Thursday, January 26, 2017
Oh, No!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not Our Mary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, darlings. Yesterday, at the age of 80, Mary Tyler Moore, whom I did not expect to go much farther than Laura Petrie, but went on to become an iconic force to be reckoned with, died. She had been living in Greenwich, Connecticut, famous for the Martha Moxley murder.
I loved Mary as Laura, my first exposure to her. Until 1970, when "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" set sitcom precedents unseen since the days of "I Love Lucy," her career was a series of ups and downs.
Though my favorite role of hers was as Miss Dorothy Brown, in "Thoroughly Modern Millie," despite her song and dance training, it did not make her the musical star it was planned to. She then starred in two of the worst movies ever made, "What's So Bad About Feeling Good?," noted for being Thelma Ritter's last film--and yes, she stole it!!!!!--and then "Change Of Habit," wherein she played a nun, opposite Elvis Presley--who did not play a nun--and was considered one of the worst actresses to ever play a nun in film history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mary was almost professionally extinct. But, then came "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," which changed her and viewers' lives.
Darlings, from then on, we all wanted to be career girls, like Mary Richards. We wanted to move to Minneapolis, and throw our hats into the air. We wanted to live in an apartment with a sunken living room, on the top floor of a gorgeous Victorian house. Lives and careers, I am telling you, were forged by this show.
Not to mention she was backed up by one of the most talented ensembles ever--Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Gavin MacLeod, Betty White, Ted Knight, and Georgia Engel." All became household associates.
When the show was finally cancelled, I wondered what Mary would do, now. I then had a subscription to "The New Yorker." Shortly after the show was cancelled, there was a cartoon of a guy pushing h is TV set to the foot of a cliff, about to toss it over. The caption read "The day after CBS cancelled 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'."
She wasn't still, for long. She went on to almost reinvent herself as a dramatic actress. She won a TONY Award for "Whose Life Is It, Anyway?," garnered an Oscar nomination for her role as represses suburban matron Beth Jarrett, in "Ordinary People," and, another favorite of mine, went on to play Sante Kimes--I just LOVE Sante, darlings!!!!!!!!!!--in the made-for-TV film, "Like Mother, Like Son."
Mary was also an animal rights activist, and battled juvenile diabetes. While the cause of her death was cardiac related (she was, after all, 80) I am sure the diabetes was a contributor.
Who didn't love Mary Tyler Moore? She is one performer, who will be genuinely missed.
Rest In Peace, Mary. You made it, after all.