A True Childhood Confession: I Always Wanted To Be "That Guy"


One of the pluses about staying indoors right now is that I'm watching some of the television shows I used to watch when I was a kid, and having such a good time.

One of those shows was, "That Girl."

True Confession:

When I was growing up in the late 60's, I was insanely fascinated with "That Girl." And not only was I fascinated with it, I actually wanted to be "That Girl." Errrrrrrr... I mean, "That Guy."

In case you've never heard of the show (which I'm sure many of you have not), here is a brief synopsis:
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Aspiring actress Ann Marie moves to New York and works at a series of temp jobs while waiting for her big break in show business, while her overprotective father, Lew, looks on nervously. Although she is focused on her career, Ann also finds time to fall for magazine executive Donald Hollinger, to whom she eventually becomes engaged. Her friends include two married couples, the Bessemers and the Baumans. Harvey and George are her agents.
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"That Girl" was a sitcom that was ahead of its time because it was about an independent single girl, who lived alone in New York City pursuing her dream of being an actress. Up until that point, most 1950's television shows depicted women as passive; either living at home with their parents and waiting to get married, or married and dependent on their husbands for pretty much everything. However, the 60's was a decade when females were starting to break away from being stereotyped into a specific role.

And Marlo Thomas (who portrayed Ann Marie) had a lot to do with that because she actually thought of the idea for the show and presented it to the producers. They were hesitant at first, but eventually decided to give it a go, which was a very smart move because the show ended up being a hit for five years. And to make the deal even sweeter, the company Clariol, was eager to be their sponsor.

Oh, you should have seen me back then, GLUED to the television set every Friday night on ABC...


Here is a screenshot of a TV Guide (remember TV Guides???) showing the time slot of  "That Girl" in its final season...



I think the big attraction for me was that the show took place in New York, which even back then as a little boy, I found myself drawn to that city. And another attraction was that Ann Marie's dream was to be a working actress, which is exactly what I wanted to do:

1) Live in New York City

And 2) be a working actor

Which ironically, I did.

As a kid, I used to get so excited seeing all the New York film locations during the opening theme song...


Ann had her eyes and goals set on BROADWAY...


Here are some photographs of the fashion in the 1960's.
Notice how BIG her hair was. That 60's flip and bang hairstyle became the iconic logo for the show...


I love this next photograph because it shows the traditional color scheme of most American kitchens at that time. Everything was either Hellmann's mustard yellow, harvest gold, or avocado green. Or a combination of all three...


And oh my god, look...a rotary PAYPHONE! Remember those? When I was a kid, payphones were 10 cents for a local call for the first three minutes. After three minutes, the operator would suddenly interrupt your call and asked that you deposit more money or you would be disconnected...


This is a photograph of Ann Marie's first apartment. She had two during the five-year run, however, I much preferred her second apartment. Here is a scene from the show in which she and her friends are playing Charades...


Ann's parents, Lew and Helen Marie (played by Lew Parker and Rosemarie DeCamp), brought so much comedy to the show...


This is Ann's boyfriend, Donald Hollinger (played by Ted Bessell), who I always thought was so damn cute! You see, only not did my true childhood confession include living in New York City and being a working actor, but it also included having Donald Hollinger as my boyfriend...


In the fifth season, Donald proposes to Ann and they get engaged, and that is how ABC concluded the final season. Marlo Thomas decided that she wanted the viewers to be left wondering if Ann and Donald ever got married. Personally, I think they did...


Here is the opening theme song to the TV show in 1970...


Yes, I admit it.
And laugh if you must.

I always wanted to be THAT GUY...


...and aren't I oh-so purrrrrty?

Have a super week y'all!
And stay well...💗

28 comments

  1. Ron, I can't thank you enough for sharing your funny stories because they have been keeping me very amused at this time. That picture of you is hysterical! Yes, I do remember seeing That Girl when I was a kid. And I just like you, I thought her boyfriend was so cute! Did you know that Ted Bessell directed several Tracey Ullman shows in the late 80's? I loved that show!

    It was fun watching that clip of the opening theme song. God, it's been ages since I've seen that!

    Thanks again for your humor, Ron-That Guy!
    x

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  2. Lol on your last picture! I remember the show, but I was too young to appreciate it and I get it (and Marlo) mixed up with The Flying Nun! Ok, don't laugh, but a few years ago (when Michelle Obama brought back bangs), I was rocking the Marlo Thomas flip! I think Mary Tyler Moore had a similar hairstyle during that era. I received a lot of compliments! I like yo change up my hairstyle every few years.

    Fun post, Ron! Glad you are finding ways to amuse yourself. XO

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  3. Ron, you and I must be around the same age (I'm 63) because I recall watching this show with my younger sister. My family had just gotten a colored television set, so we always got excited to watch our favorite shows in COLOR! Do you know who I really loved on That Girl? Ruth Buzz. She played one of Ann's friends and she was hysterical. That's when I first discovered her. I love the photographs you shared of the fashion in the 60's. Yes, her hairstyle was definitely her trademark. And her eyelashes. Have you ever seen such BIG false eyelashes in your life? And yes, the kitchen our home was all avocado green. My mother even bought an avocado green toaster!

    I think it's so wonderful that you were so attracted to this show and then ended up moving to New York and going into show business, just like That Girl! LOL

    And thank you for sharing the clip of the theme song. "Diamonds, daisies, snowflakes....that girl!" Question, where did you find the episodes of this show online?

    Have a great week, Ron. And thank you for the 1960's flashback. xo

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  4. Ron, I forgot to ask in my last comment, is that really a picture of you as kid sitting in front of the television that you edited? So cute!

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  5. Sadly, unlike the Staple Singers and the Three Degrees, Skip, Sonny and the Pace Brothers are a mere footnote in music history. Can't say I've ever heard of them! And I've never seen That Girl. Tsk, tsk...I know. Looking at the TV Guide, I probably would have been tuned in to The Partridge Family instead. I think I love you!

    I love seeing the old photos, like the rotary pay phone and the groovy yellow '60s kitchen. Feels like digging up a time capsule!

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  6. No Elaine, that's not a picture of me. I found that online and then edited the "That Girl" logo onto the TV screen. LOL! But I agree, isn't he so cute?

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  7. OMG Elaine....yessssssss!...I do, do, do remember Ruth Buzzi on the show. And I loved her too! I also remember her on Laugh-In, along with Goldie Hawn!!!!

    ". And her eyelashes. Have you ever seen such BIG false eyelashes in your life? "

    Funny you mentioned her BIG false eyelashes because several years ago I watched an interview with Marlo Thomas, in which she talked about the cloths and makeup she wore on "That Girl." She said that the makeup man used to apply TWO sets of false eyelashes on her top lashes, and sometimes would even apply tiny false eyelashes on her bottom lashes. Can you believe that??

    HA! Yes, my family's kitchen was avocado green too! At one point though, we some harvest gold appliances thrown in there as well.

    Don't you love in the clip how they showed so many parts of New York City (like Times Square) that look nothing like they look now?

    I watched the episodes on TubiTv. It's a website that has a slew of movies and television shows. It's also FREE and requires NO signup!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Have a faaaaabulous week!

    X

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  8. Hey there Candice!

    Glad to hear that you're enjoying my stories. It's so important right now to keep a sense of humor in our lives, you know?

    OMG, wasn't Ted Bessell such a cutie? And I loved his character on the show because he was a wonderful mixture of boyishness and manliness. He was very sweet.

    "Did you know that Ted Bessell directed several Tracey Ullman shows in the late 80's? I loved that show!"

    Yes, I did know that because I am a HUGE Tracey Ullman fan and saw his name on the closing credits. Isn't that something? He was talented in so many areas of the business. I was so sad when I read about his passing. He died way too young.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! Have a super week!

    X

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  9. HA! I couldn't resist sharing that last photo. And I was so excited when I found it on the photo editing website I use, so I grabbed it.

    I LOVED "The Flying Nun" as well! Sally Field!!!

    "Ok, don't laugh, but a few years ago (when Michelle Obama brought back bangs), I was rocking the Marlo Thomas flip! I think Mary Tyler Moore had a similar hairstyle during that era. I received a lot of compliments! I like to change up my hairstyle every few years."

    OMG, I''m not laughing at all, I think that's AWESOME!!!! I used to be a hairstylist, so I know how hairstyles from the past, eventually come back to the present. And it's the same with fashion, it just recirculates. And you're absolutely correct, Mary Tyler Moore most definitely had that same style---the 60's flip! I actually like that style. My sister used to have a wig in the 60's that she would clip on to her own hair. It was a blonde "flip" wig. And sometimes when see was out of the house, I would try it on. LOL!!!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!

    X

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  10. OMG Mark, I LOVED the Staple Singers and the Three Degrees! In fact, I owned several of their songs on 45 records!

    " Looking at the TV Guide, I probably would have been tuned in to The Partridge Family instead. I think I love you!"

    HA! I used to watch The Partridge Family!!!!

    "I love seeing the old photos, like the rotary pay phone and the groovy yellow '60s kitchen. Feels like digging up a time capsule!"

    Me too, my friend! And I love that you have so many of those things in your home--retro clocks, lava lamps, and a record player!

    Thanks much for stopping by, and have a fantastic week!

    X to you and Tara!

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  11. Yes, we do. Our house is an homage to the '60s and '70s!

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  12. You know, I barely remember this one. Seems I remember the Mary Tyler Moore Show much better -- the single girl finding her way at the TV station. Of course, the journalism angle got my immediate attention, ha!


    Ron, you make a darling That Guy! Love that hat with its turned-up brim. Does anybody ever wear white gloves anymore?? My mom insisted we kids wear them at Easter-time. Bonnets, too. Must have been the Southern influence.


    Thank you for a cute post. I too have spent some time online playing clips of old shows I recall from decades ago -- a kinder, gentler, less anxiety-prone time, I must admit. Have a wonderful week, my friend! xo

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  13. I just think that is SO COOL!

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  14. " Seems I remember the Mary Tyler Moore Show much better -- the single girl finding her way at the TV station. Of course, the journalism angle got my immediate attention, ha!"

    Debbie, it's so ironic you mentioned "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" because I once saw an interview with Mary Tyler Moore in which she said that "That Girl" was the forerunner of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"; changing the roles of American women. Speaking of which I LOVED the that show too! I've been watching episodes of that as well.

    "Love that hat with its turned-up brim. Does anybody ever wear white gloves anymore?? My mom insisted we kids wear them at Easter-time. Bonnets, too. Must have been the Southern influence."

    Don't ya just LOVE that hat? And it was the same when I was a kid, my mother and father insisted that we kids got formally dressed on Easter Sunday. In fact, I still have photos of my siblings and I standing at the end of our driveway, just before we got in the car to go to church. LOL!

    "I recall from decades ago -- a kinder, gentler, less anxiety-prone time, I must admit."

    Yes, I agree! And that's why I'm watching them.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of you week!
    X

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  15. Valerie DaggattApril 15, 2020

    No, the hat wouldn't suit you....lol.
    I enjoyed looking at the photographs together with a good descriptive read. Thank you. You put such a lot of effort in your write-ups.

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  16. I know, Valerie,I think my bead ruins the look, don't you? HA!

    Glad you enjoyed, my friend. I loved putting this post together. It was a lot of fun, and great memories.

    Thanks much for stopping by, and have a super week!

    X to you and Charlie!

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  17. Ron, your childhood stories are always so entertaining. My girlfriend and I both read this post and when we got to the end and saw That Guy picture of you, we laughed our asses off. I agree with one of your readers who said that you put such a lot of effort in your posts. It must take you hours to get them in order and published.

    I don't know the show, "That Girl", but I like the idea of a show about an independent woman who went after her dreams without relying on a man. My girlfriend is very independent and I admire that.

    I can't remember the last time I saw a payphone!?

    Fun post, dude!

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  18. LOL! Oh, yes.....you are sooooo purrrrty! I remember That Girl as one of my favorites. It definitely was ahead of its time. When I think about all those 60s shows, many of the women appeared to be stereotyped (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie), but in reality, they were pushing the envelope of accepted gender roles for women in many ways. Thanks for the trip down memory lane....and for reminding me just how OLD I am!! X

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  19. Thank you, Lisa! Although, I think I should have dyed my beard to match my hair. HA!

    Happy to hear that someone else knew of "That Girl!!!" Yes, definitely ahead of its time. I think that show really opened the public's eye about how women can be independent and strong, yet still be feminine.

    "When I think about all those 60s shows, many of the women appeared to be stereotyped (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie), but in reality, they were pushing the envelope of accepted gender roles for women in many ways."

    Isn't it astounding to see how each decade brought its own evolutionary view of not just women, but men as well.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my fried. Have a fantastic rest of your week!

    X

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  20. Hiya Matt!

    HA! I made that photograph on a website I sometimes use (Face In Hole). And I was surprise to see that they had a "That Girl" image I could use.

    I enjoy putting post like this together; especially now, when I have a lot of free time at home. I like to investigate topics and finding pictures, links, and information. I LOVE research of any kind.

    I knew that most people wouldn't know about "That Girl" because I'm older than many of my readers. LOL! But it was a show that was very different than any other TV show at that time. Plus, it took place in New York, and you all know how MUCH I love that city!

    "My girlfriend is very independent and I admire that."

    Bravo! That's AWESOME!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent rest of your week!
    X

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  21. Fun, fun, fun, post Ron!!!!! I never saw That Girl when it was on TV because I wasn't even born then LOL! But I have watched it online because my mother was a fan and turned me on to it. And I have to tell you something about myself that I don't think I ever told you before, I LOVE the fashion of the 60's. I even shop at a consignment shop by my apartment and go crazy for all the 1960's vintage clothing. I've thought that the fashion of past decades was so much better than it is now. Today, there is nothing that in fashion that's definable about our time.

    Ron that picture of you next to Marlo is hysterical! So you are so damn funny!

    I played the video clip THREE times.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Ron xo

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  22. Hola Denise!

    I sooooooooo agree with you about the current fashion. Nothing is definable. It's like a mish-mash of crap. LOL! And much of it is so sloppy.

    Isn't vintage clothing fabulous? I especially love the 40's and the 50's (the cloths, the hair, the makeup).

    I watch "That Girl" on a free website I frequent. They have all sorts of old TV shows.

    Don't ya love the clip? Anytime I ever hear it, I am suddenly transported back to when I was a kid and first discovered the show. LOVED it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a super weekend! Stay well!

    X

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  23. Ron, do you know what I just noticed in the TV Guide? The circled "C" that denoted color programs back then!

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  24. HA! Yes!!!! You are absolutely right, Candice. Because not all TV shows were in color at that time. Isn't that something?

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  25. Rob LenihanApril 19, 2020

    Hey, Ron, I vaguely remember "That Girl."

    Of course, being a boy I strictly avoided anything to do with girls, but I'm glad you reminded me about it.

    I can see why you liked it: she was living your dream, and you went on to live it, too. And who couldn't love the New York of the 1960s?

    I'm watching a bunch of old shows on the oldies cable station and in addition to being entertaining, these programs also serve as little pieces of history, telling us who we were at a certain time. They're like the old silent movies in that way.

    Yes, these shows are bound to be sanitized and minorities are rarely visible, but they tell us where we've come from.

    Thanks for sharing your memory. And to me, you'll always be That Guy!

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  26. Hey there Rob!

    "Of course, being a boy I strictly avoided anything to do with girls, but I'm glad you reminded me about it."

    HA! You're absolutely right. But I think being a "gay" boy, "That Girl" was what I referred to as, FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABULOUS!!!!

    Yes, the 60's in NYC were TOTALLY different. That's when 42nd Street was 42nd Street. Now it looks like "Disneyworld" HA!

    "....these programs also serve as little pieces of history, telling us who we were at a certain time. They're like the old silent movies in that way."

    I love how you said that and I agree!

    And yes....although they were very sanitized, they do tell us where we've come from.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a super Sunday!

    X

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  27. Fun post! I loved that show and so many of the things in this post (like the rotary pay phones and the TV Guide) bring back good memories. I didn't realize it until I looked it up, but That Girl ended the same year another show about a woman making her own way in the world started - Mary Tyler Moore.

    I love your That Guy photo at the end!

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  28. Being on lock-down, I've gotten very much into investigating old TV shows and movies I used to watch, and it's been so much fun! I'm also enjoying the "Addams Family."

    " I didn't realize it until I looked it up, but That Girl ended the same year another show about a woman making her own way in the world started - Mary Tyler Moore."

    Yup...you got it! In fact, I saw an interview with MTM eons ago in which she talk about that.

    Don't I look purrrrrty? HA!

    Thanks much for stopping by, my Libra friend!
    X

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