TV mothers we've loved through the decades

Mother's Day is all about the wonderful mothers in our lives. But we feel a special closeness with many key moms who've been there for us through the years - via our televisions.

You might say comedy queen Lucille Ball is the original mother of all TV moms. When she gave birth to little Ricky during the run of "I Love Lucy," almost three quarters of all U.S. homes with a TV at the time were tuned in to watch.

June Cleaver had her hands full with Wally and "Beaver" on "Leave it to Beaver," but she never let it show - always stylishly on point in her trademark pearls.

The original stepmom, Carol Brady brought a blended household to a whole new level when her three girls with hair of gold moved in with that man named Brady and his three boys of his own. A lovely lady, indeed, at the head of that "Brady Bunch."
While Samantha Stephens was a loving and patient mom, and we all wanted a little witchcraft to make our lives easier, her own mother Endora often stole the show on "Bewitched!"

Before Joanie fell in love with Chachi, she and Richie were raised right by Marion Cunningham in those "Happy Days." And when Mrs. C often permitted her children to bring their friends around the family home, she wouldn't tell them to 'sit on it' - unless they deserved it, of course.

The 80s would never be the same without Earth-mother Elyse Keaton trying to raise her all-business, Republican son Alex P. Keaton. Those really were the "Family Ties."

Even with her own busy career as a lawyer on the "Cosby Show", Clair Huxtable took care of her family with style, love and heart. But she probably sent all of Dr. Huxtable's many iconic sweaters out to be cleaned.

Peg Bundy, on the other hand, brought a very different mothering style to "Married with Children." Insults and self-indulgence were the norm as she ruled her roost with a unique, stiletto-heeled style that bordered on crass, but somehow we loved her for bringing real-life to television.

Speaking of crass, Roseanne Conner got really real. In the heart of everything, though, she never let you forget that family comes first on "Roseanne."

Vivian Banks was charming and posh, and ever-gracious as she took her nephew into the family fold on the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

Jill Taylor had the patience of a saint to raise three rambunctious boys, while putting up with the often self-destructive antics of Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor on "Home Improvement."

While Estelle Costanza wasn't a primary member of the "Seinfeld" gang, George surely still has her to thank for his many neuroses.

Her towering blue beehive is one-of-a-kind, and so is Marge Simpson, calmly holding things together on "The Simpsons."

Becky Katsopolis made the "Full House" even fuller when she and Uncle Jesse brought twin boys into the family, and as the only mother figure, how could we not mention her?

Long-suffering Debra Barone made us all feel better when she lost her patience at the open-door policy her too-close-for-comfort in-laws thought was the best way to live. But of course they loved her, and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

When you live on Wisteria Lane, life presents special challenges. Before housewives got real, Lynette Scavo dealt with mothering and life as one of the "Desperate Housewives."

As the very definition of a "Modern Family," Claire Dunphy delights us as she pulls together her brood, without much adult help from Phil. At the same time, she has her own 'stepmom' in Gloria Delgado-Pritchett. Gloria manages to be soft and tough at the same time, never forgetting her slightly frightening Colombian roots.

Rainbow Johnson anchors her "Black-ish" family in love and makes sure they honor their ethnic roots.

Joyce Byers barely keeps it together as a mother desperately searching for her 'lost' child in "Stranger Things" and we love her for that. Her desperate plea for answers tugs at all of us.

Last, but never least, we honor an honorary TV mom - Edna Garrett. While she wasn't a mother, she taught plenty of the "Facts of Life" to her boarding school charges.

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