For those of you who didn’t grow up in the ’60s and ’70s, you will not understand. This was a time when everyone was home by or six or seven o’clock in the evening. Everyone was home, reading or watching television. One of the funniest sitcoms of all time was the Dick Van Dyke Show. Mary Tyler Moore played the namesake’s wife, Laura. Her character was shy, though funny in her shyness. She didn’t wear the dresses which were typical of the time. She wore pants. Although her character loved her husband, Rob (Dick Van Dyke), she didn’t take any garbage from him. This was very different for the time.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show broke new ground. (Remember that this show came to us at the same time as All In the Family and M*A*S*H. These shows were funny, but they were also about social and political commentary.) Mary played Mary Richards, a single woman who worked for a male chauvinist boss. The show was a huge hit. It was funny. It was heartwarming. Mary stood up for what was right; not because she was some sort of activist, but because she believed that it was right. Although she dated, she was comfortable being single. This was unheard of at the time when the series aired. What warm-blooded, American woman would be okay with being single? Hell, Mary made it okay.
She did win awards, but never got her props. She played women who were strong.
In her personal life, she started MTM productions, which produced the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda (a spin-off from the Mary Tyler Moore Show), The Bob Newhart Show and Hill Street Blues, which was the forerunner of the modern police show.
I loved her shows and admired the strength that injected into her characters. Mary Tyler Moore – RIP!