Favorite TV Moms - Happy Mother's Day!
This is just a silly little list I made in honor of Mother's Day. Even a Daddy's Girl still loves her Mom! I would like to dedicate this to my Mama -- the most understanding, caring, compassionate, intelligent, wise, funny, and loving mother any girl could ever ask for. Thank you for giving me the gift of life, the gift of love (TWICE!) and the gift of my own television when I was thirteen! And most of all, thank you for being my friend (even when I do not deserve your friendship). XOXO!!!
I love The Dick Van Dyke Show and guess most of my favorite shows are older. Mary Tyler Moore played Laura, the wife of Rob Petrie (played by Dick Van Dyke) and mother of Richie (played by Larry Matthews). I never understood why everyone thinks June Cleaver is the definitive TV mom when Laura Petrie was so much cooler -- former dancer, married to a show business man, looked hot in capri pants -- not to mention a better supporting cast -- Carl Reiner, Rose Marie, Morie Amsterdam. My favorite TV mom!
Jane Jetson may not be a flesh-and-blood mom, but she was always there for me when I was a kid. My mom loved The Jetsons and The Flintstones so I became very familiar with both these cartoons. But Jane was always my favorite. Elroy and Judy were such good kids because they had such a great mom. I would like to give George more credit, but I think he worked a little too much even if he did spend a lot of time at the office sleeping!
I didn't do any actual research on this, but I will go out on a limb and say Carol Brady is one of the most popular TV moms of all time. Florence Henderson brought a "mother next door" aura to the character while at the same time updating the TV mom for the color TV age. She was hip yet always grounded, cool but level headed, modern though rooted in tradition. In short, she was everything a kid dreamed of in a mom in the early 1970's. Three boys and three girls yet there was always enough mom to go around!
I have only seen some of the Dallas episodes but hope to someday get the complete DVD set. Mainly, I want it because of Miss Ellie Ewing, portrayed by the wonderful Barbara Bel Geddes. Miss Ellie kept her boys in line even after losing her husband. Well, as much in line as you can keep a man like J.R. Ewing (played by Larry Hagman). She eventually had to get away though to hopefully enjoy the later years of her life away from the drama of Southfork Ranch.
Recent divorcee Ann Romano (portrayed by Bonnie Franklin) moves into an Indianapolis apartment with her two teenage daughters, Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli) and Julie (Mackenzie Phillips). As Ann adjusts to being a single mom, her kids must adjust to life without their father being around on a day-to-day basis. Ann steps up to give her girls extra attention and as much support as she can while juggling a new career and the occasional date with a boyfriend. One of the best mom-as-a-friend TV moms.
Maybe Peg Bundy (Katie Sagal) was not the best mother in all of TV land. Her daughter was a bit promiscuous and her son was well on his way to becoming a womanizer and a schemer. She had a fairly dysfunctional relationship with her husband and her morality was flexible to say the least. But deep down, you always knew Peg loved her kids and would do anything to protect them. And isn't that what a mom is all about when you get right down to it? Plus she was always hilarious and that counts for a lot with a TV mom.
Fonzie (played by Henry Winkler) knew a good mom when he met one and basically became the Cunningham's fourth child. If you think there were only two kids, you are probably forgetting the oldest son, Chuck. Mrs. C (Marion Ross), as the Fonz called her, was the stereotypical 1950's mother, keeping house and usually yielding to her husband's will, but occasionally steering the family clear of one trauma or another and always there for her kids. Marion Cunningham may not have been much of a women's libber, but she definitely was a strong role model and perfect mom.
It might be hard for some people to defend a mother who sells pot but then you have to understand Nancy (played by Mary-Louise Parker) is just doing what it takes to keep her family afloat after losing her husband. Sure, she could have moved to a cheap apartment in Indianapolis but even then things would have been tougher than they were for Ann Romano. Nancy was widowed, not divorced. She had no child support coming in and no one to help her get by. And like any good mom, she just did what she had to do.
Dan and Roseanne Conner (John Goodman and Roseanne Barr) were the kind of parents most kids have. Sometimes they got things right but more often than not they were muddling there way through just trying to keep their kids as well as each other from going off the deep end. They definitely were not the Cleavers and D.J. was no Beaver, but they did the best they could and when the chips were down those kids could always count on their mom to be on their side.
One last show I loved watching reruns of was Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens. She was a witch married to a mortal named Darrin Stephens (played by Dick Sargent and later by Dick York). Together they had two kids. Adam, their son, took after his mortal father and had no magical powers. Their daughter, Tabitha, inherited her mom's special talents. But of course, Samantha being a great mom, loved them both equally and saw them each as a special individual!
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