Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Marlo Thomas

Born in Michigan in 1937, actress Marlo Thomas is best remembered for her starring roles in 1970s television hitsThat Girl and Free to Be…You and Me. She married fellow television producer Phil Donahue in 1980 and worked actively for charity at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee–which was founded by her father.

Actress, born Margaret Thomas on November 21, 1938, in Deerfield, Michigan,a suburb of Detroit. One of three children of entertainer Danny Thomas andhis wife Rosie. She has a brother, Tony, and a sister, Terre. The children were all raised in Hollywood.

An ebullient, perky brunette, Thomas was best known for her starring rolein the TV sitcom That Girl (1966-1971), in which she played an aspiring actress and model, Ann Marie, a woman learning to make it on herown in New York City with a little help from her red-haired boyfriend,Donald Hollinger (Ted Bessell), and her father, Lou Marie (Lew Parker).

Thomas began her acting career after graduating college and a short stintas a teacher. She made appearances on early 1960s TV shows such as TheMany Loves of Dobie GillisThrillerZane Grey TheaterThe Joey Bishop ShowBonanzaMcHale’s Navy,TheDonna Reed Show, and Ben Casey.

After That Girl ended in 1971, Thomas produced and starred in thechildren’s TV special Free to Be…You and Me (1974), for which shewon an Emmy Award. She won a Best Actress Emmy Award in 1986 for another special, Nobody’s Child. In 1974 she made her Broadway debut in theHerb Gardner play Thieves, and appeared in the film version in1977. She also appeared in Mike Nichols‘s 1986 production of SocialSecurity, with Ron Silver. She occasionally appears as a guest star onthe TV sitcom Friends.

Thomas married talk show host Phil Donahue in 1980. She isactive in charity work for her late father’s favorite cause, the St. Jude’sChildren’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which he founded.



  1. I would never miss “That Girl”! Loved it!

  2. Marlo is an admirable woman. I wanted to be like her character in “That Girl” when I was a shy 19 year old. But as a native Memphian, I know the value of Danny and Marlo Thomas’ efforts for children for St. Jude Hospital. What an amazing place for children!

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