Marla Gibbs: Black Actors were Mostly Given Janitor Roles when I Started (Part 1)


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Part 2:
In this clip, Marla Gibbs speaks about changing her name from Margaret after pursuing an acting career, as she felt that it flowed better. She explained that she was living in Detroit when she decided to leave for L.A. after seeing her sister get a touch of fame when she would come back home. Marla spoke about running away from her husband and heading out for L.A., where she and her daughter got a gig as extras on Lady Sings the Blues. <br> <h3>Auto Generated Captions</h3>

welcomewelcome Marla
Thank You Gibbs the legend if I can
start off by saying that thank you for
allowing us the opportunity that you
know any of you you and well thank you
for including me
absolutely it’s our pleasure really
Marla Gibbs how was Marla Gibbs born I
made it up I made it up
it flows Margaret
Gibbs this does not flow us unbalanced
and I noticed that most of the actresses
had names that balance if you had
Margaret the last name was either a
double or a triple like Margaret what
was her name O’Sullivan and then but
Margaret Bradley cancer drops so Marla
I mean Rolly Margaret Gibbs kind of
drops it’s three syllables and then one
right but but Marla Gibbs is two and one
which is closer mm-hmm it definitely
flows better that was a good choice
Chicago Illinois zé’s is where you were
yes the middle of recency house Cook
County Hospital the middle of three
sisters the middle of three sisters yes
the middle of three sisters what was
life like for Marla growing up in
Chicago not that good not that good ron
was very shy very quiet
I was the nice girl I was not the pretty
girl but I was the nice girl things that
if the guys were doing something Don’t
Tell Margaret because she wants to
lecture you they moved to Detroit moved
to Detroit yes my mother lived in
Detroit I didn’t grow up with my mother
she lived in Detroit and so when I got
married we moved to Detroit what
due to uh after you got married and of
course we had three children you moved
to LA yes but before you move to LA you
went to high school in Sam Cooke was it
was a schoolmate I’m sorry was Sam Cooke
your schoolmate did you go to school
with Sam Cooke no no no someone paid
attention and said the Sam Cooke went to
the same high school perhaps not at the
same time okay so you didn’t know I
didn’t know it okay then you moved to LA
yes did you move to LA foot foot foot
for career in the hearts no I was
running away from my husband in LA
seemed like the best father was far from
Detroit as you can go yes
LA and so how did you get into the
business well my sister was already here
and she was already in the business she
was an extra but in Detroit and we
thought she was a star every time she
came to visit Detroit the press would
meet her and they interview her as she
was getting off the plane so we were
sure she was a star Wow but she was an
extra but she was in the Poseidon and
she had a beautiful saree on so when the
crash happened
no she went over with with the sorry it
was her sorry so they paid her for her
and you were inspired by her being in
the business decided to try yeah
is that worse yeah and so what how did
that start did you start doing
interviews did I mean I got with her
agent mill cumber who was the black
agent for most of the black actors and
she knew what Hollywood wanted so the
first thing she did was put a broom in
your hand and things like that because
that’s what Hollywood wanted most that’s
right that’s what she felt that’s what
she does right probably was okay and and
what was
your big break I guess you would call it
what was the first paying gig that you
got I think it was well my daughter and
I were both in Lady Sings the Blues we
were extras and we were at the table
next to where the girl was when when
they go up to her she takes the money
off the table with her private parts but
somehow they just skipped right over us
so you never saw us but when they were
they got ready to shoot again they
called us and we said no we don’t want
to do that he says why I said because we
want to do what Diana Ross is doing he
said what doesn’t everybody I said yes
but we’re going to so so we didn’t go

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