Full Name: Margaret Julia Thomas
Marital Status: Phil Donahue (1980- present)
Occupation: Actress, Writer, Producer and Social Activist
Children: Five Adopted Children
The great American Producer, Actress and social activist, Margaret Julia Thomas’ net worth is $35 million. She is widely known for her role in a popular sitcom That Girl which was featured in 1966-1971. She also starred in an award winning children’s franchise Free to Be You and Me. Marlo has received a Globe, four Emmys and the George Foster Peabody Award.
Among the numerous awards include a Grammy that she received for the children’s album Thanks & Giving All Year Long. She is also one of the few people who have received Presidential Medal of Freedom. In November 2014, the iconic actress received the prestigious award from President Barak Obama.
Born on the 21st of November 1937 in Detroit, Marlo was the eldest child of Danny Thomas, a comedian, and Rose Marie Cassaniti. She has two siblings, a sister named Terre and a brother, Tony Thomas. Her father is a Lebanese American while mother is Sicilian American.
Even though she was born in Detroit, Michigan, Marlo grew up in Beverly Hills, California. As a child, her parents fondly referred to her as Margo, but she could not pronounce the name well, hence Marlo. Marlo went to Marymount High School in Los Angeles before graduating with a degree in teaching from University of Southern California. Although she is a trained teacher, she actually never used her training in class, though writing children’s books proves she has students at heart.
Thomas’ big break in acting came about in 1965 when she appeared in a London production namely, Barefoot in the Park. The movie was acted alongside Kurt Kasner, Mildred Natwick and Daniel Massey. In the same year, Marlo was again in Two’s Company, an ABC pilot project. It failed to sell well even though it caught the eyes of a programming executive from ABC. He met Thomas who wanted to have a cast in a series chosen by her. Thomas came up with her idea of this. It was to feature her as a young woman who goes to New York with the aim of becoming an actress. At first, the network was a little hesitant, fearing that a series that features a single lady would be unrealistic. Thomas worked tirelessly on this project to be a success until it was finally put into production.
Marlo played the part of Ann Marie in That Girl. Ted Bessell acted as her boyfriend. This play made her a popular actress as she brought out the part of Ann out candidly. It was the first episode depicting a young woman living alone in the town without the guidance of her parents. Thomas also made history as the second woman to have her own series after Lucille Ball. That Girl had a total of 136 episodes.
When she decided to have its finale, its sponsor, Clairol, wanted it to end in a wedding but she insisted that young women were not supposed to believe that the best endings was always a wedding.
Thomas has acted in other movies as well. These include Jenny, In The Spirit, Starstruck, Falling Down, The Real Blonde, Playing Mona Lisa, It Happened One Christmas and many more.
Thomas is a writer too. She has plenty of books to her name. These include Free to be A Family, Free to be You and Me, The Right Words at The Right Time and Your Turn, Thanks Giving All Year Long. The royalties received from her writing in the 2004 book was donated to a hospital, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital in Memphis. She serves at the hospital board as the director. The hospital was the brain child of Danny Thomas, her late father.
It was reported in 2006 that Marlo Thomas together with her husband Donohue sold their Long Island Sound estate at an approximate amount of $30 million. The estate that was situated at Westport Connecticut, was just one among a number of assets owned by the couple.
A Famous Quote from the Actress
There are two kinds of people in the world; givers and takers. While the takers eat well, the givers definitely sleep well.