Marla Gibbs

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Marla Gibbs
Marla Gibbs2014.png
Gibbs in 2014.
Born Margaret Theresa Bradley
(1931-06-14) June 14, 1931 (age 83)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Wendell Phillips High School
Cortez W. Peters Business School
Occupation Actress, Comedienne, Singer
Years active 1973–present
Known for Florence Johnston: The Jeffersons (1975–85)
Mary Jenkins: 227 (1985–90)
Spouse(s) Jordan Gibbs (m. 1955–73)
Children Angela Gibbs
Dorian Gibbs
Joseph Gibbs
Parents Ophelia Birdie
Douglas Bradley
Relatives Susie Garrett (sister)
Awards 1982 - Image Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy Series or Special - (The Jeffersons)
2000 - Method Fest Best Supporting Actress - (The Visit)

Marla Gibbs (born Margaret Theresa Bradley; June 14, 1931) is an American television and film actress and singer. She is best known for playing Louise and George Jefferson's feisty maid, Florence Johnston, on The Jeffersons. She also starred in the show's spin-off Checking In. Since the death of co-star Sherman Hemsley in July 2012, she, Damon Evans, Jay Hammer and Berlinda Tolbert are the only surviving Jeffersons cast members.[1] Later, she starred as Mary Jenkins on the hit television series 227[2] and appeared in the film Madea's Witness Protection (2012).[3] She currently has a recurring role as Grandma Eddy on the Byron Allen-produced sitcom The First Family.

Early life[edit]

Marla 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.[4] She attended Wendell Phillips Academy High School in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago's south side graduating in 1949.[5] 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 got her first acting roles in 1973 and 1974, a minor role in the blaxploitation films Sweet Jesus, Preacher Man and Black Belt Jones. Gibbs starred and sang in the movie Stanley's Gig. She performed the theme song "In the Memory of You," by writer/producer Frank Fitzpatrick, which will be released on the upcoming CD Scenes In Jazz. Gibbs owned a jazz club in South Central L.A. called "Marla's Memory Lane Jazz and Supper Club" from 1981 to 1999. She released a music CD, It's Never Too Late, in May 2006. She co-wrote the theme song for 227 with songwriter Ray Colcord.[citation needed] Gibbs has appeared as guest star in several African American sitcoms, including The Hughleys, Martin, Chappelle's Show, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She has done voice-over work for the animated TV series 101 Dalmatians. Gibbs appeared with Tom Poston and Bert Convy on Super Password in 1986.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Gibbs won an Image Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy Series or Special for her role on The Jeffersons, in 1982. Also, for her work on The Jeffersons, Gibbs was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award five times (from 1981-1985) for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. In 1985, she was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV. Gibbs was also nominated for four Image Awards for her work on Passions, Touched By An Angel and Martin, and for two TV Land Awards, in 2004 and 2006.

Personal life[edit]

She was married to her high school sweetheart Jordan Gibbs from 1955 to 1973; the couple had three children: 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 in movies such as Together Brothers, Drumline and Think Like A Man Too.



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