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CBS (ended 1967)

MARLO THOMAS Forum

  • Avatar of agent_0042

    agent_0042

    [1]Dec 18, 2006
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    I don't really know much about her, but she was an enjoyable replacement for Dorothy on last night's show, at least I thought she was reasonably good. Any thoughts on Marlo Thomas anyone?
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [2]Dec 18, 2006
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    Coincidentally, TV Land recently held a marathon of "That Girl" episodes, the 1966-1971 comedy series that Marlo Thomas is most associated with.
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    stopettearoma

    [3]Dec 19, 2006
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    astorino wrote:
    Coincidentally, TV Land recently held a marathon of "That Girl" episodes, the 1966-1971 comedy series that Marlo Thomas is most associated with.


    Either she's most associated with "That Girl" or she's most associated with episodes of the "Donahue" talk show starting with the famous 1977 episode where the couple met for the first time.

    There hasn't been a major publicity wave about "Donahue" since its 25th anniversary special that was held in a Broadway theater in 1992. But the VHS cassette of it still circulates online. The studio audience is prominently featured on-camera. Audience members include two people closely associated with Phil Donahue who got murdered within 5 - 1/2 years of the event: Madalyn Murray O'Hair and Phil Hartman.  They stand up for the cameras.

    The studio audience and home viewers enjoy a clip from that 1977 first meeting of Phil and Marlo plus many other clips: Lana Turner in 1982 recalling painfully an illegal abortion she underwent forty years earlier, Ingrid Bergman saying in 1980 that thirty years ago a Roman Catholic priest pressured her to abort her fetus that was fathered by Roberto Rossellini; she angrily refused and later gave birth to a healthy son.

    Marlo talks a lot at the podium, of course, and she also has narrated a short video biography of her husband that includes photos of him as an aspiring actor in "Cyrano de Bergerac." A year and some change after this event -- March of 1994 -- Marlo answered viewer phone calls for an entire hour of "Larry King Live." She was plugging a made-for-TV movie about a father who has molested his daughter, now mentally ill.

    Marlo preferred to talk about this "telefilm" and about her husband's talk show, but she would answer a question about "That Girl" if it was a good one. She resented a question from a female viewer who wanted to know if that was a wig on Ann Marie's head during the early years of the sitcom. Slightly annoyed, she exclaimed, "SOME days it was, depending on whether I had a headache or not." Larry did not press the issue.  Then Marlo reminded people that "That Girl" is a part of her past; she has moved on to other projects.

    Marlo has videotaped many sound bite interviews for TV Land.  She did the same for the E ! Channel when it revived "That Girl" five year ago.  For that channel she reminded viewers that on the episode where Ann Marie gets stuck in a chicken costume walking along a highway at night, the lecherous man was a fictional character.  She told viewers that actor Slim Pickens was in reality a perfect gentleman who died many years ago.  Marlo Thomas evidently spends her time in "That Girl Heaven" carefully.  As Simone Signoret said during the early MTV era:  "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."
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    Sargebri

    [4]Dec 19, 2006
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    One of the more interesting things I found out about the final season of "That Girl" was that the series was going to end with Ann and Don finally getting married.  However, Marlo, who also was the executive producer, nixed that idea because she felt that it would convey the wrong idea that a girl needed to get married to have her life fulfilled.  However, I feel it would have made a greater statement if she did the opposite proving that a woman can have a career and have a successful marriage.

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    stopettearoma

    [5]Dec 20, 2006
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    I wonder if Marlo was politically outspoken during the run of "That Girl."   If she was, I wonder if it inspired the writers to create the episode in which Ann Marie befriends an African American boy who tries to shoplift a candy bar in a store where Ann Marie is buying something.   He talks his way into her apartment where he insists on eating chocolate ice cream "a little melted."   Gross!  

    Maybe this episode inspired Marlo in 1993 to accept a part as the mother in the touring company of the theatrical play "Six Degrees Of Separation."   She played the mother in a wealthy white family that is conned by an openly gay black teen-ager who knocks on their door out of the blue claiming to be related to Sidney Poitier.  His lies build from there.  Other actresses played the part of the mother on Broadway and in the movie version that featured Will Smith as the teen-ager.
    Edited on 12/23/2006 5:32am
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    W-B

    [6]Dec 20, 2006
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    The other thing Ms. Thomas was associated with, post-That Girl, was the all-star TV special Free To Be . . . You And Me, produced in cooperation with Ms. magazine; FTB...Y&M was also released on LP on the Bell label initially, then on Arista (credited to "Marlo Thomas and Friends").
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  • Avatar of ClassicTV

    ClassicTV

    [7]Dec 20, 2006
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    This week I've been watching the new DVD from CBS News:  "Person To Person with Ed Murrow".  Among the celebrities he interviews is Danny Thomas (Marlo's father).  But Marlo wasn't present among the three children shown in the piece that was originally broadcast just before Christmas in about 1953.  There were two girls, Margaret and Terry, and a boy, Tony.  I thought that maybe the name "Margaret" might be a variation of "Marlo", but facially the college-aged woman named Margaret did not resemble Marlo.  Danny and his wife did not mention that any of their children were absent.
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    stopettearoma

    [8]Dec 20, 2006
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    W-B wrote:
    The other thing Ms. Thomas was associated with, post-That Girl, was the all-star TV special Free To Be . . . You And Me, produced in cooperation with Ms. magazine; FTB...Y&M was also released on LP on the Bell label initially, then on Arista (credited to "Marlo Thomas and Friends").


    The sketches on that TV special included a cartoon narrated by Alan Alda.  It upbraided people who reject a little boy who plays with dolls.   At the end everyone learns a lesson and celebrates the little boy's hobby.

    Ms. Thomas was also associated with the Donahue series.   After her famous first date with Phil in 1977, she visited the studio many times, sometimes appearing on camera.   In 1994 she produced and starred in a made for TV movie about a mentally ill adult woman confronting her father about past sexual abuse.
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  • Avatar of stopettearoma

    stopettearoma

    [9]Dec 20, 2006
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    ClassicTV wrote:
    This week I've been watching the new DVD from CBS News: "Person To Person with Ed Murrow". Among the celebrities he interviews is Danny Thomas (Marlo's father). But Marlo wasn't present among the three children shown in the piece that was originally broadcast just before Christmas in about 1953. There were two girls, Margaret and Terry, and a boy, Tony. I thought that maybe the same "Margaret" might be a variation of "Marlo", but facially the college-aged woman named Margaret did not resemble Marlo. Danny and his wife did not mention that any of their children were absent.


    Wikipedia says Marlo was born with the name Margaret, but the demand for that "Person To Person" DVD not high enough for the distributor to advertise it with Marlo's name.

    The DVD doesn't have any of the "Person To Person" interviews that four of the What's My Line regulars did.  The one John Daly did with his first wife and kids on Christmas Eve 1954 was destroyed.   The ones with Arlene, Bennett and Dorothy exist, but you have to find somebody online who can upload them before you watch them.
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  • Avatar of TVGord

    TVGord

    [10]Dec 20, 2006
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    I grew up with Free To Be...You And Me, and appreciate the many messages of tolerance I learned from it.  Funny though, last Christmas, one of my friends wanted a copy of it for her young daughter and I managed to find the CD and the DVD of the FTB...Y&M TV special, but what stood out for me was the poor grammar in the title song!  "And you and me are free to be you and me!" 

    I gave it to my friend's daughter for Hannukah last year on the understanding that she would always sing "And you and I are free to be you and me!"  LOL! 

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  • Avatar of stopettearoma

    stopettearoma

    [11]Dec 21, 2006
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    If bad grammar is truly a bad influence on children, then they shouldn't listen to the radio. Every single music station plays many gramatically incorrect song lyrics. An Ipod controlled by the parent is the only solution. Even Ira Gershwin is problematic: "I Got Rhythm."

    If a little boy playing with dolls isn't so scary, then Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda avoided the really scary question, "If a little boy can explain how fiberoptics work -- or how Ma Bell's new touch tones worked in 1973 -- does he have the right to say he wants to become a medical receptionist when he grows up ?"

    If St. Jude's Research Hospital ever hires a male receptionist, then Marlo Thomas will prove she is tolerant. If Marlo Thomas and her feminist friends ever criticize one woman who dumps her boyfriend because he is an underachiever -- a receptionist instead of a technician who programs and maintains Comdial 616X and 816X Key Systems -- then Marlo will really be spreading tolerance. Playing with dolls gets old pretty fast, but a paying job can be fun and rewarding -- as long as it is the right job for an individual.

    That is the message of the song that gave "What's My Line" guest Bobby Darin a hit song in 1966: "If I Were A Carpenter." The song was written by a heroin addict who died of a heroin overdose in 1980. That makes sense. The issue of a woman's boyfriend underachieving is a painful one, especially in the Jewish community. (You mentioned Hanukkah earlier.) The little boy who plays with dolls isn't the problem. The problem is when the little boy visits the pediatrician, points to the receptionist and says, "I want to be just like her when I grow up !" Tolerance ?!?


    Edited on 12/23/2006 5:32am
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  • Avatar of TVGord

    TVGord

    [12]Dec 21, 2006
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    I think children's educational entertainment shows should at least spend a little effort on grammar, but none of them do anymore.  Sesame Street, for instance, is a wonderful show on many levels, but bad grammar is all over that street (and not just among the Muppets)!  

    I've worked in radio for more than 15 years and when I started, poor grammar was always corrected.  These days, though, the bosses have just given up because EVERYONE is doing it!  It's rampant in commercials (just today, I heard one that says "There's lots of ways to save!"), it's in newscasts.  It's everywhere!  And no one seems to care anymore.  I try not to care, either, but it grates on my ears like fingernails on a blackboard!

    I just posted this and then noticed my icon!  Bwahahaha!  I'm a study in contradictions, ain't I?  ;-)

    Edited on 12/21/2006 7:07am
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    stopettearoma

    [13]Dec 21, 2006
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    In 1979, radio may have corrected grammar, but network television certainly didn't.   A commercial in heavy rotation throughout the United States that year had a jingle that went, "Save a gallon, save a gallon,  save a gallon a gas a week."   Then there was a fast food restaurant chain called Hardee's that put on television something that was borderline ungrammatical / borderline abstract:  "Hardees -- best eatin' in town, up and down and all around."
    Edited on 12/23/2006 5:31am
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  • Avatar of agent_0042

    agent_0042

    [14]Dec 22, 2006
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    Oh, Hardees is awful about that. That wasn't the only one of theirs like that and even now, I still don't think they're very good.
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    Twowaditty

    [15]Jan 15, 2007
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    ClassicTV wrote:
    But Marlo wasn't present among the three children shown in the piece that was originally broadcast just before Christmas in about 1953.  There were two girls, Margaret and Terry, and a boy, Tony. 

    That young girl, Margaret, featured on the "Person To Person" show was indeed Marlo Thomas. Granted, she looked quite different from "That Girl" in 1965, but she most definately was Danny's oldest daughter Margaret, aka Marlo.

    Edited on 01/15/2007 9:37pm
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    astorino

    [16]Jan 15, 2007
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    W-B wrote:
    The other thing Ms. Thomas was associated with, post-That Girl, was the all-star TV special Free To Be . . . You And Me.

    During their marathon, TV Land aired this Emmy-winning TV movie several times.

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    astorino

    [17]Jan 15, 2007
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    In checking IMDb, Marlo's birth name is Margaret Julia Thomas.
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  • Avatar of stopettearoma

    stopettearoma

    [18]Jan 16, 2007
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    The young lady you see on the well-preserved kinescope of "Person To Person" is the same person who later became famous as Marlo Thomas, but that was many years later.  The kinescope gives you no clue that the young lady you see and her future husband will talk publicly about issues that were taboo in the 1950s. 

    For that reason, the people who own "Person To Person" can't very well market their product as evidence of Ms. Thomas paving the way for independent women and the male talk show hosts they attract.  Their product shows "Margaret" as the daughter of a comedian who never offended anyone. 

    "Free To Be You And Me" offends certain people to this day, and so do old clips of Phil Donahue's show.

    I have seen "Person To Person" segments on Arlene, Dorothy and her husband and Bennett.  (The one with John Daly was destroyed.)  Watching them, you get absolutely no telltale signs of Alzheimers or drug overdoses or slapstick comedy routines with Soupy Sales.  They came many years later.

    Edited on 01/17/2007 4:20am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of stopettearoma

    stopettearoma

    [19]Jan 18, 2007
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    Deleted double-post.

    Edited on 01/18/2007 5:46am
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  • Avatar of ClassicTV

    ClassicTV

    [20]Jan 18, 2007
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    Twowaditty wrote:

    ClassicTV wrote:
    But Marlo wasn't present among the three children shown in the piece that was originally broadcast just before Christmas in about 1953.  There were two girls, Margaret and Terry, and a boy, Tony. 

    That young girl, Margaret, featured on the "Person To Person" show was indeed Marlo Thomas. Granted, she looked quite different from "That Girl" in 1965, but she most definitely was Danny's oldest daughter Margaret, aka Marlo.

    As I thought about it after watching the DVD last month, and read the other post giving the Internet Movie Database information on her real name, I concluded that it must be her.  But not only could I see no resemblance in her face to her appearance 14 years later on "That Girl", I didn't notice any traces of that unique, somewhat "husky" quality in her voice that she would have by the time she had her own TV series.  

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