When I was growing up, my mother was always a friend to my siblings and me (in addition to being all the other things a mom is), and I was always grateful for that because I knew she was someone I could talk to and joke with, and argue with and that nothing would ever harm that friendship.
Laughter is important, not only because it makes us happy, it also has actual health benefits. And that's because laughter completely engages the body and releases the mind. It connects us to others, and that in itself has a healing effect.
My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.
The rejection that we all take and the sadness and the aggravation and the loss of jobs and all of the things that we live through in our lives, without a sense of humor, I don't know how people make it.
One of the many reasons I love living in New York is that we get a front row seat to the innumerable thrills that take place here - from conventions and awards shows, to parades and U.N. assemblies. But my favorite New York tradition is the annual New Year's Eve ball-drop on Times Square.
For me, it's the unexpected and surprising combinations of produce that are the most exciting and lure me into the kitchen for a little bit of experimenting. Apples and sweet potatoes together? Who knew? Carrots with grapes? Okay. I may not be Julia Child, but I can do pretty well with a simple recipe and a lot of enthusiasm.
When I look back at those pictures of my mother performing - and listen to her recordings - it makes me sad to think that all of that joy she found in her work came to an end. I wish she hadn't had to make that sacrifice, even if it was for the benefit of my father and siblings and me.
In the 1960s we were fighting to be recognized as equals in the marketplace, in marriage, in education and on the playing field. It was a very exciting, rebellious time.
We've been taught to believe that actions speak louder than words. But I think words speak pretty loud all of our lives; we carry these words in our head.
One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man.
Fame lost its appeal for me when I went into a public restroom and an autograph seeker handed me a pen and paper under the stall door.
I don't think homosexuality is a choice. Society forces you to think it's a choice, but in fact, it's in one's nature. The choice is whether one expresses one's nature truthfully or spends the rest of one's life lying about it.
I've always been a champion of kids pursuing their dreams. But sometimes in life, extraordinary circumstances may force us to temporarily put our dreams on hold. The most important thing is to never lose sight of that dream, no matter what punches life may throw in our way.
Despite our ever-connective technology, neither Skype nor Facebook - not even a telephone call - can come close to the joy of being with loved ones in person.
We are a research center and treatment facility all under one roof.
Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there's something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can't help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It's an inspiring time of the year.
I think loss of loved ones is the hardest blow in life.
I was an educated girl. I'd done very well in school. I had a good point average and graduated from USC as an English teacher. My dad didn't even finish high school.
My mother was a strong-willed and opinionated woman - a Sicilian! - and if she didn't like something, she'd let you know about it. So her undying support of her kids went a long way in proving to us that we were on the right path.
In my work, there's a tremendous amount of rejection and waves of fertile and fallow times.
In that I found being able to talk to my family about my feelings, praying for strength and realizing that our lives have a deep purpose and the journey of our lives is to find out what that is and express it, was the only way I could have gotten through it.
The Golden Girls certainly proved that there was a large audience for a show about older women.
Never face facts; if you do you'll never get up in the morning.
You know, there's endorphins in laughter, as there are endorphins in running in the park.
It's fascinating for us women to begin looking at our lives in five-year plans. It really does help you keep on track. If that's too hard, start with a two-year plan.
I find that balancing my life with my work with the kids at St. Jude, working on books, working on my career as an actor and taking time out for my husband and family help to cushion a lot of the blows.
Today, all patients accepted for treatment at St. Jude's are treated without regard for the family's ability to pay. Everything beyond what is covered by insurance is taken care of, and for those without insurance, all of the medical costs are absorbed by the hospital.
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving for me is re-watching some of the classic holiday blunders that have been depicted on television. I remember laughing uncontrollably on the set of 'That Girl' back in 1967 when we shot the episode, 'Thanksgiving Comes But Once A Year, Hopefully' during our second season.
As someone who has spent many years marveling at the brilliant and painstaking work of the doctors, scientists and researchers at St. Jude, I can attest firsthand to the bone-deep commitment these men and women have made in their fight against disease. They are at it around the clock - every hour of the day, every day of the year.
There are those who think that the private lives of candidates are none of our business. But when those candidates ask us for our attention as they explain their plans for how they will represent us, no one should be surprised at our interest in how they represent themselves.
So I still seized the power, but I felt that if I officially made myself the boss, in black and white, it would be too intimidating for the other producers and the other men who worked on the show. In other words, I had the power, but I gave them the title.
A man has to be Joe McCarthy to be called ruthless. All a woman has to do is put you on hold.
I think in my case, I had no choice but to have a good sense of humor. I grew up with my dad, Danny Thomas, and George Burns and Bob Hope and Milton Berle and Sid Caesar and all those guys were at our house all the time and telling jokes and making each other laugh.
I know George Burns was a very happy man.
Women should know that they don't have to hang on to an old dream that has stopped nurturing them - that there is always time to start a new dream.
That is the difference between St. Jude's and all other children's hospitals. The other hospitals are not bad at all; they're good hospitals, but they're just working with what they know, and St. Jude's is working with what nobody else knows, because they're doing research.
What the results are telling them is that the most money is spent in volume by young people. They also see young people as the consumers of tomorrow and are trying to capture their attention from their competitors.
Losing my parents was probably the hardest and deepest blow from which I've had to recover.
I think that there's got to be a comic gene in some way, but it's so much about it is how you grow up.
Nothing is either all masculine or all feminine except having sex.
People really want to do something good. You just have to show them where it is.
I realize now that I was a feminist and the minute I heard the word I certainly knew it meant me, but at that time I don't think we had the label yet. But there's no doubt about it that I was born a feminist.
Living with these teenage boys allowed me to see how much their psyches were like their girl counterparts. They were more familiar to me than I would have thought.
As much success came to him, my father stayed true to his promise. He built the hospital to help the most helpless children with catastrophic illnesses.
It's because it was at a time when women didn't have any power. It was so unusual for a young woman in her 20s to have power that I seized the power but tried not to flaunt it.
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