Today is the 85th birthday of the actress and activist Mary Tyler Moore. I love all the reruns of The Dick Van Dyke and The Mary Tyler Moore show, I remember seeing that MTM logo and knowing that I was going to like the show. The world is a better place because she is in it.
NAME: Mary Tyler Moore
BIRTH DATE: December 29, 1936
PLACE OF BIRTH: Brooklyn, New York
DEATH DATE: January 25, 2017
PLACE OF DEATH: Greenwich, Connecticut
HEIGHT: 5′ 7″
SPOUSE: Robert Levine (m. 1983), Grant Tinker (m. 1962–1981), Richard Carleton Meeker (m. 1955–1961)
CHILDREN: Richie Meeker
BROADCASTING AND CABLE HALL OF FAME
EMMY 1964 for The Dick Van Dyke Show
EMMY 1966 for The Dick Van Dyke Show
EMMY 1973 for Mary Tyler Moore
EMMY 1974 for Mary Tyler Moore
EMMY 1976 for Mary Tyler Moore
EMMY 1993 for Stolen Babies
GOLDEN GLOBE 1965 for The Dick Van Dyke Show
GOLDEN GLOBE 1971 for Mary Tyler Moore
GOLDEN GLOBE 1981 for Ordinary People
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 7021 Hollywood Blvd. (television)
BEST KNOWN FOR: Mary Tyler Moore is an Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress, television star and producer known for her roles on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Actress Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York to George Tyler Moore, who worked as a clerk, and Marjorie Hackett Moore. She was the eldest of three children and was raised in the Catholic faith. Her family moved from New York to Los Angeles when she was eight years old, and she began acting and dancing while in high school.
You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.
She got her start in show business as a dancer in commercials, playing the part of a home appliance known as “Happy Hotpoint” in the mid-1950s. Moore also found work as chorus dancer in television variety shows, and in 1959 landed a role in the TV drama Richard Diamond, Private Detective, playing Sam, a glamorous secretary whose face was never shown, but was represented by her shapely legs. She made several guest appearances in television shows including Johnny Staccato, Bachelor Father, The Tab Hunter Show, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, and Lock-Up.
She made her film debut in 1961 in X-15, an aviation drama starring David McLean and Charles Bronson.
Moore became a household name in 1961 when she landed the role of Laura Petrie, one of television’s most beloved wives on The Dick Van Dyke Show, created by Carl Reiner and starring Dick Van Dyke. As charming Laura Petrie, Moore showed off her flair for comedy and won Emmys in 1964 and 1966 for her work.
After the show ended in 1966, Moore focused on making movie musicals, including Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), where she played an aspiring actress opposite Julie Andrews, and Change of Habit (1970), starring as nun who falls in love with a doctor, played by Elvis Presley, as she prepares to take her vows. She also played a dramatic role in the television thriller Run A Crooked Mile (1969), starring opposite Louis Jourdan.
Moore didn’t have another hit until her return to television, starring in her own show The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970. She not only starred in the series, but produced it with her second husband Grant Tinker through their company MTM Enterprises. The show became a cultural phenomenon, tapping into changing attitudes about women in the workplace. Moore played television producer Mary Richards, one of the first female television characters to be a successful single woman. The TV comedy followed Mary’s personal and professional life at WJM-TV in Minneapolis, and also featured Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Betty White, Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman.
Moore won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in 1973, 1974 and 1976 for the show, which aired it’s final episode in 1977. In addition to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, her company produced a number of other popular television programs, including The Bob Newhart Show (1972-78), Taxi (1978-1982), Hill Street Blues (1981-87), Remington Steele (1982-87), Cheers (1982-1993) and spin-offs from The Mary Tyler Moore Show including Rhoda (1974-78), Phyllis (1975-77), and The Lou Grant Show (1977-1982).
Moore made several attempts to return to television, including Mary (1978) and New York News (1995), but these shows did not catch on with television audiences. Moore continued to have success in other acting endeavors. She won a Tony Award for her performance in Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1980) on Broadway. That year, Moore also received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of an emotionally guarded mother in Ordinary People, directed by Robert Redford.
She appeared in the television movies First, You Cry (1978), Heartsounds (1984), Finnegan Begin Again (1985), Lincoln (1988), playing Mary Todd Lincoln and Stolen Babies (1993), for which she earned another Emmy Award. In 1996, she returned to big screen comedy playing the adoptive mother of Ben Stiller’s character in Flirting with Disaster (1996), directed by David O. Russell.
Mary Tyler Moore has been married three times. She married Ricard Meeker in 1955 and they have a son, Richard, who was born the following year. After they split, she then married television executive Grant Tinker from 1962 until their divorce in 1981. Tragedy struck the family when her son Richard died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1980. In 1983, she married Robert Levine, a doctor who had treated her mother.
During her life, Moore has struggled with alcoholism, a disease her mother also battled, and not long after she married Levine, she checked herself in to the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment. When she was in her early thirties, Moore was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She has become a well-known spokesperson and international advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In recent years, Moore’s battled complications of the diabetes including kidney and heart problems, and it has been reported recently that she’s lost much of her eyesight as a result of the disease. In 2011, she faced another health challenge when she had a benign tumor removed from her brain.
An animal lover and vegetarian, Moore also has been an activist with Farm Sanctuary, and she and Bernadette Peters co-founded Broadway Barks in 1999. The group organizes an annual event with Broadway stars to promote pet adoptions from shelters.
The Naked Truth Catherine Wilde (1997)
Mary Mary Brenner (1985-86)
Rhoda Mary Richards (1974-77)
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Richards (1970-77)
The Dick Van Dyke Show Laura Petrie (1961-66)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Against the Current (18-Jan-2009) · Mom
Snow Wonder (20-Nov-2005)
The Gin Game (4-May-2003)
Labor Pains (7-Nov-2000) · Esther
Mary and Rhoda (7-Feb-2000)
Keys to Tulsa (20-Mar-1997)
Flirting with Disaster (22-Mar-1996) · Mrs. Coplin
The Last Best Year (4-Nov-1990)
Just Between Friends (21-Mar-1986) · Holly Davis
Finnegan Begin Again (24-Feb-1985)
Six Weeks (24-Dec-1982)
Ordinary People (19-Sep-1980) · Beth
First, You Cry (8-Nov-1978)
Change of Habit (10-Nov-1969) · Sister Michelle
Don’t Just Stand There! (4-Sep-1968)
What’s So Bad About Feeling Good? (17-May-1968)
Thoroughly Modern Millie (21-Mar-1967) · Miss Dorothy
Author of books:
After All (1995)