10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Favorite TV Moms
Just like real moms, TV moms are more than just moms — especially in real life. Here are a few fun facts about the women you grew up watching.
Phylicia Rashād Was Married to a Disco Legend
Prior to playing Clair Huxtable on ‘The Cosby Show,’ Phylicia Rashād was a munchkin on Broadway in ‘The Wiz,’ where she met her second husband, Victor Willis. While you might not recognize the name, you know his songs — Willis was the original lead singer of the Village People and also co-wrote disco classics like ‘Macho Man,’ ‘Y.M.C.A’ and ‘In the Navy.’ He also co-wrote a disco concept album about Josephine Baker called ‘Josephine Superstar’ for Rashād.
Katey Sagal Sang Backup for Bob Dylan
The ageless Katey Sagal (‘Married…with Children,’ ‘Futurama’) can currently be seen manipulating bikers as tough mom Gemma on ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ But before playing Peg Bundy, Sagal started out in entertainment as a backup singer for legendary artists like Bob Dylan, Bette Midler and Gene Simmons. In 1990, she sang the lead vocals for the theme song to the Gene Hackman/Dan Aykroyd buddy-cop movie ‘Loose Cannons.’
Joanna Kerns Was Almost an Olympic Gymnast
Joanna Kerns is best known as the lovable ‘80s TV mom Maggie Seaver from ‘Growing Pains.’ But before competing for screen time with Kirk Cameron’s boyish grin, she was a competitive athlete.
Following in the footsteps of her sister Donna Da Varona (who won two Olympic gold medals in swimming in the 1964 Games), Joanna made it to the 1968 US Olympic trials in gymnastics.
Mary Tyler Moore Was Once a Dancing Elf
It takes a lot of dexterity to catch Dick Van Dyke after he awkwardly trips over an ottoman, or to avoid getting spit on by a shouting Ed Asner on the set of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ which is why it shouldn’t be surprising that Mary Tyler Moore started out as a dancer. (It also explains why she looked good enough in those Capri pants to get a teenage Rob Reiner to pinch her behind on the set of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’)
Before starring on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ Moore was cast as Happy Hotpoint, an elf who danced on Hotpoint appliances in commercials that aired during ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.’ Mary’s stint as a dancing elf ended when her pregnancy could no longer be concealed in her elf costume.
Elizabeth Montgomery Worked With O.J. Simpson
Elizabeth Montgomery will always be remembered for portraying Samantha Stephens in the late ‘60s sitcom ‘Bewitched.’ Samantha could take care of Darren One and Two, raise Tabitha, deal with a domineering mother and find the time to come up with snappy ad campaigns, all with the twitch of a nose.
After the series ended, Montgomery wanted a break from playing America’s favorite good witch. She went on to act in more serious dramatic TV movie roles over the following years, including portraying a police detective who had an affair with her partner. The partner was played by O.J. Simpson and the movie was, in hindsight, eerily titled ‘A Killing Affair. ‘
Roseanne Barr Had Two Cartoons
There’s not much that we don’t know about comedian Roseanne Barr. The star of the groundbreaking working class family sitcom ‘Roseanne’ and current Hawaiian nut farmer has been controversial ever since she began a tumultuous marriage to Tom Arnold in 1990. She once famously sang the National Anthem and even ran for president in 2012, representing the Peace and Green Party.
Her presidential bid will probably become a forgotten footnote in political history much like her short-lived cartoon, ‘Little Rosey,’ has been in pop culture. (It lasted one year before being cancelled by ABC.)
‘Little Rosey’ chronicled the adventures of 8-year-old Rosie, her family and her friend Buddy. A one-off animated special called ‘The Rosey and Buddy Show’ aired two years later as a primetime special and gave Tom and Roseanne a chance to animate their adult personalities, but it didn’t answer any unanswered questions left behind by the cancellation of ‘Little Rosey.’
Lauren Graham Wore a Dog Costume for Money
When she first moved to New York City to start her acting career, Lauren Graham was, like many actors trying to make it, paying her dues and bills with day jobs. One of her early gigs literally required her to beg for attention.
Graham made publicity appearances in a dog costume as Striker, the US-based 1994 FIFA World Cup mascot. It’s not often an actress gets a job where her friends can encourage her to go out there and “lift a leg.”
Jami Gertz Was Almost a ‘Friend’
After capturing the attention of teenage boys in ‘80s film classics like ‘Less Than Zero’ and ‘The Lost Boys,’ Jami Gertz took a break from acting in her twenties and worked as a scent designer in Paris for the fashion house Lanvin.
However, her nose for roles might not have been as strong as her nose for tantalizing scents — she turned down the role of Monica in ‘Friends,’ which eventually went to Courteney Cox. While she went on to mom roles in ‘Still Standing’ and ‘The Neighbors,’ we never got to see how she’d mesh with the rest of the ‘Friends.’
Florence Henderson Got Crabs From a Mayor
Florence Henderson became an iconic TV personality as the wholesome mom to the six Brady kids. But she wasn’t always so wholesome — Henderson claimed to have had an affair with then NY Mayor John Lindsay, whom she claims gave her crabs.
Florence Henderson having an affair with the sitting mayor of NY most likely trumps any shocking thing Roseanne Barr did with Tom Arnold.
Shirley Jones Had Wild Sexcapades While Filming ‘The Patridge Family’
At 79, Shirley Jones is still apparently “jonesing” for some lovin’, according to her new autobiography, ‘Shirley Jones: A Memoir.’
Jones her husband Jack Cassidy couldn’t keep their hands off each other on set, and would run off for frequent trysts. The actress, who shared her bed with Nick Swardson in the 2006 film ‘Grandma’s Boy,’ has clearly not let her age prevent her from “getting happy” when the mood arises.