Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tribute: Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017)

The press is now reporting the death of Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017), a television icon, a trailblazer, and a true humanitarian.

Mary Tyler Moore, dead at 80 years old, had a remarkable and long-lasting career in Hollywood.  

She is most well-remembered for her two TV series roles, first in the sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966), as housewife Laura Petrie. 

And secondly as a working, single woman, Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (1970-1977), a trend-setting program in terms of the women's movement, and the cultural shifts of the 1970s.

Mary Tyler Moore also starred alongside Elvis Presley in A Change of Habit (1969), and played against type -- as a prickly, cold suburban mom -- in Ordinary People (1980).  

Mary Tyler Moore helped set the direction of television drama for a generation with her performances on TV, and will be sorely missed. She also acted, for decades, as a powerful voice for those struggling with diabetes.

As I mourn the loss of Mary Tyler Moore, I think of her charm, and grace, and essential goodness. 

Sometimes it feels like such qualities are in short supply in our modern world.


  1. Sheri5:30 PM

    I met Mary Tyler Moore several times as she transited through my hometown in Colorado. I think her diabetes probably had a lot to do with this, but she was a very brittle, demanding individual and rather cold. It's difficult to imagine how much more relaxed and pleasant she might have been with the cameras off if she had not suffered so much with her own health and with the terrible tragedy of her son's suicide.

    With the cameras on, however, she was indeed a brilliant persona who probably didn't get enough credit as an *actress* in her own iconic show, since comedic actors never do. Her sunny performance as "Our Mare", with her succession of terrible dates and bad boyfriends, her disaster-ridden parties, kooky neighbors, and coworkers who were her true family, is how I will always remember her. It would have been ice cream on the cake if Mary had ever advanced to become a successful producer on her own show, but then the comedy potential in the show's situations would have been mostly eliminated!

    I'm sure "Chuckles Bites the Dust" will play soon in tribute to Mary on ME-TV or somewhere. I'll be watching.

  2. An absolute class act and true legend of Television. She's not just gonna make it after all, she did make it after all.

  3. I watched some of Moore's performances years ago, including some early guest roles she had in TV shows like 77 Sunset Strip and Hawaiian Eye. A very talented actress she was, and she did an excellent job in portraying the modern woman in sitcoms.

    I also admire how, similar to Lucille Ball, she set up a studio of her own, MTM Enterprises, which did more than just serve to produce her own sitcom; it also turned out other gems like 2 of Bob Newhart's sitcoms, and one-hour serials like St. Elsewhere and Remington Steele. I liked how they thought of adding those funny additions to the cat in the logo (a doctor's outfit for the former, and a Sherlock hat and pipe for the latter). Moore did a lot of good for showbiz in her time, and will be sadly missed.