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Mablean Deloris Ephriam, Esq. (born April 23, 1949) served as the judge on the courtroom series, Divorce Court. She presided over the show from the beginning of the current version of the show in 1999 until the 2006-2007 season, when she was replaced by former Power of Attorney judge Lynn Toler. On Divorce Court, Ephriam was humorous and usually had the audience laughing, with her noticeably quirky voice and shocked reactions, by the ex-couple's outrageous behavior. Since Lynn Toler has replaced Ephriam on Divorce Court, ratings for the court show have since dropped 20% for the 2006-2007 season.

She made a short appearance in the film adaptation of the play Diary of a Mad Black Woman, portraying (fittingly) a judge. She also portrayed the same character in both Madea's Family Reunion and Madea Goes to Jail. Her first name is pronounced "may-BLENE," as in the Chuck Berry song "Maybellene."

Ephriam is a native of Hazlehurst, Mississippimarker. Although she had never actually served as a judge before Divorce Court, she has had plenty of experience in and knowledge of the law. She started her law career as a correctional officer in the Women's Division of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and worked as a trial attorney for over 20 years. In 1982, she opened her own law practice, dealing mainly with personal injury and family law cases. In 1999, when Divorce Court was revived, she was chosen to become the show's presiding judge.

Ephriam's trademark phrase on Divorce Court was "Look deep before you leap," advising would-be newlyweds to examine each others' behaviors and attitudes carefully before they decide to marry. While she encouraged her litigants to discuss sensitive issues to get to the heart of what was causing the divorce, she was quick to restore order in her courtroom when things got out of hand, and she scolded her litigants for disrespecting each other, or her, in court.

In March 2006, it was announced that Ephriam would leave Divorce Court at the end of the 2005-2006 season (her seventh behind the bench), reportedly because she and the show's producers were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension. She was replaced by Judge Lynn Toler, a former judge from Cleveland Heights, Ohiomarker, who formerly presided over the short-lived syndicated courtroom TV show Power of Attorney.

Ephriam also appeared on the first season of Celebrity Fit Club where she went from 208 lbs to 183, losing 25 lbs, 12% of her body weight. Ephriam revealed to VH1 that she has kept off all of the weight. She added that her weight goes up and down, but she never exceeds 183.


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