Gail Fisher

1935 - 2000

A classy, smart-looking, spectacularly beautiful African-American actress who broke racial barriers in 1970s Hollywood but suffered greatly in her private life years after her TV glory days, award-winning actress Gail Fisher was born on August 18, 1935, in Orange, New Jersey, the youngest of five children. Her father, a carpenter, died when she was only two years old and the family was destitute, living in the slums ("Potters Crossing") with their widowed mother Ona Fisher. Gail was a cheerleader as a teen and found some joy performing a leading role in one of her Metuchen High School plays in Metuchen, New Jersey. Beauty pageants became a source of pride during this period, earning distinction on the beauty-pageant circuit and becoming the first African-American semifinalist in the New Jersey State Fair beauty contest. A multiple pageant winner, among her titles were "Miss Transit," "Miss Black New Jersey" and "Miss Press Photographer."Thanks to a contest sponsored by Coca-Cola, Gail

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