HELLO AMERICA!—If you believed that star Marla Gibbs was in retirement, you would be wrong. This very funny lady with a talent that is a mile high is telling the world that she’s not done yet. “I’m a woman not sitting at home waiting for an agent to ring. I believe in getting yourself up and making things happen!”
The actress quickly lets you know that she was married at 13 and just as quickly became a single mom. “It was something I had to deal with,” she said. “In no way I was going to sit down and cry about things. I had to make decisions, plans to make life important and meaningful. So after graduating from high school, I attended Peters Business School. And eventually was hired as a receptionist and switchboard operator in Detroit.”
Marla eventually decided to transfer from Detroit to Los Angeles while working as a United Airlines reservation clerk. This is when she decided to study acting at the Mafundi Institute and taking classes at the Watts Writers Workshop. Eventually, she appeared in local productions, including “Medea,” “The Amen Corner” and the “Gingerbread Lady.”
It was after doing a few small film parts that she was signed for the role of ‘Florence Johnson’ the quick witted, sassy housekeeper, a perfect match for the George Jefferson character of “The Jeffersons” series.
“It was only supposed to be a one-shot deal,” she said, “but there was such a strong reaction from the audience for the character, the producer decided to extend the role, but I didn’t give up my job with the Airlines until the show was a certified hit.”
America fell in love with Florence Johnson’s humor and how she handled her mouthy boss George Jefferson, so much so she was quickly ushered into her own series 227 which lasted for five seasons. One would believe that after such a long time before the camera, Marla might consider to rest or just simply slow down but no way. She quickly founded her own “Crossroads Theatre” producing, along with her daughter, Angela Gibbs some exciting dramatic works.
Marla’s latest project is “I Feel Sin Comin’ On” based on book “Hollywood Through the Back Door.” She replaced Juanita Moore who died during the early rehearsals for the SABAN THEATRE public reading of the play.
“I’m excited about this play because of the woman I play, “she offered. “She is strong, funny and obviously the hammer that keeps things in place. It’s a wonderful story about a family fighting to exist as a unit. It’s a very relevant work. And it also has an interracial cast, representing our country today.”