Welcome back for part two of our celebration of TV moms throughout the years. There have been many beloved TV moms over the last six decades; each bringing her own brand of special and leaving her own distinctive mark on TV history. To celebrate Mother’s Day, this Examiner has compiled a list of her favorite TV moms from the 1950s to present.
In part one we celebrated the TV moms from the 1950s to ‘70s. Today, we’ll salute those TV moms who graced our television screens during the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000’s.
The following list is by no means all inclusive – choosing only three moms per decade, plus an honorable mention, as the sheer number of awesome TV moms during these decades was just begging for an additional mention. You can take a peek at the TV moms who weren’t included in Biography.com’s list of Favorite TV Moms.
TV Moms of the 1980s
- Elyse Keaton (Meredith Baxter) – Family Ties, 1982-1989. Mother to Alex (Alex P. Keaton, thank you very much), Mallory, Jennifer, and Andrew. Married to Steven Keaton. Elyse and Steven were both ex-hippies from the ‘60s with the liberal points-of-view to show for it. Ironically, their children (particularly Alex) were as conservative as they come. Mostly I remember how laid-back Elyse was about things and I loved that about her.
- Claire Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) – The Cosby Show, 1984-1992. Claire Huxtable, the fierce lawyer who raised her brood of five children with the oh so comical Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, was an unstoppable force. Their children were Sondra, Denise, Theodore (Theo), Vanessa, and Rudy. This TV mom had it all; successful career, happy marriage, and children who at times might have been exasperating, but were still great kids who didn’t get in any serious trouble. Claire was a woman who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and stand her ground; she left us all wanting to be just a little like her.
- Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) – Roseanne, 1988-1997. This loud-spoken TV mom was the force behind one of the most realistic depictions of the average American family in her self-titled show. Married to Dan Conner, she was also the mother to Becky, Darlene, D.J., and the oft forgotten fourth child, Jerry. For more on Roseanne, check out this profile: Top 5 parenting lessons we learned from TV mom Roseanne.
- Honorable Mention: Marge Simpson (voiced by Julie Kavner) – The Simpsons, 1989-present. Simply for surviving so long in TV land, Marge deserves a shout-out of recognition. She is the mother to Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, married, of course, to Homer Simpson. You can catch The Simpsons Sundays on Fox at 8/7c or on weeknights at 7/6c.
TV Moms of the 1990s
- Jill Taylor (Patricia Richardson) – Home Improvement, 1991-1999. The voice of reason, the perfect balance to her mishap-prone husband, and the practically perfect mother – Jill Taylor could almost be described as the ‘90s answer for June Cleaver. She did it all – a working mother who went back to school and kept things rolling on the home front. Sure her meals were mocked, but nobody is totally perfect, after all. Married to Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor and mother to Brad, Randy, and Mark.
- Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton) – Everybody Loves Raymond, 1996-2005. While we didn’t often see the children (Ally, Michael, and Jeffry), their presence was always felt in the realistic way their toys were very much a part of the family living area. The one thing that must be said about the portrayal of this TV mom is that it was spot-on.
- Annie Camden (Catherine Hicks) – 7th Heaven, 1996-2007. A pastor’s wife and mother to seven children – Matt, Mary, Lucy, Simon, Ruthie, Sam, and David – she always seemed to stay calm and handled things with grace as they came up. She made the task of managing a household of seven children seem like a piece of cake. Life wasn’t always perfect, though; the reaction to her mother’s death was what one would expect without a magical bounce-back that one might typically see in television land.
- Honorable Mention: Cindy Walsh (Carol Potter) – Beverly Hills 90210, 1990-2000. Cindy deserves a mention on this list for being the lone “normal” (sane?) mother the kids of this show had to turn to. One might say she was a mother figure to all, but her children were twins, Brenda and Brandon.
TV Moms of the 2000s
- Lorelei Gilmore (Lauren Graham) – Gilmore Girls, 2000-2007. Lorelei, single mother to daughter Rory, shared the kind of open relationship with her daughter that most mothers only dream of having. Certainly they had their ups and downs, but they always found their way back to the center of their relationship.
- Reba Hart (Reba McEntire) – Reba, 2001-2007. This fiery redhead managed to keep her family together when it seemed to be falling apart. Even though she ends up divorced from her husband, Brock, he and his mistress turned wife are a constant (if not sometimes annoying) presence in life. Eldest daughter, Cheyenne becomes pregnant in high school, marries the father of the baby, and they take up residence with Reba and her other children, Kyra, and Jake. The humor with which she faces each situation that comes her way, makes her a TV mom to be saluted.
- Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) – Everybody Hates Chris, 2005-2009. This TV mom is so awesomely sassy that you can’t help but love her. She is married to Julius, a hardworking man, and is mother to Chris, Drew, and Tonya. She works hard to keep her family on a budget and has great aspirations for her children.
- Honorable Mention: Lynette Scavo(Felicity Huffman) – Desperate Housewives. For being the most real of all the moms on Desperate Housewives, Lynette Scavo definitely deserves a look in our salute to TV moms. (Read more about why Lynette is a mom worth mentioning).
So there we have it, our complete salute to TV moms over the last 60 years. Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below.
(Sources: Biography.com | IMDb)
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