1 9 6 6 – 1 9 7 1 (USA)
136 x 30 minute episodes
Marlo Thomas (the very beautiful wife of Phil Donahue and daughter of well-known comedian Danny Thomas), starred as Ann Marie (“Marie” is her surname), an aspiring actress who moves from her parents’ comfortable suburban home in the small town of Brewster, NY to the big smoke of New York City to try and make it.
High-spirited Ann – a “new independent woman” – moves into Apartment 4D at 344 West 78th Street and finds a boyfriend in Don Hollinger, an agent in George Lester and a drama coach in Jules Benedict.
While she waits impatiently for the world to discover her talent, she takes odd jobs (selling shoes & perfume and working at Macys and as a waitress), copes with parents who don’t understand her and rushes from one audition to the next while having the time of her life.
Most of the acting assignments she receives are truly ridiculous (eg: dressing up as a chicken to sell ‘Chicken Big’) and include a scenario where she opens her eyes while playing a corpse on a live TV show.
The character of Ann Marie was arguably the first true feminist on TV, single and independent. But while she is an adamant supporter and defender of women’s rights, she still expects men to behave like gentlemen in her presence.
Her boyfriend (later her fiancé) Don – a reporter for Newsview magazine – is constantly exasperated by the chaos and confusion which seems to follow Ann around.
Other characters who appeared in the show regularly were Ann’s mother and father, Lou and Helen Marie, Ann’s neighbours, Judy and Dr Leon Bessemer, Marcy, Donald’s parents Bert and Mildred Hollinger, Ann’s friends Marcy and Ruth and Jerry Bauman, and Seymour and Margie Schwimmer.
In recent times, Marlo Thomas featured as Rachel’s mother, Sandra Greene, in Friends
Billy De Wolfe
Dr Leon Bessimer
Rosemary De Camp
Carolyn Daniels (1)
Alice Borden (2)