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In this sitcom based on Christine Houston's play about the lives of black women residing in an apartment building in 1950s Chicago, Illinois. Marla Gibbs, who first shot to stardom for playing Florence Johnston, the sarcastic housekeeper to Louise and George Jefferson on The Jeffersons (1975), got her own series. Gibbs starred as tart-tongued Mary Jenkins. Her husband Lester (Hal Williams) was a construction worker and they had a teenage daughter, Brenda (Regina King). Pearl Shay (Helen Martin) was an annoying but open-minded neighbor who gossiped with Mary, and Rose Lee Holloway (Alaina Reed-Hall) was Mary's best friend, who lived in the building with her daughter Tiffany (Kia Goodwin) and was sympathetic to the neighbors. The landlord died in the pilot episode and Rose took his place until season four. Attractive, sassy vamp Sandra Clark (Jackée Harry) showed up later in the show's run.