Wednesday, January 25, 2017

RIP Mary Tyler Moore

Sorry to hear of the passing of Mary Tyler Moore. She truly was a giant of television and it was an honor to collaborate with her for a year. No one was more professional or better prepared. And as a performer she was utterly amazing. Absolutely pitch perfect take after take.

It always seemed like she led a charmed life, but it was filled with health issues, struggles, addictions, and personal tragedies.  And yet she courageously fought through all of them... while still keeping that smile.  

She leaves behind a long legacy of excellence and future generations will fall in love with her just as we all have. RIP Mary. RIP Laura.

24 comments :

VP81955 said...

As a diabetic like Mary, I thank her for raising public awareness of the disease and her work in raising funds for research. While I love Laura Petrie and Mary Richards, to me that was her greatest role.

Andrew said...

To make such sad news more bearable, here's the Chuckles the Clown scene from MTM. I think Mary would consider this an appropriate epitaph.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92I04DkMEps

RIP, Mary.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Obviously she was loved and adored.

She was a great rep for those who had TYPE1 Diabetes, which she battled.
She'll be missed...

John Hammes said...

Lou Grant: "... You know what? You've got spunk..."

Mary Richards: "Well, yes..."

Lou Grant: "I hate spunk..."


Rest in peace, Mare.

Joe said...

Ken, I've always respected you for separating your own personal experience with Mary from her work. You've acknowledged her comic genius in the blog multiple times, and that's a credit to you.

I wonder how many young people saw the "needy bald people" scene with her and Carl Reiner for the first time on CBS last month and got exposed to her brilliance for the first time.

Rest in peace, Mary.

VP81955 said...

Thanks, Andrew. An iconic moment from arguably the greatest sitcom episode ever filmed.

Michael said...

The proof that she was one of the greats first came when she held her own with a group of greats--check out the scene where she tells Alan Brady that there must be some needy bald people.

I always thought the greatest acting job was keeping a straight face while everybody else was joking about Chuckles, because with that script and those actors, that HAD to require great acting.

Phil said...

Here in the UK in the '70s and '80s it was very noticeable that all the best American shows ended with that MTM Enterprises kitten logo. Even when Mary wasn't on screen, she was transforming TV comedy and drama.

No doubt a lot of that was actually Grant Tinker and the people he brought in to create and run shows. But without MTM, there'd be no MTM Enterprises. The chain from The MTM Show, to Lou Grant, to Hill Street Blues and beyond, really charts how American TV developed in sophistication across those decades.

Funny how funny ladies seem to lead the way. Mary and Lucy, I mean.

rockgolf said...

Remarkable that Lou, Murray, Rhoda, Phyllis, Georette and Sue-Anne are still among us, 40 years after the show finished.

That tontine is gonna take forever.

"You feel like laughing, don't you?
Don't try to stop yourself. Go ahead, laugh out loud.
Don't you see? Nothing could have made Chuckles happier.
He lived to make people laugh. He found tears offensive, deeply offensive.
He hated to see people cry. Go ahead, my dear--laugh. "

MikeN said...

I always thought she was joking when she claimed that she didn't sleep with Elvis(who said it was all but one of his costars), especially when the list included Angela Lansbury. Watching Murder She Wrote reruns, I find it a little more believable. I never noticed how every episode involves someone having an affair.

Fitz said...

For a testosterone fueled teen in the 1960's there were only two women on television worth mentioning, Mary Tyler Moore and Emma Peele. I never had much of an opinion of her acting skills one way or the other, but as a cultural icon she rocked. I always thought the Dick Van Dyke show in BW and the MTM show in color symbolized a real change in society.

Marc Wielage said...

Mary Tyler Moore had her dark side as well. I hope some day Ken can tell some of the inside tales on the 1985 CBS TV series (which I liked). I have been told before that while she could be nice and cooperative and professional, she could also be very cold and argumentative on bad days.

I know for a tribute show about 15 years ago, she was the only DICK VAN DYKE cast member who insisted to be paid (for a zero-budget project) and was extremely demanding with the crew. Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke -- totally nice, very cool, zero problems. I think Mary had a lot of demons.

Barry Traylor said...

Very sad news. I fell in love with her on the Dick Van Dyke show.

MikeK.Pa. said...

Who would have thought that Rose Marie would outlive Mary? Knowing, like me, how much you love Natalie Wood, I always wondered how Natalie would have done in the role Mary Tyler Moore played in ORDINARY PEOPLE. Natalie really wanted that part and thought with Robert Redford, a good friend and former co-star, as the director of the film, she had a chance.

Johnny Walker said...

Whatever she was behind the scenes, she was an amazing performer. Consistently great, effortlessly charming, creating wonderful performances that made us love her characters and her.

As a real person, her flaws, whatever they were, were part of who she was, like all of us. I'm sure there were reasons why she was like was. Not excuses, but reasons. She had a very difficult private life and endured a lot of tragedy, for one thing. That would take its toll on anyone.

So she may not have been perfect, but for me she'll always be the best version of her: The talented actress creating perky, upbeat, likeable characters that we all loved. I'm grateful to her for that.

Mike Barer said...

Laura Petrie may have been one of my first TV crushes. Mary Tyler Moore, because of her work in The Dick Van Dyke show and Mary Tyler Moore show became as big as the media itself.

Stephen Marks said...

Joe, you had the best comment so far this year: "Ken, I've always respected you for separating your own personal experience with Mary from her work" That is exactly what Ken has always done. Not always easy to do.

So there have been a lot of script references here from Mary's sitcoms showing how brilliant she was, but not one attributed to the person who actually wrote those lines. That can't be right. As funny and talented as she was, Mary just didn't show up and adlib.....after all.

Jeff Weimer said...

@Andrew - Ken's told this story before, but he was in the studio audience for that very episode.

peabody nobis said...

As a teenager in the '70's, I fell in love with Mary Richards. So cool, so sexy...and that body-it was almost more than a young man could handle! Lol...
And as far as her acting skills go, which commenter "Fitz" mentioned, all I know is that I never caught her at it.
Rest in peace, Ms. Moore; your life did not go unnoticed.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

I cried a bit in the car today when I heard. So sad. So beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Mary Tyler Moore was unquestionably the second-greatest TV comedienne of all time (my rank would be Lucy, MTM, Carol Burnette)
But her TV life was almost in direct opposition to her real life.
While she was playing a contented housewife and wonderful mother on screen, her personal life was playing out much differently.
When she was the single proto-feminist of the 1970's (presaged by the wonderfully bad Elvis socially relevant movie Change of Habit), she was part of a Hollywood power couple.
Like many funny people, we tend to think of men but it was true of Lucy as well, she was sad in much of her real life

Brian Phillips said...

@Marc Humans contain multitudes. The excerpt from her autobiography "After All" that I read discusses quite a few flaws. She, like Bill Cosby, will always be special to me for the quality of their work, regardless of their personal lives.

I in no way wish to see this degenerate into a "what Cosby did" discussion; I merely mentioned him as someone who has entertained me that had/has issues.

- Brian Phillips

Andrew said...

@ Jeff - Yes, I remember Ken writing about being there for that episode. Count me among the envious. It's like saying, "I was there watching Beethoven compose his ninth symphony. Someone sneaked me in."

Unless Ken's just making it up...

Alan C said...

Maybe it's just anticipation of baseball season, but I couldn't help recalling this Mariners commercial from 2000 that parodied the MTM opening. It's a measure of how iconic her show was.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4-6JCmxewY&index=41&list=PLX0QiAf6mS6AR5Ogcm7WpiY-9LrnL1iQO