It’s about darn time.
Marla Gibbs, the 90-year-old actress and former jazz supper club owner, has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, July 20. A five-time Emmy-nominated actress, best known for portraying sassy maid Florence Johnston on The Jeffersons, was joined by the show’s creator and producer Norman Lear and friend Tisha Campbell at the ceremony outside the El Capitan Entertainment Centre on Hollywood Boulevard.
The star is the 2,698th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961, and Gibbs’ children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were all in attendance to witness the moment unfold.
Born Margaret Theresa Bradley in Chicago on June 14, 1931, Gibbs was a divorced mother of three who was working as a reservations clerk for United Airlines in Detroit when she was transferred to Southern California in the early 1970s and decided to pursue an acting career. While there, Gibbs also operated a jazz supper club called Marla’s Memory Lane in the 1980s, and in the 1990s, she co-founded the Crossroads Theater and Acting School with her daughter Angela. Having cut her teeth as part of the Watts-based Mafundi Institute and Watts Writers Workshop, Gibbs appeared in several plays including Medea, The Gingerbread Lady, and The Amen Corner.
With minor roles in such films as Sweet Jesus and Black Belt Jones, she was cast as the tough-talking maid for The Jeffersons, which ran on CBS from 1975-85 and brought her five consecutive best supporting actress in a comedy series Emmy nods from 1981-85.
From there, Gibbs starred in the 1985-90 NBC comedy 227, which found her bringing her sharp-tongue and acerbic wit as a housewife living in an apartment building with her crazy and charismatic neighbors in northeast Washington, D.C. She also played Regina King’s mother in the series.
Her other TV credits include recurring roles on NBC’s Passions, the 1998 ABC/UPN comedy The Hughleys, NCIS, The King of Queens, and Touched by an Angel. This year found her padding her IMDB account with credits on the CBS comedy Young Sheldon and the Disney+ girls high school basketball series Big Shot, alongside John Stamos.
While in the midst of giving her speech, Gibbs appeared to faint as she stood on the podium during the live streamed event, which took place amidst an 88-degree heatwave. After her son came to her aid, she revealed to Newsweek that she was “overwhelmed” and took a rest to cool down.
A representative for Gibbs further told Sis2Sis Entertainment Weekly that she is “doing great” and had a “great time at the after-party.”
You can watch the full recap of the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony below.