For three seasons, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh played Tanya Baxter on That's So Raven, keeping her psychic daughter, mischievous son, and goofy husband in line. But during the fourth (and final) season, Keymáh was nowhere to be seen -- an absence the show wrote off by saying Tanya had moved to England to attend law school.
The most common rumor that's floated around the internet over the years is Keymáh grew tired of her role and didn't think her character was going anywhere. However, that's not what actually happened. In a new interview with Madame Noire, Keymáh revealed the two major reasons she left the show before its cancellation, neither of which have to do with her being bored or unsatisfied.
For starters, Keymáh only signed up for three seasons of the show, because that's all Disney initially planned to film. Disney Channel used to implement a strict "65-episode rule," and Raven was the first show to surpass that, making a whopping 100 episodes.
That being said, when it came time for the show's pivotal fourth season, Keymáh was hesitant to continue. To make matters worse, her grandmother was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and had become too sick for a caregiver, leaving her in Keymáh's busy hands. She told Madame Noire, "Kyle [Massey] and Orlando’s [Brown] mom would watch [my grandmother] in my dressing room while I was on stage. And that just couldn’t go on."
In a selfless act of love, Keymáh chose her grandmother over herself, opting out of the fourth season in order to care for the elderly woman until she passed away.
While we're bummed we didn't get to see Tanya Baxter on all four seasons of Raven, Keymáh's reason for leaving is definitely, heartbreakingly sweet.