Marlo Thomas

Actress, author and social activist universally known for work at St. Jude's Childrens Hospital and as "That Girl"

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Marlo Thomas Speaker Biography

As an actress, producer, author and social activist, Marlo Thomas continues to create meaningful and successful projects within all areas of the entertainment community. Throughout her career Thomas has been honored with four Emmys, nine Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe, the George Foster Peabody Award, the Helen Caldicott Award for Nuclear Disarmament, the Thomas Paine Award from the ACLU, the American Women in Radio and Television satellite Award. Most recently, Ms. Thomas was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Marlo Thomas began her career performing in regional theaters around the country when Mike Nichols cast her as the lead in the London production of Neil Simon’s "Barefoot in the Park". She then went on to star in and produce the long-running hit television series, "That Girl", the first series on television to portray an independent single woman living alone.

On Broadway, she has appeared in Herb Gardner’s "Thieves", Andrew Bergman’s "Social Security", directed by Mike Nichols and The Circle in The Square’s revival of "The Shadow Box". Among her many theatre credits, she has starred in "The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds", "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", the National Tour of "Six Degrees of Separation", Alan Ayckbourn’s "Woman in Mind", Eve Ensler’s "The Vagina Monologues" with Rita Moreno and Cynthia Nixon, "The Guys" with Stephen Lang and "The Exonerated" with Richard Dreyfuss and Gabriel Byrne.

Ms. Thomas’ television films include CBS’ "Two Against Time", the holiday perennial "It Happened One Christmas" with Orson Welles, "The Lost Honor of Kathryn Beck" with Kris Kristofferson, "Consenting Adult" with Martin Sheen; "Nobody’s Child", (which brought Ms. Thomas her fourth Emmy, as Best Dramatic Actress), "Ultimate Betrayal", "Reunion", "Acts Of Love And Other Comedies", "Love, Sex, & Marriage" and "Our Heroes Ourselves". Ms. Thomas guest starred on the hit show "Friends" as Jennifer Aniston’s mother for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award. It was Ms. Thomas’ first appearance on a situation comedy since her ground breaking days on "That Girl". Her feature film credits include: "The Real Blonde", "Deuce", "In the Spirit", "Thieves" and "Jenny". She created, produced and co-hosted the ground-breaking television specials "Free To Be…You and Me" which received the Emmy, Peabody, Christopher and Maxi Awards and became a best-selling children’s book as well as a Gold Record and "Free To Be…A Family", which also won an Emmy Award and became a best-selling book and record. The 25th anniversary edition of the two books has become a national best-seller. The proceeds from all the Free to Be projects go to the Ms. Foundation for Women and Children. Ms. Thomas’ current book, "The Right Words at the Right Time," was published in May 2002. Within its first week of release, the book landed on the New York Times Best Seller List, making this Ms. Thomas’ third book to appear on the list. The proceeds from this book go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Ms. Thomas is a founding director of the Ms. Foundation for Women, a member of the board of the National Women’s Political Caucus, The Creative Coalition and the Museum of Television and Radio. Further, she has been recognized by the NAACP’s Pathway to Excellence Award, William Moses Kunstler’s Racial Justice Award, and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Rebekah Kohut Award.

With her family, Ms. Thomas carries on her father Danny Thomas’ life’s work for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the institution he founded, which specializes in catastrophic diseases in children and spearheaded the conquest for childhood leukemia. Ms. Thomas is a member of The Actors’ Studio and lives in New York with her husband, Phil Donahue.

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