Dee Wallace Stone
This likable blonde dancer-turned-thespian gained international attention as the frazzled, clueless but good-hearted mother to a trying but adorable brood in Steven Spielberg's kidflick classic "E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982). As Mary, Stone (then billed as "Dee Wallace") managed to cope with the demands of work, single parenthood and first contact with alien life while maintaining a sense of humor. When the film broke all previous box-office records, she seemed a solid bet to become the movie Mom for modern America. But it was not to be. Stone remained a steadily working actress in some films and much TV but never again headlined such a high-profile project. Before and after "E.T.," she fared best in several low- and medium-budget thrillers helmed by some interesting genre filmmakers. Otherwise, Stone has most often been seen in guest shots, undistinguished telefilms and youth-oriented specials, more often than not, still playing long-suffering mothers.