Some of our favorite stars will forever be remembered as the starlets they were when we first saw them on the screen. This stands true for Danielle Spencer, who we still remember as the young star on the ABC sitcom What’s Happening!!.
In this article, we will look back on the life of Danielle Spencer, and his married life with her husband, Garry Fields, as well as how much the former child star turned vet is worth now.
Who is Danielle Spencer?
Then 11 years old, Danielle Spencer landed her first role in ABC’s sitcom What’s Happening!! Spencer was cast to play the sassy Dee Thomas and was known for her signature “ooooohh, I’m tellin’ Mama!” The sitcom featured an almost all-black cast and focused on the lives of black youth growing up in an inner-city.
A year after landing her first role, she got into a horrific car accident with her stepfather, Tim Pelt. The crash ultimately killed her father, who tried to protect her, while the crash left her in a coma.
Spencer was unconscious for three weeks and spent six months recovering, not remembering a single detail from the collision.
She briefly gave up showing business to pursue higher education and attended the University of California to pursue Medicine in 1983. Her decision to pursue medicine was after the death of her stepfather.
But two years later, the actress decided to quit to continue filming for What’s Happening Now!!. where she reprised her role as Dee Thomas.
After her stint in What’s Happening Now!!, she moved to Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, to become a vet. Spencer later earned her degree in 1996 and semi-retired from show business, making appearances periodically in 1997 and 2001.
Danielle Spencer was a veterinarian for ten years at the time, and in 2004, the side effects of the crash started to resurface. While spending the holidays in New York, she felt a tingle in her leg but dismissed it as a result of fatigue.
However, Spencer realized it was much more serious after nearly losing her balance while trying on a skirt. She recounted this revelation in a July issue interview with Ebony Magazine.
Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a condition where the spinal column puts pressure on the spinal cord. And almost immediately after her diagnosis, she was confined to a wheelchair as she couldn’t walk without falling. Spencer underwent surgery that caused her to be paralyzed for eight months from the chest down.
But with her husband’s support, she sought treatment at the famed Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in her hometown of New Jersey. And three weeks after arriving, she was finally walking with a walker. However, there is no cure for spinal stenosis.
She published a book on her life, rekindling a new interest in her life and making appearances on TV programs. 2014 was an eventful year for her as the Smithsonian inducted her as part of a permanent African-American cultural museum exhibition.
She also released her own clothing line, The Dani Collection, featuring garments styled according to her taste. It wasn’t all good, though, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer that year but still managed to accept the situation.
Danielle Spencer Husband Garry Field and Kids
There are no sources about her children; however, this source claims that she is unable to conceive due to her spinal stenosis.
As for her marriage, the former child star married Garry Fields. Her husband, Garry Fields, is a marketing manager and acted as her publicist, as well. Her IMDb page claims she has been married since 1999. The couple tied the knot at Marina Marriot, where singer Cheryl Lynn and co-star Ernest Thomas attended the wedding.
However, the duo parted ways in 2013.
Danielle Spencer Net Worth
America’s “first black female child star” has an estimated net worth of one to five million dollars. She also makes ninety-three thousand dollars annually from her job as a vet. And aside from acting and her veterinary profession, Spencer also makes extra from her published books.
The actress could still somehow find her way back on the screen and increase her net worth. Danielle Spencer, however, is content with being a veterinarian and does her part to help the homeless.
Age and DOB
American child star Danielle Spencer is 56 years of age as of early 2022 and was born on June 24, 1965.