Margaret Julia ?Marlo? Thomas is an American actress, producer, and social activist known for her starring role on the TV series That Girl. She also serves as National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Thomas was born in Detroit, Michigan, the eldest child and elder daughter of Lebanese-American comedian Danny Thomas and his wife, the former Rose Marie Cassaniti. Her brother, Tony Thomas, is a television and film producer, and her sister, Terre Thomas, is a former actress.
Marlo Thomas was raised in Beverly Hills, California. Her parents called her Margo as a child, though she soon became known as Marlo, she told The New York Times, because of her childhood mispronunciation of the nickname. She attended Marymount High School in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a teaching degree?"I wanted a piece of paper that said I was qualified to do something," she said?and was a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta.
Thomas began appearing as a regular on The Joey Bishop Show. She followed the series with guest shots on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Ben Casey, My Favorite Martian, and Bonanza, but it was not until 1966 that she hit her professional stride as aspiring New York actress Ann Marie on the ABC sitcom That Girl. The series ran until 1971, garnering her a Golden Globe Award and four Emmy nominations.