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Marlo Thomas


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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 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.

More From Marlo

Gloria's Gifts
Thomas reflects on her friendship with Gloria Steinem and what really cemented their bond.

Getting in on the Ground Floor
Thomas's advice for young people just embarking on careers and trying to get their foot in the door.

Supporting Your Partner
Thomas advises supporting the hopes and dreams of your partner as you would your kids.

Flexibility at Work & Home
Both men and women need workplaces and homes that allow for a constantly shifting balance.

Breaking from Dad's Shadow
The advice Marlo's father, Danny Thomas, gave her when she was frustrated about always being in his famous shadow.

Amending the Constitution
Thomas discusses the dramatic need for the Equal Rights Amendment and why it was defeated.

Mothers of the Movement
Thomas's reflects on why Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug were treated more harshly than she and Gloria Steinem.

A Woman of My Time
1963's The Feminine Mystique and the work of Erica Jong and Gloria Steinem helped Thomas realize she wasn't alone.

The Big Words
Thomas shares the most important element in her long-lasting marriage  to husband Phil Donahue.

Left-Turn Marriage
On being against marrying and her now-long-lasting marriage to Phil Donahue.

Take Our Daughters to Work
Thomas explains how the Ms. Foundation, inspired by the work of Carol Gilligan, created Take Our Daughters to Work Day.

Justice Ginsburg's "Free to Be" Review
The best endorsement for "Free to Be… You and Me" came from Ruth Bader Ginsburg.