On Tuesday (July 20), legendary actress Marla Gibbs received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. The 90-year-old industry veteran was surrounded by family, friends, and fans during the ceremony.
During the event, the 227 star appeared to nearly faint in the literal heat of the moment. “Marla was overwhelmed with all the love and support she received and got overheated,” said her agent Garry Purrdy in a statement to USA Today the following day. “She just needed a few minutes to cool down.”
Gibbs took to the podium to share her enthusiasm for the landmark event.
“I never thought it would happen, but here it is,” said Gibbs as she accepted the honor. “I just got overwhelmed for a minute. I haven’t been excited until this moment!”
Her career began in the 1970s when she was cast in several blaxploitation films, including Black Belt Jones and Sweet Jesus, Preacherman. Gibbs’ big break came when she landed the role of Florence Johnston, the feisty yet loveable housekeeper on The Jeffersons in 1975. Her iconic character portrayal earned her five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. After the sitcom ended in 1985, she went on to play Mary Jenkins alongside Regina King and Jackée Harry in 227 from 1985 to 1990.
Throughout her decades-spanning career, Gibbs has also guest-starred in a long list of movies and television shows earning seven NAACP Image Awards for her on-screen work. Still active in the business, her resume includes Madea’s Witness Protection, The Man In 3B, The Visit, Martin, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Scandal, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and most recently, Young Sheldon.
“This glorious person, performer, actress made me laugh in parts of my body I didn’t know existed,” remarked producer Lear, who Gibbs credited for making her famous.
“I remember seeing Marla. I was like, ‘I’m funny. I can do that also,'” shared Whitley.
Shepherd added, “That’s what we mean when we say she’s our Betty White because there was somebody that looks like us and we could dream.”
Campbell also spoke to Gibbs’ historic career achievement when she became the first woman to executive produce and star in her own television series with 227.
Watch a broadcast of the ceremony below: