Marla Gibbs is a well-known 1970s actress who rose to prominence because to her portrayal as Florence Johnston on the comedy ‘The Jeffersons.’
Since then, Marla has amassed an impressive body of work, including supporting roles in many films and television shows.
‘Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queens Rising,’ a new documentary from ABC News, delves into the rich history of black actresses and their rise in the entertainment industry.
Marla was and continues to be a massive influence on many people. So, how about we learn a little more about Marla’s illustrious career?
Marla Gibbs, Who is she?
Marla was born in Chicago, Illinois, and spent her childhood bouncing between Detroit, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, until graduating from high school in 1949.
She later worked as an airline receptionist before enrolling in acting lessons in Los Angeles, California. Marla married Jordan, her high school love, in 1955, and the couple had three children together.
Marla earned the role of Florence the maid on ‘The Jeffersons’ in 1975 after a few supporting roles in films.
Marla rose to rapid celebrity at the age of 44, just a few years after her marriage ended, and played Florence for eleven successful seasons, earning multiple Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
She once stated that her character on ‘The Jeffersons‘ was inspired by her mother. “I lived Florence because she was like my Aunt and Grandmother to me.
She came naturally to me, so I’m like Florence in terms of delivering intelligent replies, but I was also bashful, so I wouldn’t have dared to say some of the things Florence did.”
Following ‘The Jeffersons,’ Marla got the lead part in ‘227,’ a five-season sitcom that aired from 1985 and 1990.
Marla proceeded to score supporting roles in films and guest-starred on shows like ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ ‘ER,’ and ‘This Is Us,’ in addition to her roles in these popular sitcoms.’
She was also the owner of a jazz club in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1999 and is a good singer.
What happened to Marla Gibbs & Where Is She Now?
Marla has worked in the acting field for many years, with her most recent major part in ‘Days of Our Lives,’ one of the longest-running soap operas.
In addition, she has a couple of projects set to be released in 2022. Marla was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in July 2021, just a few months after turning 90.
“You have to recognize that we’re spiritual beings as well as physical beings,” she stated when asked about her age.
And because we don’t have age as spiritual beings, we have time; thus I choose to vibrate at 30.” Marla is still based in Los Angeles and remains active on social media.