Gail Fisher was born on August 18, 1935 in Orange, New Jersey and raised in the Potters Crossing section of Edison Township, New Jersey. Gail was one of five children. She was later a beauty pageant winner and became a model. Gail used the money she earned as a model and from her regular job in a local factory in New Jersey to take acting lessons in New York. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, studied with Lee Strasberg and was later a member of the Repertory Theater at Lincoln Center where she worked with Elia Kazan and Herbert Blau. Her stage work included "A Raisin In The Sun," "Purlie Victorious" and "Danton's Death." She was also the first black performer to get dialogue in a nationally aired commercial for All detergent.
Gail landed her first television appearance at age 25 in the 1960 syndicated program," Play of the Week." In 1968, the producers of the series "Mannix" starring Mike Connors, revamped the series from
its original format which started in 1967, transforming him from an employee of a high-tech security firm into a more traditional private detective with an office and a secretary. Gail was cast in the secretarial role. She starred in the show from 1968 until it's cancellation in 1975. Along with Nichelle Nichols, Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible, Robert Hooks of N.Y.P.D., Don Mitchell of Ironside, and Diahann Carroll of Julia, Gail was one of the most visible black actors on television during this period. Gail was also only the second black woman (the first being Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek) cast as a regular character in a dramatic hour-long network series. In 1970, Gail was honored for her work on "Mannix" with an Emmy Award for outstanding performance by an actress in a dramatic supporting role. She's also won two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress for her "Mannix" role. Gail has guest starred in such shows as "Love, American Style," "My Three Sons," "Room 222," "Medical Center," "Fantasy Island," "Knight Rider" and "Hotel."
Gail has been married twice: to John Levy, with whom she has two daughters, Samara and Jole, and Robert A. Walker. At the age of 65 Gail died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles at the Brotman Medical Center on December 2, 2000.
Gail's film credits include the following:
- Donor (1990)(Tv Movie)
- Mankillers (1987)
- Every Man Needs One (1972)(Tv Movie)
Check out the following sites for additional information about Gail:
Our Girl Gail Fisher
Gail Fisher@Internet Movie Database
Mannix: Starring Mike Connors & Gail Fisher
Gail Fisher@African American Registry