, 2011, she began to star on CBS' "The Young and the Restless" as Yolanda Hamilton, the impoverished biological mother of Devon Hamilton (Bryton James). The character, originally played by Chene Lawson between 2005 and 2006, had been written off the show for several years, only to return to Genoa City under the alias "Harmony Hamilton" (Entertainment Weekly).

Morgan began her run on "The Young and the Restless" even before her last "All My Children" episodes had aired (via Michael Fairman). Although she and "The Young and the Restless" fans were excited about the role's prospects at first (via Daytime Confidential), her storyline on the soap never really took off. Ultimately, she was let go along with multiple other "The Young and the Restless" cast members during a round of firings in September 2012 (via Soap Central).

Power gave her one of her most prominent primetime roles

Despite her long, storied career on the daytime side of American TV, Debbi Morgan has had few major roles on primetime series. Aside from "Our Kind of People," the biggest one is arguably Estelle Green in Starz's "Power" franchise. Appearing consistently since the first couple of episodes of "Power" Season 1, Estelle remains a recurring character for nearly the entirety of the original series' highly successful run, returning for appearances in Seasons 2, 5, and 6.

Estelle is the mother of Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton) — who is the wife and associate of drug lord James "Ghost" St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) — as well as a grandmother to Tasha and James' children Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.), Raina (Donshea Hopkins), and Yasmine (Amaya Carr). She's a tough, take-no-prisoners woman who never shies away from speaking her mind to Tasha, exerting significant influence over her by way of her reliably honest advice. She also frequently steps in to care for her grandchildren, especially the young Yasmine, as James and Tasha's criminal operations increasingly clash with their parental obligations.

Morgan reprises her role as Estelle in "Power Book II: Ghost," the ongoing "Power" spin-off focused on the trials faced by Tariq as he is forced to follow in his father's footsteps while attempting to build a new life for himself.