American actress, comedian, and singer Marla Gibbs was born on June 14, 1931, and she has made a lasting impression on the entertainment industry. Throughout her decades-long career, Gibbs has gained recognition for her famous television appearances, perhaps most notably as Florence Johnston on “The Jeffersons.”
Her transformation from a nightclub owner in Chicago to a trailblazing actress has cemented her status as an industry leader. Despite her achievements, Marla Gibbs’s precise net worth is still a secret, which lends an aura of mystery to her financial success as a respected and influential person.
Marla Gibbs Net Worth
Actress Marla Gibbs is from the United States and has a $4 million fortune. Most people undoubtedly know Marla Gibbs from her role as the sarcastic maid Florence Johnston on the hit television sitcom The Jeffersons in the 1970s and 1980s.
Gibbs joined the Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles after working as a reservations agent for United Airlines for a while before beginning her acting career. She appeared in well-received Zodiac Theatre shows shortly after. Gibbs landed her most iconic role on The Jeffersons in the early 1970s.
Marla Gibbs’s Biography
Margaret Bradley gave birth to Marla Gibbs at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Raised in the south side neighborhood of the city, Bronzeville, Gibbs was the middle of three sisters.
Her father, Douglas Bradley, was a self-taught mechanic of Jamaican descent who operated an ice company. He was born in Waterproof, Louisiana, and passed away in 1947.
Ophelia Birdie (née Kemp; d. 1967), her mother, was a businesswoman of Haitian ancestry who occasionally ran numbers in the gambling industry. After Gibbs’s parents separated in 1936, her mother moved to Detroit, Michigan, and remarried Charles Cady.
Gibbs and her siblings continued to live with their father, Hattie Sims, and grandmother in Chicago. Gibbs completed his education at Corpus Christi Elementary School in 1945.
Marla Gibbs’s Personal Life
Between 1955 and 1973, Gibbs wed Jordan Gibbs, her high school sweetheart, and the two had three children: Joseph, Dorian, and Angela. The late actress Susie Garrett, who portrayed Betty Johnson, Cherie’s grandmother, on the NBC comedy Punky Brewster, is her older sister.
Together Brothers, Drumline, Think Like A Man Too, and other TV shows and movies have featured her actress daughter Angela. At the Leimert Park Village Book Fair in Los Angeles, California, on July 31, 2014, Gibbs paid respects to Maya Angelou, who passed away on May 28, and Ruby Dee, who passed away on June 11.
At the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, California, on January 11, 2016, Gibbs and former 227 co-star Jackée Harry attended the funeral of Grammy Award-winning singer Natalie Cole. In the TV movie Lily in Winter, Gibbs costarred with Cole.
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Marla Gibbs’s Career
After moving to Los Angeles in 1963 to recover from an ulcer, Gibbs started working for United Airlines as a bookings representative. Prior to landing her first acting role in the blaxploitation movies Sweet Jesus, Preacher Man, and Black Belt Jones in the early 1970s, she performed in local black theaters in Los Angeles.
She was chosen to play the family maid, Florence Johnston, in the comedy series The Jeffersons on CBS in 1975. Gibbs kept up her profession as a reservations agent for United Airlines for the first two years after accepting her acting role with CBS.
She would work the day shift at the CBS television studio before going to United Airlines to work the night shift. CBS asked her to take a leave of absence from her work at United Airlines once the show became a mainstream sensation.
Gibbs received one nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Television Film and five nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the show.
She starred in the brief Checking In spin-off of The Jeffersons in 1981. When asked if any of her characters were based on real people, Gibbs said, “Yes, Florence was like my aunt and grandmother, so I lived it,” in a 2015 interview with Broadway Showbiz.
After The Jeffersons ran for eleven seasons before being canceled in 1985, Gibbs starred as the lead in the NBC sitcom 227. The play 227 was adapted by Ed Cambridge, the then-president of Cambridge Players, and it was presented to NBC at Gibbs’s Crossroads Theater in Los Angeles.
He was the director of artistic affairs. There were 116 episodes in the series, which ran until 1990. Twenty years later, Gibbs and old 227 co-star Jackée Harry reunited on The First Family, where Gibbs played Grandma Eddy, Harry’s on-screen mother, in a regular role. Later, she collaborated with Harry once more on the indie film Forbidden Woman.