Family Matters Wiki

Harriette Winslow is the matriarch of the Winslow family.


Harriette Winslow was born to Darlene and Jimmy Baines at Regis Memorial Hospital. Darlene and Jimmy were married at 18-years-old. When she was a little girl, she received a small scar above her left knee from when she fell off her tricycle. She has a younger sister name Rachel Crawford. But when Harriette was 3 and Rachel was 1, Jimmy left Darlene.

In 1971, she met and married Carl Winslow while working together at the police academy, they have three children; Eddie Winslow, Laura Winslow, and Judy Winslow. They live in a two-three story bedroom home in rural Chicago, IL. They all live together along with Rachel's son Richie Crawford and Carl's mother Estelle Winslow.

After the death of their spouses, Rachel and her son Richie and Carl's mother Estelle came to live with Harriette, Carl and their family.

The Winslow's have a rather pesty neighbor name Steve Urkel. He has had a crush on Laura for as long as anyone could remember.

At one time, Harriette attended the police academy where she graduated, but she left the force when she became pregnant with Eddie.

In 1987, Harriette began working as an elevator operator for The Chicago Chronicle. She had only worked for them for two years before she was fired because she asked for a raise and because her boss decided to to put in a self-service elevator. A couple of weeks after she was let go, she went back to The Chicago Chronicle, and ended up getting hired back on, but as the director of security.

In 1991, Harriette and Rachel's estranged father, Jimmy Baines returned for a visit in hopes to repair his relationship with his daughters and grandchildren. At first, he used an alias name as Jimmy Holmes from the old neighborhood.

In 1993, Harriette was fired for a second time from The Chicago Chronicle. The reason why she was fired, was because she refused to lay off members of her security staff when the newspaper was making budget cuts.

Shortly after getting fired, she got a job at Ferguson's Department Store. By 1997, she was promoted to head of sales and Vice President, replacing the incompetent Mr. Benner, who lost his job after numerous complaints that he was verbally abusive to his employees under his watch.

Harriette has a cousin named EZ-C Clarence, who was cute as a child, but grew up with an ever-growing police record and his mother sent him to Chicago to live with Harriette and Carl in an attempt to get him to turn his life and his behavior around. However, he became a negative influence on Eddie which lead him to getting arrested for Grand Theft Auto by the owner of a stolen Ferrari when he claimed to be a valet parker. When Harriette made a failed attempt at reprimanding Clarence, she saw how remorseless he was and Harriette sent him back home to Detroit to live with his mother again.

In 1997, she and her husband Carl became foster parents to a youth trouble maker child named Jerry Jamal Jameson a.k.a. 3J. He and Richie instantly hit it off and were best friends from the start.

When Richie became older, Harriette and Carl became legal guardians for Richie due to Rachel working out of town a lot.

In 1997, she was replaced by Judyann Elder who played Harriette til the last episode of the series.


Darlene Baines - Mother

Jimmy Baines - Father

Rachel Crawford - Sister

Estelle Winslow - Mother-in-law

Carl Winslow - Husband

Edward Winslow - Son

Laura Winslow - Daughter

Judith Winslow - Daughter

3J - Adopted son


Harriette is the voice of reason. She is quite competent at mediating conflicts in her family, often pointing out faults to everyone, but this also makes her very reluctant to take sides. She is especially strict when it comes to her daughter Laura, despite being far more responsible, obedient and more trustworthy than her brother. She has a great love for her family and will always be there for them no matter what.


  • Harriette graduated from the Police Academy and had police training. She left the force when she was pregnant with Eddie.
  • Harriette left the force to work as an elevator operator in the Chicago Chronicle. She worked there in seasons 3-4 of Perfect Strangers.
  • She is aware that her next door neighbor Steve constantly irritates her husband Carl, her son Eddie, and her daughter Laura and she knows that Steve never seems to leave Carl, Eddie and Laura alone.
  • She was director of Security Officer for the Chronicle from season 1-5 in Family Matters.
  • She had a lot of jobs in the middle of season 5 to season 6, until she found the right job. She got a job working in the complaint department in Ferguson.
  • She worked her way up in head of sales and VP in Ferguson.
  • along with Judy and Richie she is the only main character to be played by more then one actor.