Jamie Foxx paid tribute to “The Jeffersons” star Marla Gibbs in a touching post published on Instagram on Friday. Foxx played George Jefferson in a live special re-creating the iconic show on ABC last week.
Gibbs made a surprise appearance during the event, which was a remake of original episodes of “The Jeffersons” and “All in the Family.”
“As I write this caption, tears are welling up in my eyes ... thinking about when she walked into that apartment and delivered those iconic lines, it was reminiscent of how she walked into all of our lives over 40 years ago and changed us forever ... with her quick wit and sharp tongue, she challenged George and us as a society every day,” Foxx wrote in the post’s caption.
He continued, “She took a character of service and turned it into a character of strength and honor ... she made us laugh ... she made us cry ... with confidence and ease ... and she made us rush to that TV with the knobs on it and tune into her soul.”
The ABC special called, “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” was directed by James Burrows and hosted by Lear and Jimmy Kimmel.
Gibbs, who turns 88 next month, notably played Florence Johnston, the wisecracking housekeeper on “The Jeffersons,” which debuted in 1975. Her surprise cameo during the ABC special drew loud cheers from the studio audience.
She responded to Foxx’s praise in a message posted on her Instagram account on Friday.
“Jamie you are so sweet and talented and I am truly moved by your kind words!” the post read. “I love you, my family loves you ... and the world Loves you!! I’m a fan of yours too and I too appreciate your contribution as an extraordinary artist and human being.”
Foxx drew laughter and applause from the live audience when he tripped over a line during the live special and said, “It’s live. Everyone sitting at home just think their TV just messed up.”