Marlo Thomas, 85, Of ‘That Girl’ Fame Reveals Secret Behind 43 Year Marriage To Phil Donahue, 87

Marlo Thomas, best known for starring on "That Girl," is revealing the secret behind her 43 year marriage to Phil Donahue.

In the crazy world of Hollywood, it’s rare to find a marriage that is actually able to stand the test of time. That’s what makes the 43 year marriage of the former “That Girl” star Marlo Thomas and the former talk show host Phil Donahue so special!

Thomas Reveals Secret Behind Long Marriage

While appearing at the Women In Media Foundation’s 48th Annual Gracie Awards Gala, Thomas opened up about the secret being her longstanding marriage.

“I call it the three Ls. Love, listening, and lust,” Thomas, 85, told People Magazine. “Those are the three L’s. You have to listen and then you’ll know what the other person is really thinking and going through. You have to love each other. And without lust, you don’t have anything.”

“He’s the best,” she added of Donahue, 87. “I’m very lucky.”

Thomas and Donahue met back in 1977 when she appeared as a guest on his talk show, and they married three years later. The couple celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary earlier this week, but they kept things low-key for it.

“Well, it was just fun just to be alone,” Thomas explained. “Sometimes we’ve given parties and done things, but we just felt like this year we wanted to just hang out alone. Go to the theater, go to dinner, walk down the street, just be together. It was great.”

Related: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Stars Willie And Korie Robertson Say ‘Faith’ Is The Key To Their 30+ Year Marriage

Thomas And Donahue’s Book

Three years ago, Thomas and Donahue celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by writing the book “What Makes Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life.”

“The way we saw it, we were very lucky that our paths crossed when they did, and that we’d made the decision to spend the rest of our days together,” Thomas and Donahue told Fox News at the time. “That was — and remains — sacred ground to us, and we wanted to protect it.”

“As for our secret, you’ll get pretty good glimpses of it in the book — but one thing for sure is that, once we decided to commit to each other, we also decided that no matter how tough things might get, we would never look for an escape route,” they continued.

Related: Rob Lowe Reveals How He’s Stayed Married For 31 Years – ‘Marriage Is Hard’

Thomas’ Lifetime Achievement Award

Thomas was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gracie Awards in Beverly Hills, California on Tuesday.

“I have to tell you, I didn’t realize I’d lived a lifetime yet, but … I’m honored to be honored at any time,” she said. “And I love this organization. It was created by women to recognize women. And that’s exciting because when I started, there were no women’s organizations. Each of us was in their own little silo just trying to be heard. So I love that there’s an alliance for women now.”

“I am so very, very touched to be here today,” Thomas added as she accepted the award. “I flew in from New York where Phil and I just celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary, talk about a lifetime achievement, not bad for a girl from Hollywood.”

Thomas and Donahue are both inspirations in their own rights, but their marriage makes them even more incredible. We would like to wish them both many years of happiness to come!

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