I forgot how much I loved Marlo Thomas. I watched her back when she was “That Girl” and I could relate to her as the girl next door, wholesome, pretty, silly, coy, naïve…what’s not to love. The show aired from 1966 to 1971 and she played the quirky Ann Marie who was dating Donald. She developed the show about an up and coming actress and it wasn’t until recently that I learned she was the creator and executive producer of the series and very much in control of everything that went into making it.
Maro has done dozens of things after “That Girl” ended, including marrying talk show host, Phil Donahue. But, I think I respect her most for carrying on her father’s work with St. Jude’s Hospital, which he opened in 1962. I saw a video where Marlo talks of how her father made a pack with God. The family was going through some hard financial times and Danny Thomas had very little money and no prospects of finding work. He was down to his last seven dollars and he put it in the church collection plate, but worried because he would soon have hospital bills from the birth of his new baby. He said a prayer that he needed ten times what he put in the collection plate and the next morning was offered a job paying $75. Later in life, he prayed to St. Jude for guidance and direction and if he would answer his request, Danny Thomas promised to build a shrine to St. Jude. In less than a year his career gained momentum and he was making a lot of money. He never forgot his promise to St. Jude. He raised the fund necessary to build St, Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital which today is a world leader inn cancer research and treatment for children. No child is ever turned away.
But, the hospital must raise enormous funds each and every year to keep up it‘s work. When Danny Thomas was nearing the end of his days, he spoke to his children and told them that they did not have to continue his work with the hospital. It was his promise to St. Jude, not theirs. But, they decided they would continue their father’s work and Marlo has a very important role in that endeavor. The hospital website shows all the remarkable work they are able to do with the money that is raised. There is really no other hospital like it and children come from all over the world to be treated there.
Marlo Thomas also has her own website where she discusses woman’s issues, has resources there and things of interest to read and watch. I recommend checking it out, link below, and also liking her Facebook page.
Marlo Thomas has always been America’s sweetheart, and she still is.