Wednesday • July 17
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Movin' on Up with Kelly, Nick and Marla
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This week's guests are Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti of the Dolphins,and former Chicago Luvabulls dancer Kelly Wilson. Kelly recently participated in her first bikini competition and took home a second-place trophy. Plus, actress Marla Gibbs of The Jeffersons and 227 fame.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts: Kelly Wilson

This former Luvabull recently participated in her first bikini competition and finished second. Not bad for a 36-year-old. Or any age. Kelly was an in-studio interview and sadly did not wear her competition attire. She did hold out the possibility that an encore appearance on the highly acclaimed show (certainly in the Spada and Harris households, as well as elsewhere) could have her wearing competitive gear — what there is of it.
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Sports and Torts: Nick Buoniconti

We talk with the Pro Football Hall of Famer about playing for the Fighting Irish, the Dolphins undefeated season, the no-name defense, and more.
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Sports and Torts: Marla Gibbs

We're moving on up to the East Side. Or this episodes third segment... Marla Gibbs was a fan favorite as Florence on the classic sitcom the Jeffersons. She shares some great stories about working on that program, the creation of 227, and her current role on First Family.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Nick Buoniconti
As a tackle, Buoniconti was the captain of the 1961 Notre Dame football team, but was considered by NFL scouts as "too small" to play pro football. Drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1962 American Football League college draft and switched to linebacker, Buoniconti made an immediate impact, as he was named the team's rookie of the year. The following year, he helped Boston capture the 1963 AFL Eastern Division title. With Boston, he appeared in five AFL All-Star Games, and recorded 24 interceptions, which is still the seventh-most in team history. He was named 2nd team All-AFL in 1963 and the following season began a run of five consensus All-AFL seasons in the following six seasons, missing only 1968 when he was named second-team All-AFL. Buoniconti is a member of the Patriots All-1960s (AFL) Team and the AFL All-Time Team. He was traded to the AFL's Miami Dolphins in 1969. He continued to play well with the Dolphins, in 1969-1974 and 1976, and made the AFL All-Star team in 1969 and the NFL Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973. Buoniconti was also named All-AFC in 1972. His leadership made him a cornerstone of the Dolphins' defense. During his years there, the team advanced to three consecutive Super Bowl appearances, the second of which was the team's 1972 undefeated season. In 1973, he recorded a then-team record 162 tackles (91 unassisted). He was named to the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973. Buoniconti ended his career with an unofficial 24 sacks, eighteen with the Patriots and six while with the Dolphins. He was named the Dolphins' Most Valuable Player three times (1969, 1970, 1973). In 1990, he was voted as a linebacker on the Dolphins' Silver Anniversary All-Time team. On November 18, 1991, he was enshrined on the Miami Dolphin's Honor Roll at Joe Robbie Stadium. Buoniconti got his law degree during his years with the Patriots. He was a practicing attorney for a short time. He was also president of the US Tobacco Company during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was a leading critic of studies which showed that smokeless tobacco caused cancer of the mouth as well as other types of cancer. In recent years, he has become the most outspoken member of the 1972 team; it is rumored that he leads a champagne toast every year after the last remaining undefeated team loses for the first time. Also, it is reported that Buoniconti sends a Christmas card every year to former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Bob Lurtsema, whose roughing-the-passer violation in an early 1972 game aided the Dolphins' undefeated season. Buoniconti put his verbal talent to use as a co-host of the HBO series Inside the NFL until 2001. That same year, Buoniconti was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1985, after his son Marc suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury making a tackle for The Citadel, Nick became the public face of the group that founded the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, now one of the world's leading neurological research centers. Buoniconti is a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

 
Marla Gibbs
Armed with an acid dry wit and full arsenal of sarcasm and sass, African-American character comedienne Marla Gibbs showed up on 70s TV with a bang in middle age (44). Landing the feisty maid role on the popular ground-breaking CBS comedy "The Jeffersons" (1975) eventually led to her very own sitcom "227" (1985) a decade later and international celebrity. A divorced mother with three children (Angela, Dorian, Joseph) at the time of her initial success, it was a job transfer from Detroit to Los Angeles while working as a United Airlines reservation clerk that set up this more-than-welcome surprise and change of destiny. The Chicago native who was born in 1931 and who married at age 13, was already a single mom before ever entertaining the thought of becoming a professional actress. Following high school, Marla attended Peters Business School (1950-1952) and toiled for a time as a receptionist and switchboard operator in the Detroit area. Eventually she secured worked with United Airlines. After moving to Southern California on a transfer, Marla gave acting a try and initially studied at the Mafundi Institute and Watts Writers Workshop, located in the Watts area of L.A. Bitten hard by the acting bug, she went on to appear in a number of local productions including "Medea," "The Amen Corner" and "The Gingerbread Lady". After only a couple of minor film parts, including the "blaxploitation" film Black Belt Jones (1974), she nabbed the role of Florence. The maid was initially set up as a mere one-shot guest part but Marla showed the character's potential. And so it came to be that Florence Johnston became THE scene-stealing foil to Sherman Hemsley's equally mouthy, money-minded George Jefferson. Until the show became a certified hit, Marla cautiously kept her job with the Airlines. With wisecracks and Emmy nominations (totaling 5) a plenty, however, Marla never had to look back. The role of Florence was a natural for a spin-off series and it happened with the sitcom "Checking In" (1981) in which the character becomes a housekeeper for a very swanky hotel. The show was harmed, however, by a writer's strike before it could gain a core audience. Fortunately for Marla, she was ushered right back into the Jefferson household following its quick demise (four episodes). Two months after the last "Jeffersons" episode aired in July of 1985, "227" was included in that year's fall schedule. Daughter Angela produced an award-winning play by Christine Houston entitled "227," with Marla as the lead, at Marla's own local Crossroads Theatre, which the actress founded in 1981. The play was a solid hit and Marla wisely purchased the TV rights. Once "The Jeffersons" was over, she pushed for it as a sitcom vehicle. Producer Norman Lear gave it the green light and Marla settled right back in for another popular series ride (for NBC), this time as resident gossip Mary Jenkins, whose demeanor was warmer and more approachable than the feisty Florence character. This series, which featured spitfire Jackée Harry as vampish neighbor Sandra, ran for five years. An eight-time NAACP Image Award winner, Marla has received several honors over the years, including Essence Woman of the Year. She has not carried a series since "227" but has been seen from time to time on other popular shows, including "ER," "Cold Case," "The Dave Chappelle Show," "Judging Amy," "Touched by an Angel," "The King of Queens" and "Dawson's Creek". She has also had recurring roles on daytime ("Passions") as well as prime time ("Pryor's Place," "The Hughleys") and gave a knowing portrayal as Natalie Cole's mother in the heart-warming TV movie Lily in Winter (1994) (TV).

Marla on IMDB