Marla Gibbs

Marla Gibbs

Birth name: Margaret Theresa Bradley
Born: June 14, 1931
Age: 91
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
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Marla Gibbs (born Margaret Theresa Bradley; June 14, 1931) is an American actress, comedian, singer, writer and producer, whose career spans five decades. Gibbs is known for her role as George Jefferson's maid, Florence Johnston, in the CBS sitcom, The Jeffersons (1975-85), for which she received five nominations for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She also starred in the show's spin-off Checking In (1981) and the NBC sitcom, 227 (1985–90); Gibbs co-produced the latter series, played the lead role of Mary Jenkins, and sang the theme song.[1]

Gibbs has won a total of seven NAACP Image Awards.[2] In later years, Gibbs played supporting roles in films The Meteor Man (1993), Lost & Found (1999), The Visit (2000), The Brothers (2001), Madea's Witness Protection (2012), Grantham & Rose (2015), and Lemon (2017).

The younger of two sisters, Gibbs was born Margaret Theresa Bradley on June 14, 1931, at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois to Ophelia Birdie (née Kemp) and Douglas Bradley.[3] She attended Wendell Phillips Academy High School in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. She graduated in 1949.[4] Shortly after high school, Gibbs moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she attended Peters Business School. She worked as a reservations agent for United Airlines before relocating with her children from Detroit to Los Angeles.



Gibbs, 2014

Gibbs got her first acting job in the early 1970s, in the blaxploitation films Sweet Jesus, Preacher Man and Black Belt Jones. In 1975 she was cast as Florence Johnston, the family's maid, in the CBS comedy series The Jeffersons. For her performance on the series, Gibbs was nominated for an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series five times, and once for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film. In 1981 she starred in the short-lived spin-off of The Jeffersons, titled Checking In.[2] Gibbs responded in a 2015 interview on Broadway Showbiz, when asked if she'd based any of her characters on real-life people: "Yes, Florence was like my aunt and grandmother so I lived it. She came easy to me so I'm like Florence in giving smart answers, but I was also shy so I wouldn't have dared to say some of the things Florence said. I prefer to do whatever I can do at the moment. Whoever's hiring me at the moment...that's what I'm supposed to do. My favorite is drama. I'm doing that now (on Scandal), but also still doing comedy on Hot in Cleveland."[5] In 1985, when The Jeffersons was cancelled after 11 seasons, Gibbs was the lead actress in the NBC sitcom, 227. The series aired until 1990, producing 116 episodes. Two decades later, Gibbs teamed again with former 227 co-star Jackée Harry in The First Family, where Gibbs had a recurring role as Harry's on-screen mother Grandma Eddy. Then, she again worked with Harry in the independent film Forbidden Woman.

Gibbs had a number of supporting film roles, and guest starred on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Touched by an Angel (with Della Reese), Judging Amy, ER, and Southland.[6] From 1998 to 2002 she had a recurring role on The Hughleys. In 2012, Gibbs appeared in the Tyler Perry film Madea's Witness Protection,[7] and in 2014 she starred in the independent film, Grantham & Rose.[8][9]

In 2015, Gibbs has made two appearances in the Shonda Rhimes' drama series, Scandal.[10] She later guest starred on Hot in Cleveland, American Horror Story: Hotel and This Is Us. In 2018, she was cast in a recurring role on the ABC drama series Station 19.[11] Gibbs also has had starring roles in two television pilots: Old Soul alongside Ellen Burstyn and Rita Moreno for NBC in 2014, and ABC's Jalen Vs. Everybody in 2017.[12] In film, she co-starred in Lemon and Please Stand By.

Gibbs owned a jazz club in South Central L.A. called Marla's Memory Lane Jazz and Supper Club from 1981 to 1999. As a singer, she released a number of albums.[citation needed].

Personal life

Gibbs was married to her high school sweetheart Jordan Gibbs from 1955 to 1973; the couple had three children:[2] Angela Gibbs, Dorian Gibbs and Joseph Gibbs. Her older sister is the late actress Susie Garrett. Her daughter Angela Gibbs is also an actress who appeared on the TV show Sanford and Son and movies such as Together Brothers, Drumline and Think Like A Man Too. On July 31, 2014, Gibbs attended the Leimert Park Village Book Fair in Los Angeles, California to pay tribute to Maya Angelou, who died on May 28, and Ruby Dee, who died on June 11.[13] On January 11, 2016, Gibbs and former 227 co-star, Jackée Harry, attended the funeral of Grammy Award-winning singer Natalie Cole at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, California.[14] Gibbs co-starred opposite Cole in the TV movie Lily in Winter.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1973 Sweet Jesus, Preacherman Beverly Solomon
1974 Black Belt Jones Bartender Uncredited
1977 Passing Through Secretary
1991 Up Against the Wall Louise Bradley
1991 Last Breeze of Summer Short film
1993 The Meteor Man Maxine Reed
1994 Lily in Winter Maize Covington
1998 Border to Border Dela
1999 Foolish Odetta
1999 Lost & Found Enid
2000 The Visit Lois Waters Method Fest Independent Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
2000 Stanley's Gig Eleanor Whitney
2001 The Brothers Mary West
2005 Love on Layaway Narrator
2006 The Ties That Bind Delores Short film
2006 The Heart Specialist Ms. Overwood
2009 The What Goes Around Ms. Lacey Short film
2009 Afro Ninja Aunt Mary
2009 Just Like Family Mabel Jenkins
2009 Devil's Land Judge Martha M. Levine
2010 Sunnyview Mrs. Harris Short film
2012 Who Killed Soul Glow?
2012 C'mon Man Mrs. Crabtree
2012 Madea's Witness Protection Hattie
2013 Forbidden Woman Mrs. Simmons
2014 Grantham & Rose Rose Price
2015 The Man in 3B Ms. Mamie
2016 Second Sight Nana
2017 Lemon Lilly
2017 The Last Revolutionary Millie
2017 You Can't Fight Christmas Beverly Lawrence
2018 Please Stand By Rose
2018 Love Jacked Rose
2018 HeadShop Mrs. Keys


Year Title Role Notes
1975-1985 The Jeffersons Florence Johnston Series regular, 207 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1981-1985)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1985)
Nominated — TV Land Award for Favorite Made-for-TV Maid
1975 Barney Miller Mrs. McBee Episode: "Vigilante"
1975 The Missing Are Deadly Nurse Television film
1976 Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers Beth Euphrates Miniseries
1979 You Can't Take It with You Rheba Television film
1981 Checking In Florence Johnston Series regular, 4 episodes
1981 The Love Boat Janet Dalton Episode: "The Incredible Hunk/Isaac, the Marriage Counselor/Jewels & Jim"
1984 Pryor's Place Miss Stern 3 episodes
1985-1990 227 Mary Jenkins Series regular, 115 episodes
1990 Menu for Murder Marty Hallard Television film
1993 A Different World Principal Shaw Episode: "To Whit, with Love"
1993 In the Heat of the Night Lilly Baker Episode: "A Baby Called Rocket"
1993 Empty Nest Josephine Douglas Episode: "Mother Dearest"
1994 Lily in Winter Maize Covington Television film
1995 Dream On Mrs. Perry Episode: "Little Orphan Eddie"
1995 Martin Miss Minnie Episode: "Housekeeper from Hell"
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
1996 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Florence Johnston Episode: "I, Done: Part 2"
1997-1998 101 Dalmatians: The Series Duchess (voice) 8 episodes
1997-1999 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Old Mother Hubbard / Grandmother (voice) 2 episodes
1998-2002 The Hughleys Hattie Mae Hughley 16 episodes
1999 Martial Law Dolores Parker 2 episodes
1999 Dawson's Creek Mrs. Fran Boyd Episode: "First Encounters of the Close Kind"
2000 Touched by an Angel Millie Episode: "The Invitation"
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
2001 Judging Amy Zella Van Exel Episode: "Between the Wanting and the Getting"
2002 The King of Queens Nana Louise Episode: "Patrons Ain't"
2002 The Rerun Show Dr. Beamish Episode: "The Facts of Life: Shoplifting/The Jeffersons: A Bedtime Story"
2002 Arliss Mrs. Jones Episode: "Profiles in Agenting"
2004 Listen Up Jackie Widmer Episode: "Thanksgiving"
2004-2005 Passions Aunt Irma Recurring role
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
2005 ER Cherise Barnes Episode: "Only Connect"
2005 Cold Case Georgie Episode: "Best Friends"
2008 Lincoln Heights Hazel Roberson Episode: "The Day Before Tomorrow"
2011 House of Payne Florence Johnston Episode: "Curtis Jefferson"
2012 Southland Ms. Miller Episode: "Underwater"
2012-2013 The First Family Grandma Eddy 11 episodes
2013 Mr. Box Office Florence Johnston Episode: "The Golden Apple"
2014 Old Soul Agnes Pilot
2015 Scandal Rose 2 episodes
2015 Hot in Cleveland Marcia Episode: "Cleveland Calendar Girls"
2015 American Horror Story: Hotel Cassie Royale Episode: "She Wants Revenge"
2016 Childrens Hospital Flossie Episode: "Doctor Beth"
2016-2017 The Carmichael Show Francis 2 episodes
2017 Jalen Vs. Everybody Grammie Pilot
2017 This Is Us Lady in Diner Episode: "I Call Marriage"
2017 Teachers Mrs. Potts Episode: "Snap Judgement"
2017-2018 Black-ish Mabel 2 episodes
2017 Trial & Error Mrs. Kratt 2 episodes
2018 Beyond Cutlass Owner Episode: "Six Feet Deep"
2018 The Thundermans Sweet Gam Gam Episode: "Cookie Mistake"
2018 Station 19 Edith Recurring role
2018 Rel Miss Jenkins Episode: "Laundry Room"

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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