Mary Tyler Moore Appeared in Two Episodes of the Burt Reynolds and Darren McGavin-Led ‘Riverboat’ Western

by Megan Molseed

Mary Tyler Moore is often immediately associated with her iconic role as Laura Petrie, the wife of Dick Van Dyke’s Rob Petrie on the hit classic TV series The Dick Van Dyke Show. The iconic actress is also often connected to her other popular TV character, Mary Richards from the 1970s series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

However, Mary Tyler Moore got her start in the business long before landing these iconic characters. In her early roles, Mary Tyler Moore found her start in several smaller parts; including that of a commercial mascot. She also found a few other opportunities that see the actress portraying characters in uncredited background roles.

These parts eventually led to larger parts in some Westerns and other drama credits. One of these opportunities came when Mary Tyler Moore stepped into two separate roles on a Burt Reynolds and Darren McGavin western series titled Riverboat.

Moore Lands Two Roles In The Same Burt Reynolds And Darren McGavin Western Series

In 1983, Darren McGavin hit the big screen portraying “the old man” – father to Ralphie and his brothers in the Christmas classic film A Christmas Story. However, long before McGavin revealed the risque contents of his “fragi-ley” package in the iconic holiday film, McGavin joins Burt Reynolds in the western TV series, Riverboat.

The series features Darren McGavin as a riverboat captain who travels up and down the famed Mississippi River. The series also brought in Burt Reynolds for one of his very first regular roles in his acting career. And, Mary Tyler Moore was all too happy to join these actors on the small screen. Appearing in two Riverboat episodes.

Moore’s first appearance in the Riverboat series is an uncredited one. Her second appearance occurred not long after this one; when she joins Jody Fair in an episode titled Trunk Full of Dreams.

Mary Tyler Moore Joins Steve McQueen In Wanted Dead Or Alive In With A Hilarious Performance Early In Her Career

During her years establishing her career, the Dick Van Dyke Show actress also joined iconic actor Steve McQueen on the small screen; as he portrays bounty hunter, Josh Randall. In this episode, titled Twain Shall Meet, Mary Tyler Moore portrays a woman who spins a very tall tale. She tells these stories when she runs into a reporter at a local saloon. As the hilarious scene continues, the stories Moore’s character is telling grow wilder and wilder. Growing more and more over the top by the minute.

And, as she continues to spin her tales, they become more and more inconsistent…and clearly wildly untrue. However, the reporter enjoys these comedic anecdotes and pays for the woman’s drinks, wishing her well as she continues her silly adventures.