In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a moment to celebrate the great performances of motherhood we’ve treasured on TV through the years. Particularly, let’s focus upon those that won Emmy Awards. What do you think are the best? What are your favorites? Follow the discussion going on right now in our famous forums, contribute your own views and please cast your vote in our poll below.
In order to spotlight a few outstanding performances, I took the options highlighted in our forum chat. Lucille Ball is here because she became the most famous mom in America when her character had baby Ricky on “I Love Lucy” 12 hours after the actress gave birth to her own son off screen. But is Lucy Ricardo really the best TV mom? Her ongoing TV role focused chiefly on her zany relationship with her husband and best friends.
OK, then what about Roseanne Barr? Her performance focuses much more on her TV kids, but the role was snarky, sometimes even nasty. Should that be held against her? Should we only focus on heroic moms?
Personally, my own vote goes to Jean Stapleton ad Edith Bunker, who gave us TV’s most huggable mother as she struggled valiantly to manage a rascal husband while rearing a precious daughter.
Unfortunately, in order to create a manageable list of options, I feel I had to exclude many worthy alternatives, including Edie Falco (“The Sopranos”), Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and Sela Ward (“Once and Again”) and others. Also, I chose just to feature moms on TV series, not equivalent roles that won Emmys in the TV movie/mini categories.
Photo: Jean Stapleton with the cast of “All in the Family.” Courtesy of Rex Features