Manny P. here…
“`Mary Tyler Moore was the pioneering star of two of television’s great sitcoms, and whose comic realism shaped the coy attitude of a modern woman. She ranks with Lucille Ball, Imogene Coca, Carol Burnett, and Bea Arthur as trailblazing funny-women on the small screen. Her work earned seven Emmys; and she received an Oscar nod for her portrait of a grieving mother after her son is killed in Ordinary People.
“`She gained fame in the 1960s as frazzled wife Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. With her gift for comedy, Moore was a perfect fit in the post-Eisenhower age. She became a fashion icon when she wore Capri pants that were fashionable, and suited to gals of the era. Plus, Moore’s chemistry with Van Dyke was also unmistakable.
“`In the 1970s, she created one of television’s first career-woman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. As Mary Richards, the plucky Minneapolis television news producer, she truly made her mark. At a time when women’s liberation was catching on worldwide, her character brought a new independence to the female mystique that was pioneered by Marlo Thomas on That Girl, years before. Richards was comfortable as a single professional in her 30s. She affectionately sparred with her gruff boss, Mr. Grant, played to perfection by Ed Asner.
“`The Mary Tyler Moore Show spawned spin-offs, such as Rhoda starring Valerie Harper; Phyllis with Cloris Leachman; and Lou Grant, a rare drama spun off from a comedy. These programs were developed by her then-hubby, Grant Tinker, who died last year, through their MTM Enterprises. The Bob Newhart Show, Hill Street Blues, WKRP in Cincinnati and St. Elsewhere are MTM shows that were big hits. A meowing kitty at the conclusion of the sitcoms was a cute parody of the MGM lion.
“` On the big screen, Moore was a 1920s flapper in the musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie; and a nun who falls for Elvis Presley in Change of Habit. On television, she guest-starred in 77 Sunset Strip, Bachelor Father, Thiller, Wanted Dead or Alive, and recently, Frasier, That 70s Show, and Hot in Cleveland.
“`Moore lived with Type-1 diabetes for 4 decades. She served as chairperson of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, supported embryonic stem cell research, and she was active in animal rights causes.
“`In 1992, Moore was awarded a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. A decade later, a life-size bronze statue went on display in Minneapolis, with her tossing the trademark tam, as she did in the opening credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. This afternoon, both locales became makeshift memorials.
“`Mary Tyler Moore: Love is All Around is a CBS News retrospective that airs tomorrow. Gayle King, co-anchor of CBS This Morning, will present this salute. And, Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration, which first aired in 2015 on PBS, will run on its member stations; and streamed through their website at PBS.org.
“`Mary Tyler Moore (above) was 80.
Until next time> “never forget”