|Florence Johnston (Marla Gibbs) is the Jeffersons' sassy maid throughout the series' run.|
|Appeared on:||The Jeffersons and its short-lived spinoff, Checking In|
|Episodes appeared in:||207 episodes of The Jeffersons from Seasons 1-11|
|Character played by:||Marla Gibbs|
Florence Johnston is the Jeffersons' sassy, backtalking, wisecracking maid. Her first appearance is actually in the debut episode, when she was interviewed and hired as the housekeeper for the title-bearing characters. Although her job is supposed to take up most of her time, she is flat-out slothful, using very little energy or effort to clean the Jeffersons' apartment. She regularly bickers with George. George, who pays Florence's salary, repeatedly complains about her laziness (and cooking), and he gives her a very small paycheck. Several times he was on the verge of firing her, but Louise, who thinks of her as one of the family, forces him not to. Originally a recurring character, Gibbs later became the core of the series, becoming a series regular, having to appear in 207 of the 253 episodes. The role of Florence is played by actress Marla Gibbs
Despite being a decent Christian (as Gibbs is in real-life) woman, Florence never kept a long relationship with men. This was the biggest reason she gave to the Jeffersons and the Willises when she attempted to commit suicide in a Season Two episode. However, George incongruously told Florence not to, simply because she would be hurting everyone if she did. Louise would later credit George for convincing Florence not to take her own life, and gave that as a big reason that underneath his gruff, stubborn exterior was a man who was concerned about others. Another time that Florence had to admire George was when he donated one of his kidneys to a relative, causing her to admire his physical toughness and concern, and she pampered him, along with the Willisses, went across town to a far away bakery (which George used to spend some alone time with Louise and "to get rid of three people I can't stand").
In an early Season Three episode, she becomes the Jeffersons' full-time maid, taking Lionel's room after he marries Jenny Willis and finds a place of his own. George naturally refused her to do so at first, but she managed to help him escape a sham financial deal with a couple of con artists, and George was grateful for that. Another time she was kidnapped by a pair of criminals after they mistook her for Louise. Florence handled the hostage ordeal, and managed to give out a clue to her friends over the phone. Mr. Bentley was the only one to uncover that clue, and she was rescued gradually by the police.
- Her favorite drink was Muscatel and Ginger Ale.
- Florence would continue to star in the show for the remainder of the running period, becoming a fan-favorite character.
- She is head of the Jefferson's building as a part of the Sisterhood of Household Technicians Building #2