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Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler MooreBorn: 29-Dec-1936
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Female
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mary Tyler Moore is an actress and dancer best known for her roles in two classic sitcoms, as the mildly neurotic wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66) and as the single working woman on her own Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-77).

Moore started dancing professionally within weeks of graduating from high school, and danced in live TV commercials. As an actress, her first TV series was Richard Diamond, Private Detective, where she played David Janssen's secretary, but the camera never showed her face, just her legs. She played Laura Petrie on Van Dyke's popular sitcom, and several years after that show ended CBS offered her a series of her own. Although very much relics of their time, both shows were popular, and The Mary Tyler Moore show is often referred to as "groundbreaking". It wasn't the first sitcom where the main character was a single woman on her own in the big city, but it was the first where she was truly on her own, without a recurring father, boyfriend, or fiancÚ looking out for her. It also may have been the first show to discretely mention birth control, with an one-line allusion that Mary was sexually active and on the pill.

As originally conceived, Moore would have played a divorced woman -- the first divorced lead on TV -- but CBS executives worried that viewers would think she had divorced Van Dyke, and thus be unable to warm to her character. Instead, the backstory of her "Mary Richards" character was that she'd broken up with her fiancÚ. Moore and her then-husband Grant Tinker, a Hollywood producer who later became President of NBC, started their own production company to produce The Mary Tyler Moore Show. They called it MTM Enterprises, and in a play on MGM's roaring lion, the MTM logo was a meowing kitten.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show may hold the record for most spin-off series. Valerie Harper played the perpetually single Rhoda, Cloris Leachman was the mildly overbearing Phyllis, and Ed Asner played Mary's growling boss, Lou Grant. MTM Enterprises produced all the spin-offs, as well as Bob Newhart's The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Remington Steele, Rescue 911, and the play Noises Off on Broadway. Her sitcoms made Moore an icon of comedy, and she capitalized on that by playing exponentially against type as the frigid grieving mother in 1980's Ordinary People. She also had five TV series after The Mary Tyler Moore Show, none of which was renewed for a second season.

Moore has type-1 diabetes, and she chairs the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. She's been through rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic, for alcoholism.

Her only son died of a self-inflicted gunshot in 1980, but it was ruled an accidental death, not suicide. Her father is the namesake of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, at West Virginia's Shepherd University.

In 2002, a statue of Moore was unveiled in downtown Minneapolis. It shows Moore tossing her hat in the air, as her character did in the opening credits of her show.

Father: George Tyler Moore (office clerk)
Mother: Marjorie Moore
Brother: John Moore (b. 1945, d. 1992)
Sister: Elizabeth Moore (b. 1957, d. 1978)
Husband: Richard Meeker (salesman, m. 1955, div. 1962)
Son: Richard Meeker Jr. (b. 1956, d. 1980)
Husband: Grant Tinker (TV producer, div. 1981)
Husband: S. Robert Levine (doctor; m. 23-Nov-1983)

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame
    Emmy 1964 for The Dick Van Dyke Show
    Emmy 1966 for The Dick Van Dyke Show
    Emmy 1973 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Emmy 1974 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Emmy 1976 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Emmy 1993 for Stolen Babies
    Golden Globe 1965 for The Dick Van Dyke Show
    Golden Globe 1971 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Golden Globe 1981 for Ordinary People
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 7021 Hollywood Blvd. (television)
    Betty Ford Center 1984
    Miscarriage
    Brain Surgery 13-May-2011
    Risk Factors: Diabetes, Smoking, Vegetarian, Alcoholism

    TELEVISION
    The Naked Truth Catherine Wilde (1997)
    Mary Mary Brenner (1985-86)
    Rhoda Mary Richards (1974-77)
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Richards (1970-77)
    The Dick Van Dyke Show Laura Petrie (1961-66)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Against the Current (18-Jan-2009) · Mom
    Snow Wonder (20-Nov-2005)
    The Gin Game (4-May-2003)
    Cheats (11-Nov-2002)
    Labor Pains (7-Nov-2000) · Esther
    Mary and Rhoda (7-Feb-2000)
    Keys to Tulsa (20-Mar-1997)
    Payback (10-Feb-1997)
    Flirting with Disaster (22-Mar-1996) · Mrs. Coplin
    The Last Best Year (4-Nov-1990)
    Lincoln (27-Mar-1988)
    Just Between Friends (21-Mar-1986) · Holly Davis
    Finnegan Begin Again (24-Feb-1985)
    Heartsounds (30-Sep-1984)
    Six Weeks (24-Dec-1982)
    Ordinary People (19-Sep-1980) · Beth
    First, You Cry (8-Nov-1978)
    Change of Habit (10-Nov-1969) · Sister Michelle
    Don't Just Stand There! (4-Sep-1968)
    What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (17-May-1968)
    Thoroughly Modern Millie (21-Mar-1967) · Miss Dorothy
    X-15 (22-Dec-1961)

Author of books:
After All (1995)


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