8″ x 10″ Signed in 1996 through the mail
Actress, born Margaret Thomas on November 21, 1938, in Deerfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. One of three children of entertainer Danny Thomas and his wife Rosie. She has a brother, Tony, and a sister, Terre. The children were all raised in Hollywood.
An ebullient, perky brunette, Thomas was best known for her starring role in the TV sitcom That Girl (1966-1971), in which she played an aspiring actress and model, Ann Marie, a woman learning to make it on her own in New York City with a little help from her red-haired boyfriend, Donald Hollinger (Ted Bessell), and her father, Lou Marie (Lew Parker).
Thomas began her acting career after graduating college and a short stint as a teacher. She made appearances on early 1960s TV shows such as The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Thriller, Zane Grey Theater, The Joey Bishop Show, Bonanza, McHale’s Navy, The Donna Reed Show, and Ben Casey.
After That Girl ended in 1971, Thomas produced and starred in the children’s TV special Free to Be…You and Me (1974), for which she won an Emmy Award. She won a Best Actress Emmy Award in 1986 for another special, Nobody’s Child. In 1974 she made her Broadway debut in the Herb Gardner play Thieves, and appeared in the film version in 1977. She also appeared in Mike Nichols’s 1986 production of Social Security, with Ron Silver. She occasionally appears as a guest star on the TV sitcom Friends.
Thomas married talk show host Phil Donahue in 1980. She is active in charity work for her late father’s favorite cause, the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which he founded.