The waitresses at Mel's Diner from left: Vera (Beth Howland), Alice (Linda Lavin), Flo (Polly Holliday). There was a time when TV women were all about making it on their own, (unlike the women of television today, seeking their own fleeting fame based on the loose association they have with the more famous and talented men they used to occasionally sleep with): Mary Tyler Moore was American television's first never-married, independent career woman, the spin-off "Rhoda" with Valerie Harper as the title character, Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano raising two teens daughters on "One Day at a Time" and who can forget Florida Evans (Esther Rolle) keeping her family together in the wake of husband James' death on "Good Times"? "Alice" followed in this tradition, with Linda Lavin starring as Alice Hyatt, an aspiring singer who relocates to Phoenix, AZ with just her young son to start her life over and finds work at a roadside diner, Mel's. Lavin's Alice didn't depend on a dude for diddly -- she even sang the opening theme song!
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