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Hollywood Flashback: ‘Mannix’ Star Gayle Fisher Made Emmys Historical past in 1970

Hollywood Flashback: ‘Mannix’ Star Gayle Fisher Made Emmys Historical past in 1970

Why Gail Fisher is just not extra broadly celebrated within the annals of Hollywood historical past is a thriller not even Joe Mannix might remedy. Fisher was solely the second Black actress to look in a distinguished position on weekly broadcast TV, after Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek. And he or she was the primary to win an Emmy, and never one however two Golden Globe Awards.

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Fisher advised THR 10 years after wining: “I used to be speechless then and I’m speechless now. It was one of many nice moments of my life, if not the best.”
The Hollywood Reporter

The New Jersey native bought her begin learning performing with Lee Strasberg in New York Metropolis, finally changing into a member of the Repertory Theatre at Lincoln Middle. Within the Sixties, she grew to become the primary Black actor “to make a nationwide TV industrial, on digital camera, with traces,” as she as soon as defined, when she was solid in an All detergent marketing campaign. However her huge break got here on the second season of the CBS collection Mannix, when the star detective (Mike Connors) units up his personal P.I. agency and hires Fisher’s character, Peggy Honest, to be his Woman Friday.

The struggling present grew to become a success because of their chemistry. When she accepted her 1970 Emmy for excellent supporting actress in a drama collection — the primary time that award was offered — in a silver-and-white tasseled jumpsuit, a genuinely shocked and delighted Fisher exclaimed, “Wow! … Evidently, it’s a really thrilling and most emotional second for me.”

After Mannix‘s cancellation in 1975, Fisher made sporadic TV appearances however struggled with dependancy. She died of kidney failure in L.A. in 2000. She was 65.

This story first appeared in a June stand-alone challenge of The Hollywood Reporter journal. To obtain the journal, click here to subscribe.

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