Ethyl Spraggins Ayler (May 1, 1930 – November 18, 2018) was an African-American character actress with a career spanning over five decades.
Ayler was born in Whistler, Alabama and graduated from Fisk University.
In 1957, she made her off-Broadway debut in the Langston Hughes musical, Simply Heavenly. Later that year, she debuted on Broadway in the multiple Tony Award-nominated musical, Jamaica as an understudy for Lena Horne (also making her Broadway debut).
On television, Ayler had a recurring role as Carrie Hanks, Claire Huxtable’s mother on The Cosby Show. – Wikipedia