Actress Gail Fisher (August 18, 1935 – 2000) was the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. Fisher played the role of Peggy Fair in the CBS detective drama, Mannix. Although Fisher was born into poverty in Orange, New Jersey she used her talent and beauty to change her circumstances.
Her first big break came in starring in a national commercial for ALL detergent. It made Fisher the first Black actor or actress to have a speaking role in a televised commercial. But, it wouldn’t be the end of firsts for Fisher who also went on to be the first black actress to be nominated for and win a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. In 1973, Fisher won another Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama, becoming one of only two Black women (Diahann Carroll was the other) to win in that category.
Fisher married several times, and her marriage to personal manager Joe Levy led to two daughters. Her career waned after Mannix’s on-air run ended, and she appeared in bit roles over the years with the last occurring in 1993. Fisher succumbed to kidney failure in 2000 at age 65.
(Via Black America Web)