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Renowned Actress Marla Gibbs Joins the Cast of Passions

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Eight-time NAACP Image Award winner Marla Gibbs has joined the cast of Passions in the role of “Aunt Irma,” according to Executive Producer Lisa de Cazotte.

Passions' Creator and Head Writer James E. Reilly previews, “For years TC Russell has believed his wife Eve’s lie that all her relatives are dead. Eve’s house of cards may be shattered when her vindictive sister Liz finds evidence at least one relative is alive and kicking. . .and able to tell the tales of Eve’s sordid past. Meet Aunt Irma, an irascible old woman who gives ‘em hell at her assisted living residence…and goes ballistic at the mention of Eve’s name. Knowing Liz, Aunt Irma will soon be on a quick trip to meet T.C. Russell.”

A Chicago native, it was a job transfer as a United Airlines reservation clerk that led an adult Marla Gibbs and her three children from Detroit to Los Angeles.

Gibbs soon joined PASLA (Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles) with her daughter, Angela, and studied at the Mafundi Institute and Watts Writers Workshop (both in Watts).

Gibbs soon performed in several well-received productions including Medea, Amen Corner and The Gingerbread Lady at the Zodiac Theatre. After a few bit parts, Ms. Gibbs landed the plum role of “Florence” on The Jeffersons where she gained international notoriety. After The Jeffersons 9th successful season, Gibbs landed a spin-off series Checking-In that was interrupted by a writer’s strike and never recovered and she returned to The Jeffersons.

Soon after, daughter Angela produced the award winning Christine Houston play 227 in which Gibbs was cast as the lead by noted director Ed Cambridge. The play was such a smashing success that Ms. Gibbs purchased the TV rights and along with Norman Lear’s Embassy TV, sold and helped produce the series for NBC where it became a five-year hit series, now in syndication.

Gibbs is an eight-time NAACP Image Award winner, four-time Emmy nominee, eight time Family TV Award winner, Essence Woman of the Year, Frances Williams’ Women in Theater West Award winner, Special Black Emmy Nominee honoree, Winner of two CEBA Awards and a host of National and Local Honors.

In 2000, Marla received a Best Supporting Actress award from The Southern California Method Fest. Her other credits include TV’s The Nick Cannon Show, Touched by An Angel, Arliss, Judging Amy, The King of Queens, Dawson’s Creek, Martin, Dream On, Xmas Dreams, You Can’t Take it With You and several voice-overs for HBO’s Happily Ever After animated series for children and Disney’s 1,001 Dalmations.

Her most recent series work is a recurring role on The Hughleys, playing the mother of D.L. Hughley and was Arsenio Hall’s mother on Martial Law. Marla recently completed starring in the feature films Stanley's Gig and The Visit. Other recent film credits include The Brothers, Foolish, Lost and Found, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Border to Border and Up Against the Wall. Gibbs recently participated in Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues' in New York City.

Gibbs' first airdate on Passions was Monday, June 14, which was also her birthday!

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