Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore Is Dead at 80

Heartbroken to hear about the passing of Mary Tyler Moore today. The cause was pneumonia, and I was holding it together at work until an ex-boyfriend texted to say, "Sorry for your loss" and then it got ugly. In addition to being a television legend, Moore turned her own battle with diabetes into a personal crusade against the deadly disease, lending her name and time to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, appearing in public service announcements and testifying before Congress. (Even if they didn't have such enormous talent, I would love Mary and Elizabeth "amfAR" Taylor for this reason alone -- THAT's how you use stardom.) While rewatching "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in recent times with my boyfriend -- who hadn't seen much of it before -- it became more evident than ever to me how giving she was as an actress, so capable of being funny yet always willing to let another actor shine. I'm sure every person reaches an age in life when they suddenly realize lots of people important from their childhood are dying off. But I also think the passing of Mary Tyler Moore -- my Mary, who changed the cultural landscape for every generation of women since -- just might be the most painful one ever. RIP. 

Crazy to think that only Ted Knight had passed prior to today's sad news.


It pained me to have to root for Sissy Spacek -- "Coal Miner's Daughter" was the best movie ever! -- when she was up against a sublime Mary playing against type in "Ordinary People," a film that simultaneously fascinated and horrified me. (Beth might have reminded me a little bit of someone.)


Unknown said...

I also loved her in Ordinary People and Flirting with Disaster.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@macguffin: I did too -- and began to FEAR her!

Anonymous said...

while rob, buddy, mel, alan, and (especially) rose marie were all great, mary as laura was the reason i watched the dick van dyke show reruns as a kid - she was incredibly funny, and such a sweetheart.

we watched mary tyler moore as a family when i was growing up, but was only fully able to appreciate her talent when i recently watched the entire series from start to finish – twice – on a local independent station, and fell in love all over again.

mare, we’ll miss you, rest in peace.

Unknown said...

Yes! She was a block of ICE in that movie, huh?

James Dwight Williamson said...

Most under appreciated serious actress ever, I worshipped her and Timothy Hutton and Donald Sutherland. Actually , for him twice. Also, the original MASH movie. Judd Hirsch and even Elizabeth McGovern.

Editor said...

I've watched both The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show at least 6 times throughout my life.

Whenever we're having a bad day hubby and I throw an episode (or two or three) on TV and all of our troubles would fade away for awhile. Laughter is good medicine.

Last night we just watched an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show and we commented that at least 2016 didn't take "our" Rob and Laura.

Fuck this hurts.

- Shane

James Greenlee said...

The scary thing is, this is the first of a series of dominoes for that very good, very sharp, very. . .elderly. . .cast. It's going to feel like an avalanche, because it can hardly help but be one after the other for a while. Amazing that Valerie Harper is still kicking. May they all get to at least Betty White territory.

NYCDishy said...

The moment I heard I thought of you. Her contribution to the arts and society are unheralded - in her subtle way she took the woman's movement gallavanting into the future - she didn't hit anyone on the head with a message - and sure, she didn't write those scripts - bit she delivered them in a manner that I believe spoke to so many.

David said...

Another part of our childhood snatched away. Yet the orange-faced amoral piece of crap is alive and well, and is destroying our country. It's hard to imagine a worse time to be an American :-(

Ethel Mertz said...

Your readers might like to know that the full length version of Mary's fabulous 2001 made-for-tv movie is available on YouTube--"Like Mother, Like Son: The strange story of Sante and Kenny Kimes?"

To see her channel Joan Collins, skip to the 6:40 mark as Mary attempts to seduce a guy on a park bench--priceless.

Peter Maria said...

I left a longer comment, but somehow I screwed something up between preview and publish. So I'll just say this: I, along with I'm certain a large swath of the population, share in your loss, even if your ex doesn't. She was a great actress AND woman. I have always cherished my signed copy of her first autobiography, After All (she even quickly sketched a kitten and gave it a "Meow" bubble!), and will always remember the opportunity I had to hear speak quite movingly about diabetes. Thank goodness I am appropriately medicated in order to get through this, because if I could truly feel the heartbreak that I know is there, I don't think I could function for the rest of the week.

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