MARLO THOMAS Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Marlo Thomas                                                                         
Birth name: Margaret Julia Thomas                                                         
Born: 21 November 1937 Detroit, Michigan, U.S.                                             
Marlo Thomas (born Margaret Julia Thomas on November 21, 1937 in Detroit,                 
Michigan) is an American actress, who first achieved fame on the TV series That           
Girl in the 1960s.                                                                         
She is the daughter of the late Lebanese-American comedian Danny Thomas and               
sister of Tony Thomas, a TV and film producer, and Terre Thomas, a former                 
actress. Her mother, Rose Marie Mantell, was the adopted daughter of Italian               
Americans and died in 2000.                                                               
Thomas was born in Detroit, but grew up in Beverly Hills, California, and went             
by the nickname of Margie Thomas while attending school. She attended Marymount           
High School in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Southern                 
California with a teaching degree and was a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha             
Theta. Afterward, she appeared as a regular on The Joey Bishop Show (1961 – 1962).       
She followed the series with guest shots on Ben Casey, My Favorite Martian, and           
Bonanza, but it was not until 1966 that she hit her professional stride as                 
aspiring New York actress Ann Marie on the ABC sitcom That Girl. The series ran           
until 1971, garnering her a Golden Globe Award and four Emmy nominations.                 
Anxious to show she was as adept at drama as she was at comedy, she proved                 
herself in the television movies It Happened One Christmas (1977) (a remake of             
It's a Wonderful Life, with Thomas in the rewritten James Stewart role), Nobody's         
Child (1986) , and The Lost Honor Of Kathryn Beck (1984), while she starred in             
Jenny (1970) and Thieves (1977) on the big screen.                                         
Thomas's Broadway theatre credits include Thieves (1974), Social Security (1986),         
and The Shadow Box (1994).                                                                 
She is also known for her children's books and the recordings and television               
specials created in conjunction with them: Free to Be… You and Me (1972 and 1974)       
and Free to Be… A Family (1987), with Christopher Cerf, which were born out of           
an attempt to teach her then-young niece Dionne about life. She is donating all           
royalties from her 2004 book and CD, Thanks & Giving: All Year Long (also                 
produced with Cerf), to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis,             
Tennessee. Started by her late father, the organization helps young children               
suffering from grave forms of disease, especially cancer and leukemia, including           
many whose parents do not have much money or health insurance; the services are           
free to all patients, although insurance is accepted from those who are insured.           
Thomas has continued her legacy of charity and donation through her publications           
of The Right Words at the Right Time (6 January 2004, Atria Books                         
and The Right Words at the Right Time Volume 2 (25 April 2006, Atria Books.               
Both books are collections of essays written by celebrities and                           
fans of Thomas, explaining when a friend, family member or perfect stranger said           
the right thing in the author's time of need. All proceeds go to her charity (St.         
Jude's Hospital).                                                                         
Thomas's favorable public image came under severe attack in 1990 when her former           
butler Desmond Atholl wrote a book called That Girl and Phil.                             
This was an expose of sorts of the years he worked for her. Atholl claimed that           
contrary to her public image, Marlo Thomas was cruel and foul mouthed towards             
her staffers, and servants.                                                               
In recent years, Thomas has appeared in guest shots on Ally McBeal, Friends (as           
Rachel's mother), and made several guest appearances on Law & Order: Special               
Victims Unit, playing attorney and former judge, Mary Conway Clark, who had a             
mentoring relationship with assistant District Attorney, Casey Novak. She also             
appeared in the 2000 comedy Playing Mona Lisa with Alicia Witt and Harvey                 
Thomas is the recipient of four Emmy Awards. She has been married to talk show             
host Phil Donahue since 1980. She has no children, but is stepmother to Donahue's         
five children from his previous marriage. The couple lives in New York City, but           
Thomas travels to Los Angeles for work or to receive donations to her charity,             
Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital. (Producer David Geffen contributed $1,000,000     
by simply writing Thomas a cheque when she was on location in L.A. filming                 
Friends some years ago.)