Remembering Mary Tyler Moore on the TV Icon’s Would-Be 85th Birthday

by Kati Michelle
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(Bettmann/Contributor)

Mary Tyler Moore is remembered as the woman who could “turn the world on with her smile.” A lot of people also say that The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the first network sitcom to focus on a single woman. It turns out that that’s not entirely true, though, because That Girl with Marlo Thomas actually debuted four years prior in 1966. Regardless, her legacy is a lasting one. So, what better day to celebrate than the icon’s would-be 85th birthday?

Her resume is a long one including timeless classics like The Dick Van Dyke Show. Her influence on pop culture can’t be understated either with several guest appearances on Frasier and even That ’70s Show. It comes as no surprise that the icon amassed a handful of Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe awards, and People’s Choice Awards before her passing in 2017. As per IMDb, she even took home the prized Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild back in 2012.

But, of course, the icon’s most popular work remains The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Explored Every Topic Under the Sun

The Mary Tyler Moore Show ran for 7 seasons from 1970-1977. Branded as “character-based storytelling,” the show explored every topic under the sun. This involved the more controversial or uncomfortable ones too. The show advocated for equal rights and journalism ethics while speaking out against infidelity, workplace sexism, and anti-Semitism. And that’s why it took home nearly 30 Emmy awards as a result.

You can watch the Good Morning America staff (including Michael Strahan) detail some of their favorite MTM TV moments right here:

Following the conclusion of her self-titled show, she found even more success with Ordinary People. This family-themed theatrical came from director Robert Redford and also went on to earn accolades.

Between 1978-1979, Mary Tyler Moore starred in two CBS variety series: Mary and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour. Neither work produced much success but this didn’t slow her down. She went on to dazzle audiences with Lincoln, Stolen Babies, Flirting With Disaster, and Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

Mary always knew how to “take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.”

A Dull Date With Ed Asner

It’s hard to talk about Mary Tyler Moore without also mentioning Ed Asner. Although their chemistry on screen was magic, apparently it didn’t exactly translate off the screen. The two even went on a date once that Asner described as “dull.”

It wasn’t a knock at her character, though. They simply weren’t meant to be. “She was a doll,” he said.

Unfortunately, both stars passed away. Mary died of pneumonia and Asner is said to have died of natural causes.

We remember Mary Tyler Moore as a champion of adversity on her would-be 85th birthday.

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