CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Monday, June 3, 2013

Classic TV Actress of the month: Mary Tyler Moore - Part 1

Mary Tyler Moore is my classic TV actress this month and I would argue to say that behind Lucille Ball, she has to be in the running for 2nd greatest and beloved of all TV actresses. At least in the top 3, as Elizabeth Montgomery would be in the mix too. Anyway, let's get on with some facts about the wonderful woman named Mary.

Born December 29th, 1936 in Brooklyn, NY (a Brooklyn girl!)
Married three times: Current husband is Ted Levine (1983 - present)
Second husband was Grant Tinker (1962 - 1982) 20 year marriage
First husband was Richard Meeker (1955 - 1962) which produced one child, son Richie in 1956.
Mary has one sister, Liz, who was born in 1956, 3 months before the birth of Richie.

Having fun on The Dick Van Dyke Show

After a few years with appearances on TV series such as Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Checkmate, and 77 Sunset Strip in the late 50's, Mary finally landed her first prime gig in the role as Laura Petrie, wife to Rob (played Dick Van Dyke). The show was a huge success running for 5 seasons and 158 episodes. Mary was 24 when she started on this series. It would pave way for an even bigger and more personal success for her a few years later.

Surrounded with some insane talent on The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Mary Tyler Moore show premiered in 1970 and this time Mary was front and center as the star. And she surrounded herself with one of the best ensembles in TV history. Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Gavin MacLeod, Valarie Harper and later on Betty White. The show ran for 7 seasons and 168 episodes winning tons of Emmys. Mary was one of the biggest stars in the world at the time.

Mary and Rhoda (Valarie Harper)

After that series wrapped, Mary appeared every now and then on other shows but never had the same type of success. So she shifted gears and when to the movies. She had a few films before back in the 60's most notably the Elvis Presley vehicle Change of Habit but it 1980's Ordinary People that proved to be her biggest hit. Directed by Robert Redford, the film won 4 Oscars including Best Film and gave Mary an Oscar nomination. It earned over $50 million back in 1980 which is a nice tidy sum.

During the rest of the 80's and 90's Mary appeared in TV movies and shows every now and then, keeping herself in the public eye. She recently appeared on the TV Land series, Hot In Cleveland, reuniting with former cast mate Betty White.

Mary Tyler Moore. Classic TV Actress for the month of June. I will be back with more postings about this wonderful woman.


Patti said...

I really love her in The Dick Van Dyke Show. I think the 2 of them were great together...fantastic chemistry!

Page said...

Hi, Monty!
So glad you're doing a series on Mary. I'll be looking forward to it so save me a seat.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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