"I'd get off from 'Jeffersons' and come right up 6th Street, zoom around the corner, and I'd be sitting at my desk at United Airlines. 'Good Evening, United Airlines, may I help you?' Sometimes people would say, 'your voice sounds familiar.'... Then I decided that if you only stretch one leg, you can't go very far, you've got to take both legs with you. I decided to give it a shot. And of course, I wasn't sorry."
About This Interview
In her two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Marla Gibbs talks about her start as an actress in Los Angeles after working many jobs and raising a family in the Midwest. She speaks in great detail about the role and the series for which she is most identified, "Florence Johnston" on The Jeffersons. She recalls how she retained her job at United Airlines while appearing on the series until she was comfortable that her work on the series would be steady. She describes the premise of the show, talks about the series ensemble, and outlines the series work-week, which started with a read-through on Wednesday and taped the following Tuesday. She comments on the brief spin-off series Checking-In and her return to The Jeffersons. She then recounts the way she landed her next series, 227, which was developed from a play in which she starred. She talks about the casting of the series, the production, and her role as uncredited producer. She describes her work outside of television as the owner of several performance spaces in Los Angeles. She then talks about her later work on such series as The Hughleys, ER, and Passions. Throughout the interview she stresses the importance of keeping active and healthy and staying mentally young. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on July 27, 2006.