Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore left us last week. Hearing the news of her death made me stop for a moment and made me sad. I can't claim to be a fan and have no idea what she's been doing for the last 20 years or so but I loved her TV series in the early 70s and memories of it have stayed with me over the years. I bought the DVDs when they were finally issued in 2005 and blogged about them here.

I first heard of Mary when she played Dick Van Dyke's wife on his show in the '60s - I suspect they were repeats when I saw them. And then she had her own show called simply the Mary Tyler Moore Show in which she worked on the news desk of a Minneapolis TV news show with Lou Grant and lived in a nice apartment with Rhoda Morgenstern living upstairs. Yes, I also loved Rhoda and got the DVDs of her show a few years later when they became available.

The MTM Show was a gentle comedy that occasionally went in hard on some issues. She was a young career woman making it on her own, sometimes bullied in the workplace and sometimes pushing back. There was something about the show and about the character that attracted me and kept her alive in my head for 30 years until the DVDs became available and I had to get them. Was it the awful fashions, the sophisticated comedy or the kitten in the MTM logo? Something made a permanent mark in the filing system in my head. And I remembered.

Mary set up her own production company to produce her shows and a host of others, showing that she wasn't just an actress, she had a business head and a very successful one. She wasn't just being a role model on screen, she also fulfilled that role off screen as well. The end credits were always interesting, with her take-off of the MGM logo and it's lion. Her version had a kitten and that kitten roared!

Farewell Mary. Gone but not forgotten in the Plastic Bag.

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