Mary Tyler Moore was one of the most recognizable faces in television history. She began her career in advertisements before making her cinematic debut in X-15. In 1961, she became well-known for her appearance in ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’ As Laura Petrie, she showcased her ability for domestic humor and was nominated for Emmys for her performance on the series. She went on to star in several films, including ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ and ‘Change of Habit,’ before returning to television with The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Audiences identified with her portrayal of Mary Richards, a thirtysomething professional lady. Mary’s personal and professional lives were chronicled on the comedy show as she worked in a television news department. Through her company MTM Enterprises, Moore and her second husband Grant Tinker devised and produced the series. She attempted multiple times to reclaim her notoriety, but none of her subsequent projects found a following on television. She did, however, continue to enjoy success in other areas of acting, winning a Tony Award for her Broadway performance of ‘Whose Life Is It Anyway?’ She was also nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in ‘Ordinary People’ that year. Along with her acting career, she volunteered for the American Diabetes Association.
Childhood & Adolescence
Mary Tyler Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 29, 1936, to George Tyler Moore, a clerk, and Marjorie. She was the eldest of three siblings and lived in Flushing, Queens with her family.She attended Saint Rose of Lima School in Brooklyn, a Catholic school. Her family relocated to Los Angeles when she was eight years old, and she attended St. Ambrose School and Immaculate Heart High School.
Career of Mary
Moore desired a career as a dancer when she was seventeen. She made her television debut as Happy Hotpoint, a little elf dancing on Hotpoint appliances in television commercials for the 1950s series Ozzie and Harriet.She made her television debut in 1957 as a mysterious and glamorous telephone receptionist in the mystery drama ‘Richard Diamond, Private Detective.’
In 1960, she featured as a guest star in two episodes of the NBC western series ‘Overland Trail’ starring William Bendix and Doug McClure, as well as the pilot episode of NBC’s sitcom ‘The Tab Hunter Show’.1961 was a banner year for her, as she landed significant roles in films and television, including ‘Bourbon Street Beat’, ’77 Sunset Strip’, ‘Surfside Six’, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive’, ‘Steve Canyon’, ‘Hawaiian Eye’, ‘Thriller’, and ‘Lock-Up’.
She made her cinematic debut in the dramatic aviation picture ‘X-15,’ which also starred David McLean and Charles Bronson.She starred as Miss Dorothy Brown in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie,’ a 1967 musical film starring Julie Andrews about a naive young woman’s exploits as she pursues her wealthy boss’s marriage.
Moore co-founded MTM Enterprises, Inc. with her husband Grant Tinker in 1969, which produced ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and other television shows and films. MTM Records was the company’s record label.In 1969, she co-starred with Elvis Presley in ‘Change of Habit,’ a musical drama film about three Catholic nuns and a psychiatrist who develops feelings for one of the sisters.
Mary, in 1978, starred David Letterman, Michael Keaton, Swoosie Kurtz, and Dick Shawn; and Mary’s Incredible Dream, a one-off musical/variety spectacular starring John Ritter.In the second part of the 1980s, she appeared in two series: ‘Mary,’ which received mixed reviews and caused internal turmoil among the production staff, and ‘Annie McGuire,’ which was cancelled.
Between 2001 and 2005, she appeared as a guest on ‘The Ellen Show,’ ‘That 70s Show,’ and ‘Hot in Cleveland,’ and reunited with her cast members for ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.’She has starred in a variety of television films, including ‘Like Mother, Like Son’, ‘Run a Crooked Mile’, ‘Heart Sounds’, ‘The Gin Game Mary’ and ‘Rhoda’, as well as ‘Finnegan Begin Again’ and ‘Stolen Babies’.
Her Significant Works
Moore’s enthusiastic humorous appearances as Van Dyke’s character’s wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show between 1961 and 1966 made her characteristic tight Capri trousers and herself internationally famous.From 1970 through 1977, ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ was “one of the most praised television programs ever produced.” Moore portrayed a woman who was distinct from other unmarried women on television at the time.She co-starred alongside Donald Sutherland in Robert Redford’s 1980 directorial debut, ‘Ordinary People,’ a critical and financial triumph about a family’s breakdown following the death of a son in a boating accident.
Awards and Accomplishments
In 1981, for the film Ordinary People, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress-Drama for the film.She received the Golden Globe for Best Female Television Star in 1965 for her appearance in The Dick Van Dyke Show and again six years later for Mary Tyler Moore.Her supporting role in the miniseries Stolen Babies earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination. She received two Emmy nominations for her work as a lead actress in The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mary Tyler Moore.
Personal History and Legacies
Mary Tyler Moore has three marriages. At the age of 18, she married Richard Carleton Meeker. In 1956, she gave birth to a son named Richard Jr. In 1961, Mary and Richard Carleton divorced.She had to bear the sadness of her son’s death at the age of 24, when he shot himself inadvertently while handling a sawed-off shotgun.In 1962, she married Grant Tinker, a CBS executive at the time. The couple married for 19 years before divorcing in 1981.
On November 23, 1983, she married Robert Levine, and the marriage lasted until her death.On January 25, 2017, she died of cardiopulmonary arrest at the age of 80.
She served as International Chairman of JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and used her platform to promote funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes, which she also has.In 2007, JDRF launched the Forever Moore Program, a research initiative dedicated to advancing basic research into innovative treatments and technology for people living with type 1 diabetes.
Estimated Net Worth
Mary Tyler Moore was an American actress, model, producer, and humanitarian. At the time of her death on January 25th, 2017, she had a net worth of $60 million. She was most remembered for her roles in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
She made one of her initial television appearances as a receptionist in charge of the answering service. The viewer was just aware of her voice and legs.