Happy Birthday, Mary Tyler Moore!

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Mary Tyler Moore (December 29, 1936) is an American actress best known for playing Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. In addition to her long career as a television actress, Moore appeared in several Broadway plays and films, including a role in Ordinary People, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

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Mary-Tyler-Moore-15Mary Tyler Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York to George and Marjorie Tyler Moore. The family moved to Los Angeles when Mary was eight years old. Around age 17, Mary appeared as "Happy Hotpoint", a tiny elf dancing on Hotpoint appliances in commercials during the series Ozzie and Harriet. She later auditioned for the role of the older daughter on Danny Thomas' show Make Room for Daddy, but was turned down.

Moore began her television career as the telephone receptionist on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, a role for which only her voice was heard and her legs appeared on camera.

Mary-Tyler-Moore-16In 1961, Moore was cast by Carl Reiner in The Dick Van Dyke Show, based on Reiner's own career as a writer for Sid Caesar's variety show. Danny Thomas recommended her for the role, remembering her as "the girl with three names". Although she was 23 when she was cast as Dick Van Dyke's character's wife, she told producers that she was 25 at the time. Moore's portrayal of Laurie Petri was enormously popular and earned her international fame.

 

 

 

In 1970, Moore successfully pitched her own sitcom to CBS, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which she played a single woman working as a local news producer in Minneapolis, with Ed Asner as her boss Lou Grant. The final season of the won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and The Mary Tyler Moore show remains an important part of television history for being one of the first sitcoms to feature an independent working woman.

mary-tyler-mooreIn Ordinary People, the dramatic film directed by Robert Redford, Moore played a woman struggling to deal with the death of her son, and the suicide attempt of another. Moore's character struggles to maintain the semblance of an ideal family.

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mary-tyler-moore-17Moore's first memoir, After All, was released in 1995.


In August 2005, Moore guest-starred as Christine St. George, a high-strung host of a fictional TV show on three episodes of Fox sitcom That '70s Show. Moore's scenes were shot on the same soundstage where The Mary Tyler Moore Show was filmed in the 1970s. Moore made a guest appearance on the season 2 premiere of Hot in Cleveland, which stars her old co-star Betty White. This marked the first time that White and Moore had worked together since The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended in 1977.

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Monday, 29 December 2014
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