September 8, 2020
Marlo Thomas, 82, Thrills Fans As She Celebrates 54th Anniversary Of Her Groundbreaking Sitcom 'That Girl'

Marlo Thomas is celebrating the 54th anniversary of her iconic 1960s sitcom, That Girl.

On her Instagram page, the beloved TV star, 82, shared a throwback from the opening sequence to the comedy series that aired on ABC for five seasons, from 1966 to 1971. The still pic featured the then-28-year-old actress wide-eyed and smiling as she rocked her signature flipped hairstyle. The memorable series logo that popped up in the show's opening scenes also appeared in the pic.

In the caption to the post, Thomas shared with her 48,000 followers that That Girl premiered on September 8, 1966. The celebratory post received more than 5,300 likes. In the comments section, fans and famous friends recalled the groundbreaking sitcom about a single, independent young woman that aired more than five decades ago.

One of the comments was from another 1960s/'70s TV star, Brady Bunch alum Maureen McCormick.

"One of my favorite shows!! Happy Anniversary Marlo!! And thank you for so many years of joy," McCormick wrote.

Actress Pamela Adlon also wished Thomas a happy anniversary, while comedian Ali Wentworth called the post "Epic."

Other fans recalled Thomas' character, Ann Marie, and her fashionable wardrobe and hairstyle. The leading lady was so popular that items such as paper dolls featuring her image and "groovy" fashions were marketed to younger viewers.

"I saw every one. You were my hair and style guru," one fan recalled of the sitcom's 136 episodes.

And others remarked on the impact that the series had on young women at the time.

"I was 11 yo and watched enthusiastically. Are you aware of your impact as a role model to girls?? The character of a young woman with a job and her own apartment. Showing girls other opportunities rather than getting married right out of high school...that show opened my eyes," one fan revealed.

ABC was initially cautious about That Girl, according to Emmys.com. At the time, independent women weren't considered TV material and viewers preferred to see female characters with families.

Thomas wrote about the network's hesitation in her 2010 memoir, Growing Up Laughing, where she noted that the night That Girl premiered in September 1966 it was an instant hit and won its time slot in the ratings.

The actress added that what happened was that this character who seemed like a "revolutionary" figure to the men in suits who did the research turned out to not be a revolutionary figure at all.

"There were millions of 'That Girls' in homes across America," Thomas wrote. "We were not our mother's daughters. We were a whole different breed."

That Girl paved the way for other shows about independent single women, including The Mary Tyler More Show, which debuted on CBS in 1970.