Mother’s Day Names: Remembering TV Moms

Mother’s Day Names: Remembering TV Moms

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Once upon a time—let’s say pre-Roseanne—the TV mom was the paragon of domestic motherhood, as exemplified and epitomized by the Beaver’s understanding mom, June Cleaver, who famously did her vacuuming in high heels and pearls and pencil-slim skirts on Leave It to Beaver. This idealized image persisted via later near-perfect parents like The Cosby Show’s Claire Huxtable, who was able to effortlessly combine high-powered career with being the wisest and most compassionate of moms, never losing her cool.

Of course there were blips over the years, such as vibrantly vulgar characters like Roseanne Conner and Married with Children’s Peg Bundy and later cranky (older) moms like Marie Barone and Estelle Costanza, but for the most part television moms set a pretty high—if not unattainable—bar.

So here’s our Mother’s Day salute to those Margarets and Marions, Harriets and Helens of TV Momdom past– and their perfect period names.

ABBY BradfordEight is Enough

ALICE MitchellDennis the Menace

AMY MatthewsBoy Meets World

ANGELA BowersWho’s the Boss?

ANN Romano, One Day at a Time

BARBARA Russo–Blossom

CAROL BradyThe Brady Bunch; CAROL WalshBeverly Hills 90210

CAROLINE Ingalls—Little House on the Prairie

CLAIR Huxtable—The Cosby Show

DEBRA Barone–Everybody Loves Raymond

DOROTHY BaxterHazel

EDITH Bunker—All in the Family

ELLEN MillerLassie

ELYSE KeatonFamily Ties

FLORIDA EvansGood Times

HARRIET NelsonThe Ozzie & Harriet Show; HARRIET WinslowFamily Matters

HELEN MarieThat Girl

JILL Pembroke, Charles in Charge, Jill TaylorHome Improvement

JUNE Cleaver—Leave It to Beaver

KATE BradleyPetticoat Junction; KATE Lawrence, Family

KITTY Forman—That 70s Show

LAURA Petrie—The Dick Van Dyke Show

LOIS WilkersonMalcolm in the Middle

LOUISE JeffersonThe Jeffersons

MAGGIE Seaver—Growing Pains

MARGARET AndersonFather Know Best; MARGARET WilliamsMake Room for Daddy (The Danny Thomas Show)

MARION Cunningham—Happy Days

MARSHA OwensMr. Belvedere

MARTA Hansen, I Remember Mama

MURIEL RushToo Close for Comfort

NATALIE LaneThe Patty Duke Show

NORA WalkerBrothers and Sisters

NORMA ArnoldThe Wonder Years

OLIVIA WaltonThe Waltons

PEG Bundy—Married, With Children

ROSEANNE ConnerRoseanne

SHIRLEY Partridge—The Partridge Family

WINNIE GillisThe Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

So, do you think most of these are pretty much still Mother/Mom/Mama/Ma names, or are some of them ready to go into reruns?

And, of course, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all you momberries !!!

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.