Who’s the Boss?

Jim 1980s

Aired: 1984-93 ABC

DAD: Tony Micelli (Tony Danza) / Widower

DAD’S JOB: Housekeeper

KIDS: Samantha (11)

WHERE’S MOM?: She’s DEAD! (See notes below)

STAND-IN "MOM": Angela Bower (Judith Light)

Update: 12/15/96: Over the past few months, I’ve been getting lots of mail about Sam’s mom being alive. Supposedly there’s some single episode where Sam’s mom turns up, talks to Tony, then Tony convinces her to leave without contacting Sam. I have never seen this episode. Many WTB fanatics have told me they’ve never seen the episode. So, I wrote the best source I could contact: Alyssa Milano(!)

Here is her reply:

Hi Jim;

Tony’s wife was written into WTB as being dead….that’s was why Tony took the job in the first place…so Sam would have a women figure in her life….happy holidays.


Case closed.

Update: Or is it? Here’s additional info from Alert Viewer ‘Majenta’:

Hi! I know, you said "Case closed," but I remember the episode of "WTB?" people may be thinking about. I think it’s the one where Samantha sits for an oil painting as a gift to Tony. Tony remembers that his wife was artistic, and somehow he gets the idea that while he was on the road with his baseball team, his wife might have had an affair with an artist. He has a casual talk with Samantha while they’re shooting hoops and he asks what she and Mom used to do for fun all those times when it was just the two of them. Samantha mentions things like playing Barbies, just the 2 of them or with a friend of Sam’s who liked to dress Ken in Barbie’s clothes, etc. Tony says, "Did you and Mom ever dress up and go out?" Samantha says they used to visit their neighbor Mrs. Rossini a lot, and sometimes Samantha would spend the night there. She didn’t know where Mom went, but she did know that Mom never turned up until morning. Well, that sounds dodgy, doesn’t it? He goes to Mrs. Rossini, who says Mom (Marie) had been taking an art class and sometimes it broke up pretty late, so why drag Samantha out of sleep to lug her home when Mrs R. didn’t mind keeping her for the night?

Maybe that’s the one everybody’s thinking of. If so, I’m happy to help. Bye, and thanks for your site!