Marlo Thomas

The Honor of a Legendary Father

Marlo's father, Danny, was renowned for being a comedian who laughed at everyone he interacted with. In a memoir called Growing Up Laughing, released in September 2010, Marlo wrote about how she was raised by such a great and funny man. The book included interviews with comedy icons such as Tina Fey, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, and Ben Stiller, who were more than happy to share their stories about Marlo's father.

Related Biography: Dennis Haysbert

In Memphis, her father was highly respected, so much so that they even made a statue of him at St. Jude's Children's Hospital. In an interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine, Marlo was asked about how she felt about the figure. She said, "I was surprised that it touched me because my brother, sister, and I had worked on it for two years. We worked on what it was going to look like, and it's odd when you have a statue of your father. Every time we saw the drawings, we would say, 'Oh, that's not his nose. That's not his lips or hairline. That's not the length of his jacket.' But it does look pretty much like him. I mean, it's not exactly like him, but from a distance, it looks a lot like him."

The statue helps Marlo cope with her father no longer being alive. She thinks it is nice that his image will greet families going to the hospital, "I was very moved when I saw the statue because I see photos of my father now, but I don't see him standing anywhere, you know? That was quite touching. I think the idea that it will always be standing at the entrance to greet the families as they arrive is a nice thing."

Marlo was asked if she thought her father would approve of the statute if he were still alive, "I'm not sure how my father would feel about it. In his lifetime, he named the Danny Thomas Research Tower the Thomas Family Tower. He said, 'I don't need my name on it. My name's on enough places here.' He wanted to name it the Thomas Family Tower to honor our mother and all of us for all of the sacrifices we made during those years of traveling. So, of course, it was named that. Then after he was gone, my mother wanted it changed to be called the Danny Thomas Research Tower. She felt that she wanted him to be remembered, so she wanted his name there."

Social Causes

In 1972, Marlo released a children's book called "Free to Be You and Me," inspired by her young niece. She went on to create multiple recordings and television specials related to her book. She received a Grammy Award for her children's album, "Marlo Thomas and Friends: Thanks & Giving All Year Long."

Marlo served as a California delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1972. In 1973, she joined Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin as the founders of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the first women's fund in the United States. They created the organization to deliver funding and other resources to organizations promoting liberal female voices in communities nationwide.

Marlo Thomas serves as the Director of the National Outreach of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The hospital's founder was her father, Danny Thomas, and she created a campaign of "Thanks and Giving" in 2004 to support St. Jude's.

In 2014, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony; it is the highest honor a civilian can receive. Marlo was in tears as she accepted it, for she had accomplished so much in the field of acting. However, her social awards mean more to her, as she knows deep inside how proud it would have made her father.

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Quick Facts
Birth Date: 21 Nov, 1937
Age: 82 yrs
Citizenship: United States of America
Birth Place: Detroit
residence: Beverly Hills
Gender: Female
Description: American actress, producer, and social activist
Twitter Id: MarloThomas
Spouse: Phil Donahue [M. 1980]
Net Worth 2020: 150 million
Net Worth 2021: 150 million
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Last Modified: Dec 29 2023
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