Marla Gibbs, 90, talks about Hollywood Walk of Fame induction

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A little over a month after celebrating her 90th birthday, Marla Gibbs, who gained fame in classic TV sitcoms “The Jeffersons” and “227,” on Tuesday got the 2,698th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Marla is one of the world’s most beloved and talented actresses known around the world,” Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez said about the honor, which coincided with July 20, 2021, being officially declared “Marla Gibbs Day” in Hollywood, California.

“Her feistiness and tenacity for her work are legendary and we are proud to welcome her to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

Prolific television producer Norman Lear — who developed “The Jeffersons” and other must-watch TV shows from the 1970s and 1980s — and actress Tisha Campbell paid homage to Gibbs during the ceremony held outside the El Capitan Entertainment Center on Hollywood Boulevard.

“There was only one you, ma’am, and I’m thrilled to be here for you, love you,” said Lear, 98. “You added time to my life and for that I could not be more grateful. Thank you.”

Gibbs took the stage and made a few remarks before suffering what appeared to be a heat spell. The event was paused for a half-hour while she was taken indoors.

She later walked back to a seat brought out to her for the unveiling of the star.

Ahead of the festivities, the five-time Emmy Award nominee was in awe of the honor.

“I never thought that would happen,” Gibbs told The News during an interview from her Inglewood, California, home last week. “When I came out here and went to Hollywood Boulevard and walked through the Chinese Theater looking at all the people that I always admired, I never thought I would be one of them. So it is phenomenal.”

A 50-year career on television, film and theater was a world away from when the Detroit resident first visited her sister in Los Angeles in 1960.

“I never saw people eating outside (before going to LA). I just loved this place. I went to the zoo and I was feeding the bears in the zoo in January. I couldn’t believe it,” she remembered. “So, my sister gave me some gumdrops to throw to them. And they were laying down and I threw the gumdrops and they got up and started waving ‘send me some more.’ Oh, they were so funny.”

As a divorced mother of three children working as a United Airlines reservations clerk, she transferred to Southern California in 1969 and decided to take up acting.

The Watts-based Mafundi Institute and Watts Writers Workshop are where Gibbs honed her craft appearing in several Los Angeles area plays, including “Medea,” “The Amen Corner” and “The Gingerbread Lady.”

Early minor roles in blaxploitation flicks such as “Sweet Jesus, Preacherman” and “Black Belt Jones,” made way for her breakthrough role as Florence Johnston in “The Jeffersons,” which ran on CBS from 1975-85.

Gibbs said she was originally passed over for the role of the sharp-witted, sassy housekeeper.

“I had been for audition twice before and when I was in casting, they talked to everybody but me,” she revealed.

After the civil rights movement, Gibbs was worried some people would be offended to see her playing a maid, but surprisingly, the feedback was positive. “They were all trying to find a maid in their family,” she shared. “They would come up and say, ‘You know, my cousin was a maid, and my aunt was a maid.’ So they were very happy.”

Following the cancellation of “The Jeffersons,” Gibbs broke ground as the star and executive producer of the sitcom, “227,” which ran on NBC from 1985-90.

She continued work over the years with recurring roles on the daytime drama “Passions” and the 1998 sitcom “The Hughleys” and guest-starring roles on “NCIS,” “The King of Queens” and “Touched by Angel.”

Most recently, she has appeared on “Young Sheldon” and the Disney+ series “Big Shot.”

And there’s more on the horizon for the multiple NAACP Image Award winner.

“I’m doing a movie with Snoop Dogg and just wrapped production on ‘Days of Our Lives’ with Jackee [Harry],” Gibbs said.

As far as her ripe age, the mother of three and grandmother of two only owns up to being one-third of it.

“Anything you put behind [the words] ‘I am’ is very powerful,” Gibbs explained.

“I am 30. I was born in [19]31. So it’s not about magic or anything else. We are spiritual beings as well as physical beings. And as spiritual beings, we have no time, we have no age so I choose to vibrate on 30.”

“That’s the truth, Ruth,” she quipped.