Marla Gibbs, shown here in recent photo, appeared as Florence Johnston, the Jefferson maid and sassy nemisis to George, throughout the run of the series.
|Birthname||Margaret Theresa Bradley|
|Born:||June 14, 1931|
|Birthplace:||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Actress, comedienne, singer|
|Spouse(s):||Jordan Gibbs (1956–1973; divorced; 3 children)|
|Appeared on:||The Jeffersons and Checking In|
|Character played:||Florence Johnston|
Marla Gibbs (born Margaret Theresa Bradley; June 14, 1931) is an American television and film actress and singer, who in her five decades of television is probably best remembered for playing Louise and George Jefferson's sarcastic maid, Florence Johnston, on The Jeffersons and spinoff Checking In. Since the death of co-star Sherman Hemsley in July 2012, she, Damon Evans and Berlinda Tolbert are the only cast members from the Jeffersons pilot episode still living (although many people may mistakenly think Gibbs was part of the series' original main cast, she didn't become part of the main cast until the series' fourth season). She also starred as Mary Jenkins on the television series 227 and appeared in the film Madea's Witness Protection (2012). She currently plays "Grandma Eddy" on the Byron Allen-produced sitcom The First Family.
Before the start of her acting career, Gibbs worked as a reservations agent for United Airlines before relocating with her children from Detroit to Los Angeles. Soon afterward, she joined PASLA (Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles) with her daughter, Angela, and studied at the Mafundi Institute and Watts Writers Workshop (both in Watts, California). Gibbs soon performed in several well-received productions including Medea, Amen Corner and The Gingerbread Lady at the Zodiac Theatre. After a few bit parts, Ms. Gibbs landed the plum role of Florence on The Jeffersons, where she started to gain international fame. Gibbs appeared with Tom Poston and Bert Convy on Super Password in 1986.
Gibbs has appeared as guest star in several African American sitcoms, including The Hughleys, Martin, Chappelle's Show, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She has done voice-over work for the animated TV series 101 Dalmatians.
Gibbs starred and sang in the movie Stanley's Gig. She performed the theme song "In the Memory of You," by writer/producer Frank Fitzpatrick, which will be released on the upcoming CD Scenes In Jazz. Gibbs owned a jazz club in South Central L.A. called "Marla's Memory Lane Jazz and Supper Club" from 1981 to 1999. She released a music CD, It's Never Too Late, in May 2006. She co-wrote the theme song for 227 with songwriter Ray Colcord.Template:Citation needed
Gibbs was reportedly born Margaret Theresa Bradley in Chicago, Illinois Cook County Hospital. She is the daughter of Ophelia Birdie (née Kemp) and Douglas Bradley. She attended Wendell Phillips Academy High School in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago's south side. She is divorced and has three adult children. Her older sister was the late Susie Garrett.