Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy birthday Marlo!

Now this is an item I couldn't believe when I read it. Marlo Thomas is 70 years old today. It just doesn't seem possible.

"That Girl," which ran from 1966 to 1971, featured Thomas as struggling New York City actress Ann Marie and the late Ted Bessell as her boyfriend, magazine writer Donald Hollinger.

I guess you could call it a precursor to other television shows about single, independent career women, like "The Mary Tyler Moore" show, which debuted in 1970. Or, you could call it the "Sex and the City" of its time, only without the sex.

When I went to New York in April, I joked that I kind of felt like "That Girl." Ok, maybe I wasn't quite so young and struggling, but I was still excited and wide-eyed, ready for my first extended trip to the big city.

I loved "That Girl" when I was a kid. Who wouldn't want an exciting life in New York City! And Marlo Thomas is such a great comic actress. I can still remember the opening credits, with Lincoln Center as a backdrop, and the classic episode where Ann gets a bowling ball stuck on her toe.

In addition to "That Girl," Marlo Thomas, who's been married since 1980 to former talk-show host Phil Donahue, has had a lengthy career in movies, television and on stage. I'm sure at one point I had a copy of her bestselling children's album "Free to Be ... You and Me." And she's taken up the mantle of her late father, actor and comedian Danny Thomas, who founded St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

The first three seasons of "That Girl" are available on DVD. It's been a long time since I've seen the show, so this might be a good time to check it out and see if it's still as much fun as I remembered.


Sarah B. Roberts said...

Unbelievable that she is 70!!! Marlo and her character are true inspirations to me. I often feel like That Girl too. Thanks for this post!!!!

(ps - my favorite episode has to be the Merman episode!!!)

Esther said...

Thanks for the comment Sarah! I guess I probably should have looked for a current picture of Marlo, because she looks great. Unfortunately, I only wish I were living the life of That Girl. You're in New York City, so you truly are doing it!