Region 8 native to make ABC sitcom debut

Region 8 native to make ABC sitcom debut
Mary Hollis appears on Mid-Day to talk about her role as Aunt Jodi on The Real O'Neals. (Source: KAIT-TV)
Mary Hollis appears on Mid-Day to talk about her role as Aunt Jodi on The Real O'Neals. (Source: KAIT-TV)
Eileen (Martha Plimpton) and Jodi (Mary Hollis Inboden) in The Real O'Neals (Source: ABC)
Eileen (Martha Plimpton) and Jodi (Mary Hollis Inboden) in The Real O'Neals (Source: ABC)
Mary Hollis points out where her Mother's office used to be at KAIT when she was a child. (Source: KAIT)
Mary Hollis points out where her Mother's office used to be at KAIT when she was a child. (Source: KAIT)

BONO, AR (KAIT) - 30-year-old Mary Hollis Inboden spent her earliest days playing in her mother's office at KAIT. Surrounded by posters touting ABC shows in the '90s, Inboden's future may have been sealed by an early fascination with television and theater work.

However, the Westside graduate and Bono native could not have known then the path that would get her to Los Angeles.

"I remember my mom would let me stay up late and watch the dramas that aired during the 9 – 10 p.m. slot," Inboden said. "Before she would put me to bed, I would pretend that I was under arrest or a patient that was dying on ER. I have no idea what kind of trauma that caused my mother, as she was tucking me in at night."

The whole family participated in community theater. At 17 years old, Inboden left home and went to work at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis.

"I think it was around this time that I figured out I really didn't necessarily want to be famous, which was always the goal when I was growing up," Inboden said. "I saw these kids coming through right out of college and working in this professional theater doing show after show. I said, 'You know what. I just want to be a working actor.'"

She moved from Memphis to Chicago and a much larger stage. Last year, she got the call that would change everything.

"I auditioned three times for it (the part) in Los Angeles," Mary Hollis said. "That's a very nerve-wracking experience."

She thought the part just wasn't hers, because the character was supposed to be an older woman. Inboden then decided she would just have fun with the last audition.

"As soon as I let all of that go, when I decided it wasn't mine was when I was able to freely just have a blast," she said. After that is when she found out the character was changed to her current part, Aunt Jodi.

The cast of The Real O'Neals is made up of well-known talents like Martha Plimpton as Eileen Ferguson and Jay Ferguson as Pat Ferguson, a couple that is about to get divorced. Their three children also have earth-shattering revelations to make in the sitcom. It premieres March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and will air Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. after that.

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