This Mother’s Day, some of our favorite stars — including Marie Osmond, Debbie Matenopoulos, Melissa McCarthy, and more! — opened up about the women who raised them in touching messages about their mamas. Scroll down to read celebs’ sweet tributes to their moms!
Marie Osmond & Olive
My mother gave me the gift to trust and follow my heart. Even when the outlook seemed bleak, it was the unwavering faith she taught me that allowed me to follow my dreams, both professional and personal. During my mom’s illness [before she passed in 2004], my oldest son said to me, “Mom, we love you and you’re beautiful no matter what, but would you consider losing some weight? We want you to be around for our kids.” I learned a great lesson from my mom on her deathbed. She counseled me on the importance of taking care of myself so I wouldn’t end up in an unhealthy body like she did. And here I am today, a healthy grandma who’s 50 pounds lighter thanks to Nutrisystem! I turned to my mom in every stage of life, and I continue to draw on her wisdom today.
Norah O’Donnell & Norah
Yes, my mom and I have the same name! And she’s the strongest, kindest person I know. She left medical school to raise four children while my father served 30 years in the US Army, which embodies the noble value of sacrifice. The greatest lesson she taught me was to be a good listener, and I think that’s part of the reason I became a journalist [currently co-hosting CBS This Morning] — to hear other people’s stories and to foster understanding of the complex issues in the world. Now, at 70, my mom’s about to complete all her pre-med classes and she’s aced her biochemistry and statistics courses!
Kristin Chenoweth & June
I had a poster hanging up in my bedroom as a kid. It sounds silly, but it was of a mouse dancing in a tutu and it said, “Beauty is as beauty does.” My mom used to tell me that if you feel good about yourself on the inside, that meant you were beautiful — that you radiated beauty. That’s a lesson all kids should have. My mom always believed in me. I know she would take a bullet for me and we should all be so lucky to have someone like that in our lives. Now I admire her strength because she’s had to overcome a lot of injury and illness. She’s had cancer twice and she’s also had bad back issues. Watching her struggle but still remain strong is inspiring.
Melissa McCarthy & Sandra
Mom never told me, “You can’t,” but that’s how she is about everything. She gave me the freedom to do what I needed [to pursue my acting dreams], even if she didn’t understand it. A normal parent might have said, “You’re insane.” Instead, this maniac kept saying, “OK, good luck. Let me know what play you’re doing.” I was like, “My mother’s crazy!” Now it’s been the first time we’ve lived in the same city since I was 18, and it just feels like heaven. When parents live far away and they come visit, you do things together and it’s great. But to be able to do the stupid everyday stuff — let’s go for coffee, let’s have breakfast or come over and play rummy or Uno with the kids and try my bean soup — it’s absolutely the greatest thing ever.
Debbie Matenopoulos & Efrosini
The greatest lesson my mother has taught me is to have a strong work ethic and to never expect to just be handed things. She also taught me to work hard, to work smart, and to be grateful for every opportunity [like my co-hosting gig on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family]. My mom [with my daughter, Alexandra, 3, above] has an incredibly funny demeanor, too, even though she doesn’t realize it! She doesn’t intentionally try to be funny — it’s just the way she is. I often feel like the things she says could be dialogue in a sitcom! And no matter how difficult any situation may be, my mom always remains calm and resolves all issues with love. She has unwavering patience.
Christine Lahti & Elizabeth
My mom was always just so kind with everyone. I write in my book, True Stories From an Unreliable Witness: A Feminist Coming of Age, about her smile. She had an ability to love unconditionally like I’ve never seen before or since. She raised six kids and was a traditional housewife and mother, but she never got the respect she deserved. Toward the last chapter of her life, she became a professional oil painter and she also got her pilot’s license! I thought that maybe my feminism and activism inspired her to do more, but maybe she just always had it in her. She always taught me that the sky really was the limit!
Catherine Bell & Mina
My mom has more boundless energy chasing my kids [daughter Gemma, 15, and son Ronan, 7] around than I do. She puts me to shame! And I’ve never heard her complain of being tired (or sick, or in pain — even if she is). She doesn’t want it to be someone else’s problem. She also has the beautiful ability to make people feel good about themselves. She finds things to admire about everyone and she isn’t afraid to tell them, whether it’s a stranger or a friend. She compliments freely, which is why people always feel better when they’re around her. As for me, she always told me I could do anything I set my mind to. She gave me the confidence to go after my dreams and to pursue a line of work that can seem so far out of one’s reach.
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