I know I don't really report on all of the celebrity deaths anymore. Hell, 2016 would have seen me blogging hourly. But Mary Tyler Moore is a special exception.
MTM was such an iconic part of my childhood, and watching the MTM show, even seeing photos of that time, recall memories of joy and simplicity. One of my wife's favorite childhood memories is eating potato chips while watching "The Mary Tyler Moore show" with her mom. It is funny how for many years the 70s were associated with bad clothes, bad hair and disco, but it really was a pretty cool era to have come of age.
MTM's character of a young journalist working at a Minneapolis tv news station launched the careers of millions of women, both young and old, showing them that there could be more to life than being a dependent wife and mother at a time in our history when many women didn't have a lot of other options.
Originally a song and dance girl, Moore got her start in the 1950s as the dancing elf Happy Hotpoint, on a series of Hotpoint appliances TV commercials that ran during "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." In 1961 she landed the role of Laura Petrie, wife to Rob Petrie aka Dick Van Dyke on "The Dick Van Dyke show." Beautiful, funny, and talented, Moore was an instant hit.
When the show ended in 1966, Moore did film work, including playing a nun opposite Elvis "The King" Presley in 1969s "Change of Habit," before landing the role of Mary Richards in 1970. The MTM show ran until 1977 and was still hugely popular at the time they called it quits. MTM spawned the spin-offs "Rhoda", "Phyllis" and "Lou Grant."
Moore appeared in the Robert Redford directed "Ordinary People" in 1980, which earned her an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a mother dealing with the death of her son while attempting to maintain a normal appearance to the outside world.
Moore appeared on Broadway, authored books, formed a MTM Enterprises with husband Grant Tinker (a production company that, in addition to all of the MTM show spin-offs, was responsible for such shows as The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, The White Shadow, and Hill Street Blues) and basically charmed most everyone she met and made this world a better place for the past 80 years.
God-speed you lovely lady.