Girls with fond recollections of Melissa McCarthy’s have been forwarding their memories our way since she showed up right under our noses last month.
Lynne Breen, now Lynne Mau, a second-grade teacher at Troy Heritage Trail Elementary School, became something of a shirt-tail celebrity when actress that she was her inspiration for the teacher role she plays on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly.
The young Mrs. Breen, just 23, was in her first year of teaching at Plainfield's -- then call St. Mary’s Academy -- when she met the petite, bouncy fifth-grader everyone remembers as “Missy.”
Like McCarthy, her classmates recall Mau as a pretty, stylish teacher who never made them feel ashamed of being who they were.
Another self-titled “SMS alum” was in Mrs. Breen’s language arts class with Missy's older sister Margie. She can’t forget the morning Mrs. Breen invited WGN-AM's Garry Meier, then a Chicago WLUP-FM radio personality, out to St. Mary's one morning to bring her eighth-grade class the inside story on working in the radio biz.
After his presentation, the popular and flamboyant radio star asked Mrs. Breen, who was divorced at the time, for a lunch date. The student, who preferred not to give her name, still recalls the awestruck school girls giggling as they watched the fashionable pair pull away in Meier’s flashy sports car.
“Missy is right about Mrs. Breen,” her former student said. “She was a breath of fresh air in that school. Thanks again for finding her.”
After McCarthy told Patch last summer she’d love to see Mrs. Breen again, we launched a nationwide search only to find her just short of a year later right down the road in Shorewood. So much for professional investigative skills.
As for the reunion? We’re on it. We hope we won’t have to wait as long, but if we have to, it will be worth it.