Marla Gibbs and Regina King share a beautiful relationship and with King’s recent Oscar nomination for her role as Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk, it’s a good time to examine their bond. Marla Gibbs landed the role of Florence Johnston on the 1975 freshman sitcom The Jeffersons and helped revolutionize television for black audiences. A rich family, The Jeffersons addressed stereotypes in a way that expanded from Archie Bunker’s outright racism and bigotry as the show was one of All In The Family’s spin-offs.
Groundbreaking, The Jeffersons was the first American sitcom that included an interracial couple and challenged stereotypes that black maids or housekeepers would work for white families. The show was revolutionary and so too is Marla Gibbs.
It’s no surprise that with Gibbs success, she became a regular feature on other trailblazing sitcoms that opened the door to more programming introducing white America to the black experience. Though Gibbs crafted the wise-cracking role in 1975, it wasn’t until 1981 that she made history by being the first black woman nominated for the outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series Golden Globe.
In 1969, Diahann Caroll became the first black woman nominated for best lead actress in a comedy series, followed by Gibbs’ co-host Isabel Sanford. Sanford became the first black woman to actually win the category.
There’s no doubt that Marla Gibbs brought her fiery spirit, dedication to excellence, and experience when she played Regina King’s character’s mother on the show 227. Now, just as Marla Gibbs made history with her career, so too is Regina King.
Regina has been vocal about her love, friendship, and respect for her friend and mentor, Marla Gibbs. You may hear Regina speak about Marla in the video below.
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Regina…I appreciate you so much and I’m truly honored by how much Love and Acknowledgement you give me!! You were there to participate as a young actress and witnessed the whole “227” process go from a stage play to a tv show on NBC! Love you ALWAYS!!! ❤️😘❤️😘 #227 #reginaking #marlagibbs #angelagibbs #shaywafer #family #crossroads #visiontheater
Regina King is the 24th black woman in the 90-year history of the Academy Awards to be nominated for the best-supporting-actress Oscar. Only seven black women have won the award. Though it might seem as if a lot of progress has been made when it comes to race and awards, the reality remains the same that only Halle Berry has ever won the best actress Oscar. Will Regina King be the eighth black woman in history to win the best actress Oscar?