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

Why Gail Fisher will not be extra extensively celebrated in the annals of Hollywood historical past is a thriller not even Joe Mannix may clear up. Fisher was solely the second Black actress to look in a outstanding position on weekly broadcast TV, after Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek. And she was the primary to win an Emmy, and never one however two Golden Globe Awards.

Fisher informed 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 appearing with Lee Strasberg in New York City, ultimately turning into a member of the Repertory Theatre at Lincoln Center. In the Nineteen Sixties, she grew to become the primary Black actor “to make a nationwide TV business, on digital camera, with strains,” as she as soon as defined, when she was forged in an All detergent marketing campaign. But her large break got here on the second season of the CBS sequence Mannix, when the star detective (Mike Connors) units up his personal P.I. agency and hires Fisher’s character, Peggy Fair, to be his Girl Friday.

The struggling present grew to become successful because of their chemistry. When she accepted her 1970 Emmy for excellent supporting actress in a drama sequence — the primary time that award was introduced — in a silver-and-white tasseled jumpsuit, a genuinely shocked and delighted Fisher exclaimed, “Wow! … Needless to say, 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 habit. She died of kidney failure in L.A. in 2000. She was 65.

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

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