In honor of Black History Month, we continue to celebrate the legends who birthed the next generation of legends. Beloved actress and living legend Marla Gibbs received her flowers earlier this week, and she made way for some of Hollywood’s biggest entertainers like the wildly talented Regina King. See how King is making a way for others inside.
King is a brilliant performer, who in recent years began sharing her talents behind the camera as a director and producer. The star’s career began on Gibbs’ hit 1985 television show “227.” Gibbs is credited for giving a young 14-year-old King her start.
“That’s my baby,” Gibbs reflects on her relationship with the actress in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “She was my daughter in a play called The Little Girl Down the Street Gave Me the Blues. When we were auditioning for [the role of my daughter in] “227,” I said, ‘I want Regina.’”
Though it wasn’t easy to put young actors in position during that time, Gibbs says she remained resilient.
“I had to fight like hell, but they finally gave in,” Gibbs adds.
Gibbs’ series was the start King needed to hit the ground running. The gifted actress first gained national attention for portraying Gibbs’ daughter Brenda Jenkins on “227” from 1985 to 1990.
She went on land a role in John Singelton’s cult classic 1991 film Boyz n the Hood. She later co-starred in Enemy of the State as Will Smith’s character’s wife. Other notable roles included cult classic 1995 film Friday, the hit animated series “The Boondocks,” where she portrayed both brothers Huey and Riley from 2005 to 2014.
Now, the award-winning performer has racked in several accolades including her memorable 2019 Golden Globe Award win for ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture’ in James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk.
King gave a moving speech saying that she would hire more women on projects she produces.
“The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big and we are speaking for everyone,” King said in her inspiring speech. “And I just want to say that I’m going to use my platform right now to say in the next two years, everything that I produce, I’m making a vow — it’s going to be tough — to make sure that everything that I produce is 50% women.”
The award-winning actress even urged her industry peers to take on the challenge.
“I challenge anyone out there who in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries, to challenge yourself and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.” she added.
Since then, she made her directorial debut with One Night in Miami and starred in Netflix’s critically acclaimed western film The Harder They Fall.
Mama Marla is proud of her TV baby and even begged the question, “How do you expect me to catch up with you?”
Gibbs continued praising King saying, She’s just marvelous. I knew it, and everybody knows it now.”
The praised actress also reveals that King was a big reason why the legendary actress finally received her Hollywood Walk of Fame star.
“You know, I finally got the star on the [Hollywood] Walk of Fame last July,” Gibbs continued. “And that was Regina’s idea. She thought I should have the star. Those things just don’t enter my head.”
Where it started:
How it’s going:
We love Regina King for her dedication to uplifting talent and putting more women in position to win. Here are your flowers, living legend!