By David Jordan Jr
Actress Marla Gibbs has been a part of two of the most iconic shows in television history during her entertainment career. Originally hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Gibbs moved to Los Angeles, California in 1963 where she initially worked for United Airlines. It was in Los Angeles that she began her career in acting. Twelve years after her move to California, she landed a role on The Jeffersons, starring as the maid Florence Johnston. Initially, Gibbs worked both of her jobs, at United Airlines and also with The Jeffersons until The Jeffersons became a certified hit on the CBS network.
With the cancellation of The Jeffersons in 1985, Gibbs became the lead actress on a new show called 227. 227, like The Jeffersons depicted real-life portrayals of various individuals living in society. As family sitcoms, these shows addressed racism, sexism, teenage and adolescent experiences, and family values. This wasn’t a common occurrence on many television shows in the 1970s and 1980s but The Jeffersons and 227 incorporated real life issues into their shows.
Earning five Emmy nominations during her career, Gibbs authenticity as an actress has been visible in every role she has portrayed on television.
Gibbs spoke to ESHE about the importance of addressing real-life experiences on The Jeffersons and 227.