Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Marlo Thomas Marks 35th Anniversary of Her Popular Book

By Larry Untermeyer

On the 35th anniversary of her popular and influential book, “Free To Be…You and Me,” Westporter Marlo Thomas today spoke to a large and enthusiastic audience of children and adults at the Westport Public Library.WestportNow.com Image
Thirty five years after publication of “Free To Be You and Me,“Westport actress and author Marlo Thomas today told a Westport Library audience how her popular book had won wide acclaim. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Thomas discussed how the book came to be written to answer a need for a book with liberating ideas not available when she was a child, a book that said it was all right for boys to cry, and for girls to aspire to hitherto “unacceptable” occupations. 

She proudly recounted a conversation with Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg, an unexpected fan of the book.

Thomas’s rapport with the audience was especially evident during the Q and A session at the end of her presentation when many delighted youngsters, both boys and girls, joined her on stage to sing their favorite songs from her album.

WestportNow.com Image
A youngster joins Marlo Thomas in song today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
As a finale to the impromptu renditions, Jill Jaysen of Center Stage Theatre Company in Westport surprised Thomas by bringing 17 children to the stage to sing to her.

They also presented her with a sizable check for money they had raised themselves for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Thomas is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude in Memphis, Tenn., which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas, in 1962.

Thomas was both surprised and visibly moved by the children’s presentation. 

Following the talk, a long line of fans waited patiently to meet her and to have her autograph their copies of her book, both newly purchased and treasured original editions.

One thought on “Marlo Thomas Marks 35th Anniversary of Her Popular Book

  1. Marlo Thomas (her husband Phil Donohue was there too) was very touching and interesting and it was a great day to celebrate Free to Be You and Me after 35 years.  A full house of at least 200 people came, and even with a two-hour wait for book signing, everyone was in good spirits.  The programs our Library has are so fabulous!

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