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Marlo Thomas

MAKERS Profile

First Single Working Woman on Television

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Marlo Thomas on breaking the mold with her forward-thinking 1960s TV series That Girl and the power of TV to change minds.

Marlo's Biography

Charity of Choice: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
Most Proud Of: Especially after growing up in Hollywood, “that I'm sane.” 
Pursing Your Dreams: "Never take no for an answer. Cause if the first person says, ‘no’ it's just cause they're asleep.”
Directing a Classroom: “Teaching is a lot like storytelling, it’s a lot like acting… you had to get the children’s attention in the first five minutes like you did with a play.”

Marlo Thomas is an award-winning actress, author and activist whose body of work continues to have an impact on American entertainment and culture.  She burst onto the scene as the star of television’s That Girl, which she also conceived and produced.  Featuring Thomas as Ann Marie - an unmarried, aspiring actress living away on her own in New York - the show broke new ground for independent women everywhere and launched Thomas into the heart of the burgeoning feminist movement.  “I was born to be a feminist,” recalls Thomas, who went on to create Free to Be... You and Me, her gender-busting children’s concept that became a platinum album, bestselling book, Emmy Award-winning television special and a stage show. The Free to Be… royalties helped Thomas join with Gloria Steinem and other Ms. editors to found the Ms. Foundation in 1973 as a resource for grassroots women’s organizations nationwide. 
 
Thomas is the author of numerous bestselling books including Free to Be You and Me, Free to Be a Family, The Right Words at the Right Time (Volumes 1 and 2), Thanks and Giving: All Year Long, and Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny.  She has been honored with four Emmy Awards, a Peabody, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Her activism has been equally recognized with the Helen Caldicott Award for Nuclear Disarmament, the ACLU's Thomas Paine Award, the American Women in Radio and Television Satellite Award, and the William Kunstler Racial Justice Award. It is a commitment to helping others that runs in her veins – she is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the pioneering children’s hospital founded by her father, Danny Thomas.
 
In 2010, Thomas’s unbounded energy, ingenuity, and belief in connecting women led her to start yet another multi-media venture - MarloThomas.com

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