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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Remembering Mary Tyler Moore 1936 - 2017

I visited New York City for the first time in March 1987, and I saw my first Broadway show - the A.R. Gurney play, Sweet Sue, starring one of my favorite actresses, Mary Tyler Moore. She, of course, was wonderful - as was her co-star, the lovely Lynn Redgrave. It was a memorable evening of theater with "Mary Richards" and "Georgy Girl".

So I am deeply saddened by Mary's death on Wednesday at age 80. The world will be a much darker place without her smile.

Below you can enjoy my 78 Groovy Things about Mary Tyler Moore on her birthday post from December 29, 2014, which I've updated with some additional videos.

Today I'm celebrating Mary Tyler Moore's 78th birthday by sharing a "few" groovy things about her life and career:

1. Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was eight.

2. In 1955, she began her career as "Happy Hotpoint", a tiny elf dancing on Hotpoint appliances in TV commercials during the ABC sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. This job ended when it became difficult to conceal her pregnancy in her costume (her son Richie was born on July 3, 1956).

3. Her first regular television role was as "Sam", a mysterious secretary on the CBS detective drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, in 1959 - but only her beautiful legs appeared on camera.

4. She was a guest star in two episodes of the ABC sitcom, 77 Sunset Strip, in 1959-60.

5. She played a Brunette in "One Blonde Too Many", the first episode of the NBC sitcom, The Tab Hunter Show, on September 18, 1960.

6. She was a guest star in two episodes of the NBC sitcom, Bachelor Father, in 1960.

7. Her first feature film role was in the 1961 movie, X-15.

8. She won two Emmy Awards for her performance as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66) in 1964 and 1966. And Laura's tight capri pants became very popular.

9. She played a singer in an episode of the NBC series, Thriller, on April 2, 1962.

10. She was a guest on CBS's The Danny Kaye Show five times in 1963-64.

11. She and Andy Griffith were guests on the Danny Thomas Special: Friends on April 23, 1965.

12. She was a guest on The Andy Williams Show on October 11, 1965.

12b. She was a guest on The David Susskind Show on March 1, 1966.

13. She and Richard Chamberlain were the stars of a new musical version of Breakfast at Tiffany's, which closed after only four preview performances on Broadway in December 1966.

14. She played Miss Dorothy Brown in the 1967 movie musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie.

15. She starred opposite George Peppard in the 1968 comedy, What's So Bad About Feeling Good?

16. She starred opposite Robert Wagner in the 1968 comedy, Don't Just Stand There!

17. She and Dick Van Dyke were reunited in a one-hour variety special, Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman, on April 13, 1969.

18. She played a nun opposite Elvis Presley in the 1969 film, Change of Habit.

19. She and Louis Jourdan starred in the 1969 made-for-TV thriller, Run a Crooked Mile.

20. She won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-77) in 1973, 1974 and 1976. She also won a 1974 Emmy Award for Actress of the Year (Series).

21. She and Jack Cassidy appeared on Password on May 24-28, 1971, and September 6-10, 1971.

21b. She was interviewed by Bette Rogge for Ohio's WHIO-TV in 1972.

21c. In 1973 she and Valerie Harper returned to Minneapolis to film some new scenes for the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and WCCO's news magazine show, Moore on Sunday, did a feature on their location shooting.

22. She appeared in six episodes of the 1974-78 CBS sitcom, Rhoda.

23. She appeared in two episodes of the 1975-77 CBS sitcom, Phyllis.

24. She starred in her own CBS variety special, Mary's Incredible Dream (with guest star Ben Vereen), on January 22, 1976.

25. She was a guest on the first episode of Dick Van Dyke's sketch comedy show, Van Dyke and Company, on September 20, 1976.

26. On February 22, 1978, she starred in a CBS special, How to Survive the 70's and Maybe Even Bump Into Happiness, with guest stars Bill Bixby, John Ritter, Harvey Korman and Dick Van Dyke.

26b. She and Walter Cronkite were the hosts of CBS: On the Air, a week-long celebration of the network's 50th anniversary that ran from March 26 to April 1, 1978.

27. She returned to network television in September 1978 with her own variety show, Mary, featuring David Letterman, Michael Keaton and Swoosie Kurtz, but CBS canceled it after only three episodes.

27b. She was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on November 3, 1978.

28. She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special for her performance in the 1978 TV movie, First, You Cry.

29. She and Bill Cullen appeared on Password Plus on March 12-16, 1979.

30. In March 1979, she returned to CBS in The Mary Tyler Moore Hour, which was described as a "sitvar" (part sitcom/part variety series), but it was canceled after 11 episodes.

31. In 1980, she received a special Tony Award for her performance in the drama, Whose Life Is It Anyway?

32. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance as Timothy Hutton's mother in the 1980 drama, Ordinary People, but she lost to Sissy Spacek (Coal Miner's Daughter). However, she did win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama.

33. She starred opposite Dudley Moore in the 1982 drama, Six Weeks.

33b. She made her first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman on July 25, 1983.

34. She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Special for her performance in the 1984 TV movie, Heartsounds, which also starred James Garner.

35. She and Robert Preston starred in the HBO romantic comedy, Finnegan Begin Again, on February 24, 1985.

36. She returned once again to CBS in a new sitcom, Mary, which ran for 13 episodes in 1985-86.

37. She was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman on February 6, 1986.

38. She and Christine Lahti starred in the 1986 drama, Just Between Friends.

39. She and Lynn Redgrave starred on Broadway in the play, Sweet Sue, which ran for 164 performances in 1987.

40. She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for her performance as Mary Todd Lincoln in the 1988 miniseries, Lincoln.

41. She starred in the 1988 CBS sitcom, Annie McGuire, featuring Eileen Heckart as her mother.

42. She was the host of Saturday Night Live on March 25, 1989.

43. She and Bernadette Peters promoted their 1990 TV movie, The Last Best Year, on Good Morning America.

43b. She was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman on November 15, 1990.

44. She starred in the 1990 TV movie, Thanksgiving Day.

45. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 8, 1992.

46. She and her friend Dudley appeared on Late Night with David Letterman on March 23, 1993.

47. She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for her performance in the 1993 TV movie, Stolen Babies.

48. She appeared on CBS Sunday Morning in November 1993 when the show looked back at The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

49. She appeared in her own fitness videos, Everywoman's Workout, in 1994.

50. She discussed her memoir, After All, on Charlie Rose on December 7, 1995.

51. She played newspaper editor Louise Felcott in the 1995 CBS drama, New York News, which was canceled after 13 episodes.

52. She guest-starred as herself in an episode of the ABC sitcom, Ellen, on February 20, 1996.

53. She appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on April 4, 1996.

54. She played Linda Lavin's sister in the 1996 TV movie, Stolen Memories: Secrets from the Rose Garden.

55. She played Ben Stiller's adoptive mother in the 1996 comedy, Flirting with Disaster.

56. She provided the voice of "Granny Rose" when the 1996 Italian animated film, How the Toys Saved Christmas, was released on video in the United States in 1997.

57. She played Téa Leoni's mother in four episodes of the NBC sitcom, The Naked Truth, in 1997.

58. On February 10, 1997, she paid a surprise visit to The Oprah Winfrey Show.

59. She and Edward Asner starred in the 1997 TV movie, Payback.

60. She played Eric Stoltz's mother in the 1997 film, Keys to Tulsa.

60b. She and Valerie Harper had a surprise reunion on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on May 7, 1997.

60c. She was a guest on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on November 7, 1997.

61. She played Reverend Karen Stroup on the Fox animated sitcom, King of the Hill, on April 20, 1999.

62. In 1999, she and Bernadette Peters founded Broadway Barks, an annual animal charity event held in New York City to promote the adoption of shelter animals.

62b. She and Dick Van Dyke were guests on CNN's Larry King Live on December 29, 1999.

63. She and Valerie Harper promoted their ABC movie, Mary and Rhoda, on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on February 3, 2000. The film aired on February 7.

64. She played Kyra Sedgwick's mother in the 2000 film, Labor Pains.

65. She starred in the 2001 TV movie, Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes.

66. She played Ellen DeGeneres's Aunt Mary (and Cloris Leachman's sister) in an episode of the CBS sitcom, The Ellen Show, on December 17, 2001.

67. On May 6, 2002, she appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to promote the CBS special, The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion, which aired on May 13, 2002.

68. On May 8, 2002, she was present as TV Land and the City of Minneapolis dedicated a statue in downtown Minneapolis to Mary Richards, the television character she made famous on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

69. She played a school principal in the 2002 comedy, Cheats.

70. She and Burt Reynolds starred in the 2002 TV movie, Miss Lettie and Me.

71. She was reunited with Dick Van Dyke in a 2003 TV adaptation of the Broadway play, The Gin Game.

72. She starred in the 2003 TV movie, Blessings.

73. She played talk show host Christine St. George in three episodes of the Fox sitcom, That '70s Show, in 2006.

74. She and the cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show reunited on The Oprah Winfrey Show on May 19, 2008.

75. In 2008, she played Brooke Shields' mother in two episodes of the NBC series, Lipstick Jungle.

76. She appeared in the 2009 film, Against the Current, with Joseph Fiennes, Elizabeth Reaser and Justin Kirk.

77. She was reunited with her former co-star, Betty White, in 2011 when she played Elka's old friend Diane in the season 2 premiere of TV Land's Hot in Cleveland.

78. She was reunited with former MTM cast members Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Georgia Engel and Betty White when she guest-starred on Hot in Cleveland on September 4, 2013.


joel65913 said...

Nice tribute.

This one really hurts. Of course that could be said over and over again last year but as with Debbie Reynolds MTM was part of the culture for so long and made such an impact her going leaves a giant space.

I loved her two big shows of course but some of her work that is never discussed but I really enjoyed was her run of minor films in the 60's, What's So Bad About Feeling Good? was silly fun but did really have a serious undertone to Thelma Ritter shows up ever so briefly in her last role. Don't Just Stand There is very stylish and has a delightful turn by Glynis Johns as a daffy novelist and Run a Crooked Mile was a decent TV mystery movie with Mary at 60's glam best.

dmappin said...

My God, Marc! What an amazing woman and an amazing career!

I watched CBS's tribute to her tonight and was in tears, either with laughter or with sadness, because of her passing.

She was such a powerhouse. I can think of few women who have had such an impact on the development of TV and for women. She might not have considered herself as a feminist, but her career clearly said otherwise.

I've always loved her! A loss like hers will be keenly felt for a long time.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Joel and Doug, thank you both for sharing your thoughts on Mary. I agree - this one really does hurt. I have fond memories of watching her TV shows and films while growing up. And I would love to see What's So Bad About Feeling Good? again - a film I enjoyed watching on TV as a kid.