Marlo Thomas turns 85! Star who never wanted to marry raised 5 stepchildren with husband Phil Donahue

Marlo had planned never to get married, and like her character in 'That Girl,' she was focused on her career and not a husband

Marlo Thomas turns 85! Star who never wanted to marry raised 5 stepchildren with husband Phil Donahue
Marlo Thomas has been married to Phil Donahue for 42 years (Noam Galai/Getty Images and @marlothomas/Instagram)
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It’s a Marlo Thomas day as the veteran actress turned 85 on November 21. As per reports, the social activist has decided to have fun and celebrations with her husband of over four decades, Phil Donahue, with whom she tied the knot in 1980. It has been said that Thomas never wanted to marry but Donahue changed her mind after they met each other for the first time on his talk show, ‘The Phil Donahue Show,’ in 1977.

The ‘That Girl’ star was 40 when she exchanged the vows with Donahue, who was at the time a single parent to five children. Once the 86-year-old media personality had said about Thomas, “She’s the most well-balanced celebrity—I mean person—I’ve ever met.”

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Even after being married for many years, in 2013, Thomas reportedly said, “I never wanted to be married. To this day I'm not sure I believe in marriage. I believe in my marriage, but I don't believe in marriage as an institution. I'm not sure it isn't rigged against the woman.” She also revealed her doubt when she was marrying Donahue as she shared, “It was a very big thing for me to see that marriage could be a roomy enough place for my dream and his dream. I had to meet the right kind of man, and the world had to change a lot and I had to change a lot.”

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But despite all confusions and concerns regarding marriage, Thomas and Donahue are two people who are happily married together for years. For the actress, “being away from Phil is ‘awful’ and feels that a union of ‘two whole people, not one and a half’ might work,” PEOPLE reported. Not just Donahue, Thomas had also claimed to adore his children. She had once said, “I really like his kids. It’s a real treat to be around them.”

A few years back, the very-much love in couple also wrote a book, named ‘What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life,’ after interviewing several celebrity pairs. In 2020, they said as reported by PEOPLE, “We started to wonder if there really is a secret sauce to a successful marriage. And that’s when we decided to break an ironclad rule of our marriage – for the first time, ever – and decided to work on a project together. As different as these couples’ stories are, they share a common plotline: that of two people joining hands and stepping up to the most challenging, invigorating, inspiring, infuriating, thrilling, terrifying, delightful and heavenly job on earth — making a marriage last.”

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At the time, Thomas had also added, “Through the years you learn that everything is not that big a deal, and this isn’t going to break us up no matter what, so you get used to saying, Ok, let’s just talk it out. What makes a marriage last is what you do when you’re confronted with the really big stuff.”

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