Mary Tyler Moore

Statue of Mary Tyler Moore in downtown Minneapolis
Statue of Mary Tyler Moore in downtown Minneapolis

Mary Tyler Moore (born December 29, 1936) is an American actress and comedian, best known for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which she starred as Mary Richards, a 30ish single woman who worked as a news producer at WJM-TV in Minneapolis.

Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in California. At the age of 17, she started off with a role as "Happy Hotpoint" on television commercials broadcast during Ozzie and Harriet. During these commercials she would dance around on the General Electric appliances. After that, she appeared in several bit parts in movies and on TV shows such as 77 Sunset Strip, Steve Canyon, and Hawaiian Eye.

Her first regular television role was on the show Richard Diamond, Private Detective; however, in that show, only her legs were ever shown. Her first important television role in which gained wide recognition was as Laura Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show.

She has starred in several films, including Ordinary People in which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. More recently she portrayed Sante Kimes in the made-for-TV movie Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes (2001) and reunited with her Dick Van Dyke Show castmates for a reunion "episode".

In addition to her acting work, Moore is International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. In this role, she has used her fame to help raise funds and raise awareness of diabetes mellitus type 1. Moore suffers from this illness.

On a frigid early May day in 2001, in downtown Minneapolis, small and slender Mary was on hand as cable TV network TV Land dedicated a statue to the television character she made famous on Mary Tyler Moore. The statue is in front of the Dayton's (now Marshall Field's) department store, near the corner of 7th Street and Nicollet Mall. It depicts the well-known moment in the show's opening credits where Mary joyfully throws her Tam o'shanter cap up in the air, in a freeze-frame at the end of the montage.

Fans have noted that the statue takes a couple of liberties with that opening scene, for both practical and artistic reasons. One is that where Mary actually tossed the cap was in the crosswalk in the middle of the street, clearly not the best location for a statue. The other is that the actual release point of the cap was around her waist, whereas the statue has her hand high overhead, barely touching the cap, as if she were catching it instead of tossing it.

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