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Source: Amy Sussman / Getty
Marla Gibbs‘ joyous moment was interrupted when she became overwhelmed by the Los Angeles heat. While giving a speech during her Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, Gibbs, 90, paused during while speaking and began to lean to the side and look faint as if she was going to pass out. One of her guests then rushed to assist her while yells came from the crowd. A few men then gathered around her and led Gibbs to a seat. Her daughter, Angela Gibbs, then said that her mother needed a moment to “cool down,” CNN noted. The Los Angeles heat was at a sweltering 90 degrees that day.
“I never thought it would happen, but here it is,” she said to ABC . I just got overwhelmed for a minute. I haven’t been excited until this moment!”
“Marla was overwhelmed with all the love and support she received and got overheated,” her agent Garry Purdy told USA TODAY. “She just needed a few minutes to cool down.”
The ceremony went on though and many of her celebrity friends spoke about how much they admired her.
Tisha Campbell pointed out that Gibbs had accomplished a significant first.
“She went on to become the first woman – not just the first Black woman, not just the first African American woman – the first woman to executive produce and star in her own television series, 227,” she said.
Sherri Shepherd also gave Gibbs her flowers saying that Gibbs stood out during a time when there weren’t a lot of Black women on television.
“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,” Shepherd said. “She is so full of gratitude and doing well now.”
Gibbs broke out into television in 1975 when she began starring on The Jeffersons as George and Louise Jefferson’s maid Florence Johnston. The Johnston character almost had a spin-off series titled Checking In, but it never came into fruition due to a writer’s strike, iMDb noted. In 1985, she settled into her role as Mary Jenkins on 227, which ran for five years on NBC.
Gibbs’ star is now in the 2,6978th spot on the Walk of Fame.