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Mary Tyler Moore Essay

942 words - 4 pages


Who can turn the

world on with her smile? One person stands out. A TV

legend and an American icon: Mary Tyler Moore. Mary

was born in Flatbush on December 29, 1973 to

Irish-Catholic parents. Mary's family was neither rich nor

poor. As a child, she attended St. Rose de Lima Parochial

School. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was

only ten years old. When she became older, she became a

popular actress. Through the years, Mary Tyler Moore has

remained as popular as ever. With recent movies such as

"Flirting With Disaster" and "Payback". But it wasn't always

so easy for her. She started out as the leggy secretary, Sam

on "Richard Diamond, Private Detective" in 1957, where

you could only see her legs. In 1961, Mary got her biggest

break yet, playing Laura Petrie, the wife of Rob on "The

Dick Van Dyke Show". Mary played her part well for the

next six years. During this time, she was awarded two

Emmy's. In 1966, the show was taken off and Mary was

left without a job. In 1967, Mary went on to play the part

of Miss Dorothy in the Oscar winning, "Thoroughly

Modern Millie". She played along side Julie Andrews and

Carol Channing. In a survey taken by 97 people who had

seen the movie, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" ranked a 7.7

out of on the rating scale, where 10 is the highest and 1 is

the lowest. The number 10 received the highest number of

votes (29). Through the years, Mary appeared in other

movies, which did little for her career. Then, in 1969, she

appeared with Dick Van Dyke in a special "How To

Succeed in the 70's Without Really Trying" which appeared

on CBS on April 13, 1969. It was this show that rekindled

the network's interest in Mary Tyler Moore. CBS is

reported to have said, "My God, we've discovered a star".

CBS wanted Mary for a series. At the time, they felt that

they needed to explain to the audience why a 30 year old

woman had not been married. In a way, it demonstrated

how limited the public's thinking was at the time, with

respect to women. At first, the studio suggested a divorcee.

Mary loved the idea, but the network soon decided that the

viewing audience would think that Mary had divorced Dick

Van Dyke. At first it was so frustrating to executives that

they considered giving up on the series completely. On

January 10, 1970, Jim Brooks and Allan Burns came up

with the "format" for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". This

started one of televisions most memorable series. When the

show first tested among viewers though, it received the

worst ratings in CBS history. The network decided to try

the show out anyway. With a combination of a great cast,

including Cloris Leachman, Edward Asner, Valerie Harper,

Ted Knight and Gavin MacLeod, and a great group of

writers, the show finally made it. Over it's seven year run,

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" received 29 well deserved

Emmy awards,...

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