Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What You Probably Don't Know About Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore, a TV pioneer and radiant actress, known for her roles in the television sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977), in which she starred as Mary Richards, a thirty-something single woman who worked as a local news producer in Minneapolis, and The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), in which she played Laura Petrie, a former dancer turned Westchester homemaker, wife and mother will forever be remembered for her endearing style and unmatched comic timing. She was simply a natural talent.

And there's something about her that you may not know. But, we'll get to that.

Moore's notable film work includes 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie and 1980's Ordinary People, in which she played a role that was very different from the television characters she had portrayed, and for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Yes, she could excel as a dramatic actress as well. She did it all --drama, comedy, singing and dancing.

Along the way, she won our hearts. And it's no understatement to say she was truly beloved, even though she probably laugh out loud at the use of that term to describe her.

Moore was active in charity work and various political causes, particularly the issues of animal rights and diabetes. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes early in the run of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She also suffered from alcoholism, which she wrote about in her first of two memoirs. In May 2011, Moore underwent elective brain surgery to remove a benign meningioma. She died from cardiopulmonary arrest because of pneumonia at the age of 80 earlier today.

Here's the something about Mary Tyler Moore that you may not know. Though she had been identified earlier in her career as a liberal, she became much more conservative in recent years. In a Parade magazine article from March 22, 2009, Moore identified herself as a "libertarian centrist" who watches Fox News. She stated, "...when one looks at what's happened to television, there are so few shows that interest me. I do watch a lot of Fox News. I like Charles Krauthammer and Bill O'Reilly...If McCain had asked me to campaign for him, I would have." In an interview for the 2013 PBS series Pioneers of Television, Moore said that she was "recruited" to join the feminist movement of the 1970s by Gloria Steinem but did not agree with Steinem's views. Moore said she believed that women have an important role in raising children and that she did not believe in Steinem's view that "women owe it to themselves to have a career."

Rest in peace, Mary!

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