Leah Remini Returns to Primetime TV on 'Family Tools': A Look Back at Her Top Sitcom Stints

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Two years after being fired from "The Talk" (for, er, talking too much?), Leah Remini is back to doing what she does best. The actress who made headlines after her impromptu departure from the daytime chatfest is set to star in the ABC comedy "Family Tools," playing a masseuse and family caretaker named Terry McCormick.

Last summer Deadline reported that Leah talked about her "Talk" ousting and her new sitcom at a TCA panel: "I do believe things happen for a reason; it's a blessing," she said. "I started at ABC in 1989 with 'Living Dolls'… I love being back at ABC, I'd like to stay here and get comfortable."

Over the years, Leah Remini has been very comfortable in the comedy genre. While she is best known for her starring role as Carrie Heffernan on the long-running CBS sitcom "The King of Queens," the TV veteran also guest starred on some of the top comedies of the 1980s and '90s.

Here's a look back at five of Leah Remini's most memorable sitcom stints.


Back in the early days of the hit series "Friends," Leah turned up as a very pregnant woman in the 1995 episode "The One With the Birth." Her character, Lydia, talked sports with Joey (Matt LeBlanc) at the hospital before he somehow ended up in the delivery room as the single mom's birth coach! In 2011, "Friends" co-star Lisa Kudrow reunited with Leah on "The Talk" to discuss her guest spot as Lydia on the then-new series. "We also thought you were fantastic," Kudrow told her. "That was the first season, and I was saying, she's so great, they could replace one of us." Watch a clip from Leah's "Friends" spot now:


You'd have to go back to the early 1990s to recall Leah's role on the sitcom "Cheers," where she played Serafina Tortelli, the sassy daughter of Rhea Perlman's character, Carla. In the 1993 episode "Loathe and Marriage," Serafina found herself in a pregnant predicament, so Carla hosted a quickie wedding for her at Melville's, the seafood joint above Cheers. But when Carla's philandering ex-husband Nick crashed the party, the Cheers waitress tried to show him the door, causing Serafina to beg them to all just get along. (It was her wedding day, after all!) The episode ended with a classic Carla line: "I really want to apologize about the way I acted this afternoon, and I promise I'll be on my best behavior at your next wedding, " she said to her newly married daughter, to which Serafina replied, "Aw, Ma!" You can see a pic of sassy Serafina here.

"Saved By the Bell"

In 1991, Leah joined the cast of "Saved by the Bell" for six fun-in-the-sun episodes. Her supersize guest stint as Stacey Carosi had her hanging with the gang -- and barking out a few orders -- at her pop's place of biz, the Malibu Sands Beach Resort. She even found a summer romance with resident ladies' man Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar.) Check out Leah as the "Saved By the Bell" boss lady:

"Who's the Boss"

Back in 1989, Leah's two-episode arc on the Tony Danza sitcom "Who's The Boss" had her playing Brooklyn-born tomboy Charlie Briscoe, a pal of Samantha Micelli's (Alyssa Milano). The character's exploits at a teen modeling agency became the plot for a "Who's the Boss" spinoff, "Living Dolls." Although the show lasted only 12 episodes, Leah was in good company; one of her co-stars on the short-lived sitcom was Halle Berry. You can see a pic of the cast here, and check out Leah looking like a living doll on "Who's the Boss":


If you were a "Blossom" fan, surely you must remember this episode. In 1992's "You Must Remember This," Leah guested as Ellen Travers, a new paramedic partner of Anthony's (Michael Stoyanov) whom he once had fling with. Unfortunately, the romp was back in his drinking and drugging days, so his memory is a little foggy. Hence the E.T. tattoo on his ankle -- and her hostile attitude, as he completely forgets who she is. You can see Leah in her role as an EMT here:

"Family Tools" will premiere on Wednesday, May 1 at 8:30 PM ET on ABC.

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