Gail Fisher

Gail Fisher (August 18, 1935 – December 2, 2000) was an American actress who was one of the first black women to play substantive roles in American television.[2] She was best known for playing the role of secretary Peggy Fair on the television detective series Mannix from 1968 through 1975, a role for which she won two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy Award; she was the first black woman to win either award. She also won an NAACP Image Award in 1969.[3]

Gail Fisher
Gail Fisher Mark Stewart Mannix 1970
Fisher and Mark Stewart (Mannix, 1970)
BornAugust 18, 1935
DiedDecember 2, 2000 (aged 65)
Years active1959–1990
Spouse(s)John Levy (1964-1972) (divorced) (2 children)
Robert A. Walker (1973-?) (divorced)[1]

Early years

The youngest of five children, Fisher was born in Orange, New Jersey.[3] Her father died when she was two years old, and she was raised by her mother, Ona Fisher, who supported her family with a home-operated hair-styling business while living in the Potter's Crossing neighborhood of Edison, New Jersey. She graduated from Metuchen High School in Metuchen, New Jersey. During her teenaged years, she was a cheerleader and entered several beauty contests, winning the titles of Miss Transit, Miss Black New Jersey, and Miss Press Photographer.[4][5]

In a contest sponsored by Coca-Cola, Fisher won the opportunity to spend two years studying acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. As a student of acting in New York City, she worked with Lee Strasberg [6] and became a member of the Repertory Theater at Lincoln Center, where she worked with Elia Kazan and Herbert Blau.[4][5] As a young woman, she also worked as a model.[5]


Fisher made her first television appearance in 1960 at age 25, appearing in the NTA Film Network program The Play of the Week.[2] Also during the early 1960s, she appeared in a television commercial for All laundry detergent, which she said made her "the first black female—no, make that black, period—to make a national TV commercial, on camera, with lines."[4] In 1965, Herbert Blau cast her in a theatrical production of Danton's Death.[4]

She first appeared in Mannix during the second season, when Mannix left the detective firm Intertect and set up shop as a private investigator. She became the second African American woman after Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek to show prominently on weekly television. In 1968, she made guest appearances on the TV series My Three Sons, Love, American Style, and Room 222.[2] In 1970, her work on Mannix was honored when she received the Emmy Award for outstanding performance by an actress in a dramatic supporting role, becoming the first African American woman to do so. In 1971 Fisher became the first African American woman to win a Golden Globe, and won her second in 1973. After Mannix was canceled in 1975, she appeared on television at an average of once a year, guest starring on popular shows like Fantasy Island, Love Boat, Knight Rider, General Hospital, The White Shadow and more.[2]

Personal life

Fisher was married and divorced twice. She had two daughters, Samara and Jole, from her 1964 marriage to John Levy.[4] Her marriage to Wali Muhammad (Walter Youngblood), famed cornerman to Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali, ended in divorce when he changed religions. Wali was also an assistant minister to Malcolm X at Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7.[7][8][9]

Jet magazine reported in its July 26, 1973 issue that she also was married to Robert A. Walker, a businessman from Los Angeles.[10]


Fisher died in Los Angeles in 2000, aged 65, reportedly from renal failure.[4][note 1][3]Twelve hours after Gail Fisher died, her brother Clifton died from heart failure.


Year Title Role Notes
1959 The Play of the Week Joyce Lane Episode: "Simply Heavenly"
1960 The Play of the Week N/A Episode: "Climate of Eden"
1960 The New Girl in the Office "The New Girl in the Office" Government-sponsored short film about racial integration in the workplace
1962 The Defenders The Singer Episode: "Grandma TNT"
1963 The Doctors Diane 5 episodes
1967 He & She Helen Episode: "One of Our Firemen is Missing"
1967 The Second Hundred Years Young Matron Episode: "Luke's First Christmas"
1968 My Three Sons Carla Episode: "Gossip, Incorporated"
1968–1975 Mannix Peggy Fair 147 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1972, 1974)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1971–1973)
1969 Love, American Style Mercy Segment: "Love and the Hustler"
1970 Insight Mrs. Carter Episode: "The Incident on Danker Street"
1971 Room 222 Diana Brown Episode: "Welcome Back, Miss Brown"
1971 Love, American Style Penny Segment: "Love and the Baby"
1972 Every Man Need One Pauline Kramer Television film
1975 Medical Center Bonnie Horne Episode: "Street Girl"
1979 Fantasy Island Dr. Frantz Episode: "Hit Man/The Swimmer"
1982 General Hospital Judge Heller 5 episodes
1983 Knight Rider Thelma Episode: "Short Notice"
1985 Hotel Fran Willis Episode: "Hearts and Minds"
1986 He's the Mayor Lila Episode: "Take My Father Please"
1987 Mankillers Joan Hanson Television film
1990 Donor Secretary Television film

Awards and honors

Year Result Award Category Television series
1970 Won Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama Mannix
1971 Nominated Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama Mannix
1972 Nominated Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama Mannix
1973 Nominated Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama Mannix
1971 Won Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress - Television Series Mannix
1972 Nominated Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress - Television Series Mannix
1973 Won Golden Globe Award Best Actress - Television Series Drama Mannix
1974 Nominated Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress - Television Series Mannix

See also

  • P vip.svg Biography portal


  1. ^ The reference book African Americans in the Performing Arts says that Fisher died of lung cancer.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d "Gail Fisher". African American Registry. Archived from the original on October 4, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009. The article cites Jet as its source.
  3. ^ a b c Otfinoski, Steven (2014). African Americans in the Performing Arts. Infobase Publishing. pp. 68–69. ISBN 9781438107769. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Lawrence Van Gelder, "Gail Fisher, 65, TV Actress Who Won Emmy for 'Mannix'", The New York Times, February 20, 2001
  5. ^ a b c Laurie Jarmon (1995), Gail Fisher, in Notable Black American Women, Jessie Carney Smith, editor. ISBN 0-8103-9177-5. Pages 223-224.
  6. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  7. ^ "SecondsOut Boxing News - Thomas Hauser - Mike Tyson and Other Notes". 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Allah, The (2012-01-22). "The Allah Team™: Wali Mohammed (R.I.P.)". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  10. ^ "Mannix Girl Orders Spouse To Stay Away From Her". Jet. July 26, 1973. p. 57. Retrieved 14 June 2017.

External links

23rd Primetime Emmy Awards

The 23rd Emmy Awards, later known as the 23rd Primetime Emmy Awards, were handed out on May 9, 1971. The ceremony was hosted by Johnny Carson. Winners are listed in bold and series' networks are in parentheses.

The top shows of the night were All in the Family and The Bold Ones: The Senator. The Bold Ones: The Senator, along with other shows, had the most major nominations (nine) and wins (four) on the night.

Actress Lee Grant set an Emmy milestone when she joined the exclusive club of actors who were nominated for two performances in the same acting category. She won the award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, for her performance in The Neon Ceiling, she was also nominated for an episode of Columbo.

Susan Hampshire became PBS' first win in the Lead Actress, Drama category, for The First Churchills, as well as being the network's first ever Acting win. (Hampshire also won in the same category, the previous year, again beating the Big Three television networks, but from the NET network, a network which dissolved within a year, but became the direct predecessor for PBS.)

David Burns became the second posthumous performance in Emmy history to win, for ITV Sunday Night Theatre.

28th Golden Globe Awards

The 28th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 1970 films, were held on February 5, 1971.

29th Golden Globe Awards

The 29th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 1971 films, were held on February 6, 1972.

30th Golden Globe Awards

The 30th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 1972 films, were held on 28 January 1973.

31st Golden Globe Awards

The 31st Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 1973, were held on January 26, 1974.

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) is a two-year performing arts conservatory with bi-coastal facilities at 120 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, and at 1336 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles.

Celebrity Bowling Episode Guide

Celebrity Bowling was an American television series of the 1970s, featuring bowling matches played by well-known actors, singers and others.

Coldwater Flat

Coldwater Flat is an album by jazz group The Three Sounds featuring performances with an orchestra arranged by Oliver Nelson recorded in 1968 and released on the Blue Note label.

Every Man Needs One

Every Man Needs One is a 1972 made-for-television romantic comedy movie. It was first shown December 13, 1972, on ABC as an ABC Movie of the Week.Some of the movie was filmed on location in Malibu, California.The film was directed by Jerry Paris, who also had a cameo as David's drinking buddy.

Gail (given name)

Gail is a spelling variant of Gale, Gayle (etc.), all a short form of the Biblical name Abigail. It has been used as either a masculine or a feminine name.

Use of the spelling Gail was equally rare for masculine and feminine use, but feminine use became more popular during the 1930s to 1960s, as a consequence marginalizing masculine usage by about 1960.Notable people with the given name include:

Gail Boggs (born 1951), American actress

Gail Borden (1801–1874), American inventor

Gail Borden (figure skater) (1907–1991), American figure skater

Gail Bruce (1923–1998), American football player

Gail Collins (born 1945), American journalist

Gail Cronauer (born 1948), American actress

Gail Davies, (born 1948), American country singer & songwriter

Gail Devers (born 1966), American athlete

Gail Ann Dorsey (born 1962), American musician

Gail Emms (born 1977), British badminton player

Gail Fisher (1935–2000), American actress

Gail Goodrich (born 1943), American basketball player

Gail Halvorsen (born 1920), American air force pilot

Gail Jonson (born 1965), New Zealand swimmer

Gail Kim (born 1976), Canadian wrestler

Gail Carson Levine (born 1947), American writer

Gayle Liuzza (born 1959), Louisiana businesswoman and political activist

Gail Nkoane Mabalane (born 1984), South African actress and model

Gail Miller (water polo) (born 1976), Australian water polo player

Gail Minault (born 1939), American historian

Gail O'Grady (born 1963), American actress

Gail Porter (born 1971), British television presenter

Gail Ryan (born 1939), American hairstylist

Gail Sheehy (born 1937), American writer

Gail Simmons (born 1976), Canadian food critic

Gail Simone (born 1974), American comics writer

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film

The Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film is an award presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role on a television series, miniseries or motion picture made for television for the calendar year. The award was first presented at the 28th Golden Globe Awards on February 5, 1971 to Gail Fisher for her role on Mannix. It was presented under the title Best Supporting Actress – Television Series before changing to its current title in 1980.

Since its inception, the award has been given to 45 actresses. Patricia Clarkson is the current recipient of the award for her portrayal of Adora Crellin on Sharp Objects. Valerie Bertinelli, Laura Dern, Faye Dunaway, and Polly Holliday have won the most awards in this category with two each. Rhea Perlman has been nominated for the award on six occasions, the most within the category.

List of black Golden Globe Award winners and nominees

Below is a list of Black nominees and winners of Golden Globe Awards in various award categories. Sidney Poitier was both the first winner and nominee, winning in 1964 for Lilies of the Field.

Logie Awards of 1973

The 15th Annual TV Week Logie Awards were presented on Friday 16 February 1973 at the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne and broadcast on the Nine Network. Bert Newton was the Master of Ceremonies. American film star Glenn Ford and television actors Michael Cole, Gail Fisher and Loretta Swit were in attendance as guest presenters. The programme is remembered for a drunken, incoherent acceptance speech from Cole which concluded with a swear word.


Mankillers, also known as 12 Wild Women, is a 1987 film written and directed by David A. Prior.Filmed in 1986 in and around Riverside, California, United States, it was shot back to back with Deadly Prey as part of the newly formed Action International Pictures.

The alternate title notwithstanding, Mankillers actually features fifteen women as members of the titular commando unit, not twelve.


Mannix is an American television detective series that ran from 1967 to 1975 on CBS. Created by Richard Levinson and William Link and developed by executive producer Bruce Geller, the title character, Joe Mannix, is a private investigator. He was played by Mike Connors.

Metuchen High School

Metuchen High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Metuchen in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States, operating as the lone secondary school of the Metuchen School District. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1929.As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 654 students and 55.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.8:1. There were 42 students (6.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 12 (1.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In early Primetime Emmy Award ceremonies, the supporting categories were not always genre, or even gender, specific. Beginning with the 22nd Primetime Emmy Awards, supporting actresses in drama have competed alone. However, these dramatic performances often included actresses from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below:

# – Indicates a performance in a Miniseries or Television film, prior to the category's creation.

§ – Indicates a performance as a guest performer, prior to the category's creation.

Stolen Moments (song)

"Stolen Moments" is a jazz standard composed by Oliver Nelson. It is a sixteen-bar piece (in an eight-six-two pattern), though the solos are on a conventional minor key 12-bar blues structure.

The piece first appeared as "The Stolen Moment" on the 1960 album Trane Whistle by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, which was largely written and co-arranged by Oliver Nelson. It was not marked out as anything special, in fact the cover notes only mention that the trumpet solo is by Bob Bryant and that Eric Dolphy's bass clarinet can be heard briefly on the closing. However, in the liner notes to Eric Dolphy: The Complete Prestige Recordings, Bill Kirchner states that this incorrectly credits Dolphy with playing what is actually the baritone saxophone of George Barrow, with Dolphy's contribution to the piece being the second alto behind Nelson. Its first well-known recording was the version on Nelson's own 1961 album, The Blues and the Abstract Truth. Nelson's solo on this version contains "possibly the most famous" use of the augmented scale in jazz.Singer Mark Murphy wrote lyrics for his 1978 version.

Gail Fisher later wrote different lyrics to Nelson's original melody. They were first recorded on the 1987 album The Carmen McRae-Betty Carter Duets. This vocal version of "Stolen Moments" was given the alternative title "You Belong to Her".

The Sound of Nancy Wilson

The Sound of Nancy Wilson is a 1968 studio album by Nancy Wilson, originally subtitled, "...An Experience in Motion and Emotion." It features a mixture of vocal jazz, soul, and popular music, and several prominent jazz instrumentalists perform on the album, including Benny Carter, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Shelly Manne, and pianist Jimmy Jones, who also serves as arranger and conductor. The song "Peace of Mind" was released as a single in October 1968.

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