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Poster: Mr. Television  (see this users gallery)

That Girl aired from September 1966 until September 1971 on ABC.

Danny Thomas' daughter Marlo started a trend in TV comedies with this hit series. That Girl was the first in a wave of "independent woman" series, which included The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Doris Day Show and Rhoda.

Marlo played Ann Marie, a high-spirited young actress who had left the comfort of her parents home in Brewster, New York, to start a career in the big city. Her acting parts usually consisted of roles in TV commercials and bit parts in plays, so she supported herself with odd jobs in offices and department stores. New York City did bring one big break for her. On the first telecast, she met junior executive for Newsview magazine, Don Hollinger ( Ted Bessell), who became her first romance. They finally became engaged on a September, 1970 episode, but Don never did get to marry "that girl"-although he got as far as a stag party before the 1970-1971 season ended.

Others in Ann's world at various times were her parents Lou a restaurant owner and Helen, ( Lew Parker , Rosemary DeCamp); her neighbors ,the Bessemers ,Judy and Leon (Bonnie Scott, Dabney Coleman ) ; her friends, the Baumans, Jerry ( Bernie Kopell) and his wife Ruth ( Carolyn Daniels and later Alice Bordon); Marcy ( Reva Rose), her married friend ; Margie ( Ruth Buzzi) , another friend; her acting coach Jules Benedict ( Billy DeWolfe)and her agents, Harvey and George( Ronnie Schell, George Carlin). Don and Mildred ( Frank Faylen, Mabel Albetson) were Don's occasionally seen parents. Danny Thomas even made a few cameo appearances in the series in various roles.

That Girl was created by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff, who had both previously written for The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Here is Ted Bessell's Obituary from The New York Times

Ted Bessel, 57, Dies; Pursued 'That Girl' In Television Sitcom

Published: October 9, 1996

Ted Bessell, the actor who starred with Marlo Thomas in the television comedy series ''That Girl'' and was a director of the ''Tracey Ullman Show,'' died on Sunday at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. He was 57.

The cause was an aortic aneurysm, his family doctor said.

Mr. Bessell's acting career spanned three decades, with appearances in at least 30 television productions including ''Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,'' ''Breaking Up is Hard to Do'' and ''Don't Drink the Water.'' Perhaps his best-known role was as Donald Hollinger, the steady but suffering boyfriend of Ms. Thomas's character in ''That Girl,'' from 1966 to 1971.

''To this day when I'm walking in the street, people stop and ask me, 'How is Donald?' '' Ms. Thomas said today.

Ms. Thomas said Mr. Bessell was discussing a feature film remake of the series in which the two main characters, now 25 years older, would meet again and fall in love. ''That Girl,'' set in New York City, was one of the first on television to focus on the life of a single woman.

Mr. Bessell played another boyfriend role in 1975, as Joe Warner, love interest of Mary on ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show.''

More recently he worked almost exclusively behind the camera, most notably with the ''Tracey Ullman Show,'' (1987-90) which won an Emmy Award for best comedy variety series while he was a director.

His current project was directing a feature-film remake of the 1960's television series ''Bewitched'' with Penny Marshall's production company, Parkway Productions.

Mr. Bessell was born in 1939 in New York City and attended Georgetown University and the University of Colorado. After returning to New York, he worked at the Neighborhood Playhouse and later appeared in the Broadway production of ''Same Time Next Year.''

He is survived by his wife, Linnell, and two daughters, Sarah and Mary, all of Los Angeles; his mother, Jo, and a brother, Frank.

To watch clips from that Girl go to

For more on That Girl go to

For a website dedicated to that Girl go to

To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to

For some That Girl-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to

For two great reviews of That Girl go to and

To watch the opening credits from the last season go to
Date: Wed March 30, 2016 � Filesize: 38.7kb, 307.2kbDimensions: 1335 x 1600 �
Keywords: Marlo Thomas & Ted Bessell (Links Updated 5/28/2017)


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