Marla Gibbs

1931

Armed with an acid dry wit and a full arsenal of sarcasm and sass, African-American character comedienne Marla Gibbs showed up on 70s TV with a bang in middle age (44). Landing the feisty maid role on the popular ground-breaking CBS comedy, The Jeffersons (1975), eventually led to her very own sitcom, 227 (1985), a decade later and international celebrity. A divorced mother with three children (Angela Elayne Gibbs, Dorian, Joseph) at the time of her initial success, it was a job transfer from Detroit to Los Angeles, while working as a United Airlines reservation clerk, that set up this more-than-welcome surprise and change of destiny.The Chicago native, who was born in 1931 and who married at age 13, was already a single mom before ever entertaining the thought of becoming a professional actress. Following high school, Marla attended Peters Business School (1950-1952) and toiled for a time as a receptionist and switchboard operator in the Detroit area. Eventually, she secured work with

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