‘What’s Happening’ Child Star’s Journey Past Cancer, Paralysis & Depression

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If the name Danielle Spencer doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps the name “Dee,” former adorable child star of ’70s classic TV show What’s Happening, is probably more familiar.

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Spencer’s catchphrase on the show was, “Oooh, I’m gonna tell my momma!” She left showbiz to pursue her education at Tuskegee University where she completed a degree in veterinary science and became a veterinarian. The now married 51-year-old Dr. Spencer couldn’t be happier.

“I knew I wanted to work with animals but I didn’t know in what capacity. But I always loved animals,” confesses Spencer. “They were my closest friends sometimes growing up. I was so happy to be able to be a veterinarian because I wasn’t doing much acting once the show went off the air. It’s good being able to make a living doing something that I love.”

But her transition from entertainment to animal medicine wasn’t always a smooth one.