Mother Knows Best

Moms’ advice for their Minnesota kids before they made it big.

  • “My mother always said: ‘You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.’ She was right . . . I tried.”

    Maureen “Mo” Collins, Comedian, MADtv
  • Vincent Kartheiser, Actor, Mad Men

    His mom says: “All of my children had many different teachers and were involved with many organizations. They had to open themselves up to learning and respect whoever was willing to share what they know.”
  • “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God. And floss.”

    Lea Thompson, Actress, Back to the Future
  • Nick Swardson, Comedian, Just Go with It

    His mom says: “You can disagree with anyone—teachers, coaches, parents of friends, your own parents—about anything. But I expect you to never be rude. The other piece of advice was, ‘Nothing good happens after midnight.’ Somehow that one never really took.”
  • HER mom says: “Consequences for bad behavior will be significantly less if you are honest about it, acts of kindness will always be rewarded, and don’t be afraid to love people from all walks of life.”

    Raina Hein, Model, America’s Next Top Model
  • His mom says: “This quotation from Jim Elliot was a good reminder to Adam to keep his priorities in the right place: ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’”

    Adam Young, Musician, Owl City
  • Brianna Brown, Actress, General Hospital

    Her mom says: “Like many parents, I encouraged my children to follow their dreams. I also told them, ‘When a door closes, a window opens.’ There is always something better that will come to you if you don’t receive what you thought you wanted.”
  • His mom says: “Treat others as you would like to be treated. And drink your milk.”

    Joe Mauer, Twins baseball player
  • “My mother explained life in ways that were simple, to the point, and at times a little politically incorrect. I learned ‘Don’t complain about it; figure it out!’ and ‘Diamond or pearl earrings are an instant facelift’— so true!”

    Kelly Carlson, Actress, Nip/Tuck
  • Nicholas David, Musician, The Voice

    His mom says: “I always gave Nicholas the opportunity to go after his dreams, treat others how you want to be treated, and support your family in whatever they do.”

Photos by (from start to finish): David Livingston/Getty Images; Michael Tran/Film Images; Helga Esteb/Shutterstock; Andrew Evans/PR Photos; James Lemke Jr./Wireimage; Prince Williams/Wireimage; Helga Esteb/Shutterstock; Craig Bares; Tommas Boddi/PR Photos; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images