SO, WHO are the TV-mom role models for mothers on local TV?
Our survey of eight area broadcasters found Clair Huxtable, the matriarch of the classic 1980s sitcom, "The Cosby Show," played by Phylicia Rashad, to be overwhelmingly the ideal small-screen mother.
Renee Chenault-Fattah and Denise Nakano, of NBC 10, Sheinelle Jones, of FOX 29, Tamala Edwards, of 6ABC, and Kate Bilo, of CBS 3 all named the unflappable lawyer and near-perfect mom as the fictional character they'd like to emulate - but can't quite seem to match in terms of super-momdom.
Kerry Barrett, of Fox 29, saw herself closest to Marge Simpson ("minus the 24/7 perfectly coifed hair"), while Kathy Orr, of Channel 3, and Channel 6's Nydia Han declined to provide a name.
"Who wouldn't want to be Claire Huxtable of 'The Cosby Show?' " asked Nakano. "She's a tough, yet caring, working mother who can laugh with her family but is no-nonsense."
Chenault-Fattah admitted that she fell short of the ridiculously high standards set by Rashad's character. "I probably see myself as Clair Huxtable," she wrote in an email, "but in reality I'm not the super woman she was . . . not nearly as balanced or together. But that's the model to strive for!"
Edwards voted for Huxtable because she's from the same Houston, Texas, neighborhood as Rashad and because Huxtable was "the epitome of a mother who was passionate about her work, but so present at home. And she really kept those little scoundrels in line. . . . I'm working on that cocked eyebrow as we speak!"
While the women all accepted the question of a television role model in the spirit it was asked, Bilo added a more serious note.
"Really though," she offered, "my true 'mom' icon is my own mom, Martie Bilo [who died of lung cancer in 2009 at age 55]. Every day I think that if I can just do this mom thing half as well as she did, I'd be golden.
"She treated us like real people - she was my best friend, but we still listened to her and obeyed her. She was beautiful, fun and smart. She kept the house perfect but still let us have fun and make messes. She truly enjoyed every single second she spent with her children."
- Chuck Darrow