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Behind the Scenes: The Friendship Doctor meets Marlo Thomas

Published: May 18, 2013 | Last Updated: December 2, 2023 By | 15 Replies Continue Reading
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Marlo Thomas as That Girl

Marlo Thomas as That Girl


One of the things I love about my life is that I never know what will pop into my email in-box each morning. Earlier this week, one message stood out among the others.

The subject line read: From Marlo’s Producer…

I am Vicky, Marlo’s Producer, and we would love to have you on our show Mondays With Marlo. It’s a weekly video series and we shoot for 30 minutes at Marlo’s apartment in NYC. 

The questions about friendship we will have for you are crowd-sourced from both our guest’s users/community & ours. We’ve been running the show weekly for close to three years and past guests include Dr. Oz, Suze Orman, Jon Hamm, Dr. Laura Berman and 70+ others.

Would you have availability this Friday at 12:30 pm?

Friendship, Marlo Thomas, and Jon Hamm sounded like a wonderful mix. Vicky didn’t have to do much coaxing. (I subsequently learned that Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa, Jane Fonda and Brook Shields had also sat down with Marlo.)

I had grown up with and admired Marlo Thomas, who starred on That Girl, a popular sitcom that aired in the late ‘60s. For those of you who weren’t around—she played the title role of a young ingénue who had moved to New York to pursue her dream of being an actress. During those years, it was far less common for women to live independently and to travel to follow their dreams. So it inspired many young viewers like me.

Over the next four decades, Marlo went on to become an award-winning actress, producer, and social activist—as well as the author of seven bestsellers, including the groundbreaking children’s book series, Free to be…You and Me.

Marlo is also is the public face behind St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was started by her late father, comedian Danny Thomas, to help children and families facing catastrophic illnesses. (I also enjoyed watching her father on Make Room for Daddy in the earlier days of television). Marlo is married to Phil Donahue, also a producer and writer, as well as a respected talk show host.

The pictures tell much of the story of what happened behind the scenes. I got to meet Marlo; visit her lovely apartment on the twentieth floor overlooking the treetops in Central Park, and to meet the incredible crew that help her produce Mondays with Marlo. 

After we chatted, Marlo read dozens of thoughtful questions from her legion of followers that I tried to respond to as thoughtfully as possible. The video segment will air in June and I will let you know when. No sighting of Jon Hamm or the rest of the bunch. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the pictures that my husband Jerry took that captured the afternoon. By the way, I found Marlo Thomas as inspiring as ever.

















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Comments (15)

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  1. Jane Boursaw says:

    Cool beans! I loved The Girl – used to race home from school every day to watch it on our little black and white TV. What a thrill it must have been to meet her.

  2. ChristineGL says:

    What fun photos of what seems like such a fun day! I can’t wait to see this.

  3. Kerry Dexter says:

    I’m so glad they asked you to be a guest, Irene — I’ve always respected Marlo Thomas for her insight and her sense of humor, and I am sure your thoughtful comments will help the viewers of this show. thanks for this look behind the scenes.

  4. Sheryl says:

    What a thrill it must have been to meet that girl!! Can’t wait to see the segment.

  5. ruth pennebaker says:

    You look great, Irene. What a fun experience this must have been.

  6. Alexandra says:

    This is so cool. Cannot wait to see the show. I admire Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue for their anti-nuclear work. Were you aware of that? I don’t think they broadcast it, but I have a New Jersey friend who works in advocacy and told me about her collaboration with them.

    • Friendship Doc says:

      I know they are also heavily involved in peace activities. They are a pretty incredible couple~

  7. Cherie Burbach says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait to see the video. Thank goodness your hubby was there to take a few photos, too. What a thrill! Good for you!!

    • Friendship Doc says:

      Thanks, Cherie! A shout-out to Cherie who is the About.com guide for friendship. She does a great job!

  8. Good for you, Irene! I was on “The Phil Donohue Show” back in the day, but I never met Marlo. I’ll bet you were wonderful, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  9. jacqueline says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can`t wait to see this!

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