Marla Gibbs joins Days of our Lives on the August 17, 2021 episode as Olivia Price, Pauline’s (Jackee Harry) mother. This will be their third time working together, the first being 36 years ago.
Older TV fans will be familiar with Marla Gibbs’ work from the 70s and 80s but younger soap stars may need to be introduced to the actress with over 100 credits to her name.
Despite her five decade career, Marla only recently received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in July 2021 and her role on Days of our Lives will be her longest role since her portrayal as Grandma Eddy on The First Family in 2012.
How old is Marla Gibbs?
- Born on June 14, 1931 as Margaret Theresa Bradley in Cook County Hospital, Marla is currently 90-years-old.
She hails from Chicago, Illinois as the middle child of Ophelia Kemp, a grocery store worker, and Douglas Bradley, a mechanice. Her older sister Susie Garrett was also in the film industry, best known as Betty Johnson in 80s sitcom Punky Brewster.
Her parents divorced when she was four-years-old, so the three sisters stayed with their father in Chicago while her mother moved to Detroit.
She caught her big break at age 44 when she landed a role on The Jeffersons in 1975. Prior, she worked as a phone reservations agent for United Airlines and only quit the job when the sitcom was confirmed to be a success.
Marla Gibbs’ family
The Hughleys actress was married for 18 years to her high school sweetheart Jordan Gibbs in 1955, but separated two years before her rise to fame.
The couple lived in Detroit and share three children; Angela Gibbs (portrayed Adele in Think Like A Man Too), Dorian Gibbs and Joseph Gibbs; Marla relocated to Los Angeles with her children after the divorce.
Marla’s career explored
The Jeffersons has been Marla’s most successful role to date after being picked up as Florence Johnston, the family’s maid. She said that her favourite genre is drama, but she’s definitely has a knack for comedy since she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series five times during its 10-year run.
She starred in the The Jeffersons’ shortlived spin-off series Checking In, in 1981 which followed her character as she took on the job as executive housekeeper at the St. Frederick Hotel in New York City. However, after four episodes, the show ended and Marla cleverly returned back to The Jeffersons‘ with the plot of the hotel burning down.
After the show’s cancellation in 1985, Marla immediately embarked on sitcom 227 in September 1985 as protagonist Mary Jenkins, a housewife who loved to gossip – this was Marla’s first occasion working with her now on-screen daughter Jackée.
Marla is the voice behind 227’s opening theme, There’s No Place Like Home, establishing herself as a singer. The show ended five years later since then, the actress has featured mostly in single episodes of numerous TV series such as Scandal, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Black-ish.
Her longer works have been as Hattie Mae Hughley in The Hughleys, Aunt Irma in Passions, and Grandma Eddy in The First Family, where she also worked with Jackée.