*(Hollywood, CA) – Veteran actress Marla Gibbs received her long-awaited star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California on Tuesday morning after a slight medical scare. The former maid known as “Florence” on “The Jeffersons” and “Mary” on “227” was in the middle of giving her remarks when she stopped speaking and appeared to doze off to sleep while standing. She was dehydrated and experienced a heat spell as the temperature was 88 degrees at 11:30am in Hollywood.
Family and aides rushed to keep her from falling and eventually ushered her into a secure, cool area near the entrance of the Jimmy Kimmel Show. There, paramedics treated her for heat exhaustion. And after a delay of about a half-hour, the ceremony continued with the unveiling of the 2698th star presented by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Before the incident, the 90-year-old great grandmother and five-time Emmy nominated actress thanked her presenters, fellow actress Tisha Campbell, calling her “a daughter from another mother,” Norman Lear, the legendary producer of “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” “All In The Family” and other sitcoms. She said to him, “Without you, nobody would know my name.” The people applauded as she smiled brightly.
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“I never expected to get a star here on Hollywood Blvd,” she said as she reminisced coming many years ago to witness fellow “The Jeffersons” star, the late Isabelle Sanford receive her star. “I want to thank the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for awarding me this star and allowing my great grandchildren to help put it together,” she said as other celebrities looked on including Sherri Shepherd, Kym Whitley, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Anthony Anderson and Ernest Harden, Jr. who co-starred with her on “The Jeffersons” in the role of “Marcus.” “And I want to give personal thanks my daughter and my grandson for all the hard work that went into putting this event together.” After a slight applause, Ms. Gibbs looked down as if she was in deep thought only to have been overcome by the heat. People in the audience began to offer unopened cold bottles of water once they noticed something wasn’t right. Meanwhile, a woman in the crowd pleaded, “The blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus!” Moments later Ms. Gibbs was sat on a chair, then was able to slowly walk away from the event with assistance and return later.
Born Margaret Theresa Bradley in Chicago on June 14, 1931, Ms. Gibbs was working as a reservations clerk for United Airlines in Detroit when she got transferred to Southern California in the early 1970s. Shortly after arriving, she began to pursue acting seriously and the rest became history.
After the ceremony, invited friends and family met at the APL Restaurant in Hollywood for lunch. Ms. Gibbs was vibrant and smiled for various camera shots. Among those present were her former “227” co-stars Hal Williams who played her husband “Lester,” and Curtis Baldwin who played “Calvin.” Also spotted in the crowd were actresses Wendy Raquel Robinson, Kathleen Bradley and Margaret Avery.
Story and photos by Eric J. Chambers/TheCUTNetwork.com