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*On this date, we celebrate the birth of Gail Fisher in 1935. She was a Black television (small screen) actress.
The youngest of five children, Fisher was born in Orange, New Jersey. Her father died when she was two years old, and she was raised by her mother, Ona Fisher. Her mother supported her family with a home-operated hair-styling business while living in the Potter's Crossing neighborhood of Edison, New Jersey. Young Gail graduated from Metuchen High School in Metuchen, New Jersey. During her teenage years, she was a cheerleader and entered several beauty contests, winning the titles of Miss Transit, Miss Black New Jersey, and Miss Press Photographer
Fisher landed her first television appearance at age 25 in the 1960-syndicated program, Play of the Week. Although her television work was sparse thereafter, her career perked up in the late '60s. In 1968, while a regular on Mannix, best known for portraying widowed secretary Peggy Fair on that CBS detective show; a part she played from 1968 to 1975.
She also made appearances on My Three Sons, Love, American Style and Room 222. In 1970, Fisher was honored for her work on that series with an Emmy Award for outstanding performance by an actress in a dramatic supporting role (She won over Susan Saint James and Barbara Anderson).
In addition to this honor, Fisher was regarded as a role model, having served (along with Diahann Carroll in 1968's "Julia") as one of the first African American women to find substantive work in American television. Her television appearances after the 1975 cancellation of Mannix were few; most notably, she guest-starred in a 1980 episode of The White Shadow. Gail Fisher died in December 2001 at the age of 66.
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