10/08/2013 10:13 am ET Updated Dec 08, 2013

You Got to Have Friends!

If you've ever seen a clip of Bette Midler singing her signature "You Got to Have Friends," the first thing you'll notice (aside from her talent and energy, of course) is the great big smile on her face. That's because, like all of us, Bette celebrates the joy and love of friendship. And I should know -- she's my friend.

Whether they're childhood friends, neighborhood friends, family friends, girlfriends, boyfriends (or even boyfriends who eventually became boy friends, if you know what I mean), life wouldn't be half as much fun -- or as meaningful -- without the company of those who know what makes us tick (and vice versa). In my case, I'm always counting my blessings for the cherished pals who've accompanied me along my journey -- and it's a cast of characters that continues to grow every year.

Like a lot of people, I've made tons of friends through my work, which has become sort of a recurring theme for me. Starting with "Free to Be...You and Me," I've given many of my projects the byline, "By Marlo Thomas and Friends" -- and that's not just some cliché. I truly feel that way. What else would you call someone who shares your passion, loves laughter, and works side by side with you, 24/7, to create something special and lasting? For me, "Friend" sums it up perfectly.

So my colleagues here at the website asked me to put together a little scrapbook of some of my friends -- from childhood through college to today. You may notice that I use the term "BFF" an awful lot, but that wasn't because I was afraid to pick a favorite. The fact is, they're all my favorites.


You Gotta Have Friends