Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Love Is All Around Mary Tyler Moore

I had an entirely different post planned for today, but when I heard the 
news that Mary Tyler Moore passed away, I could not ignore her
passing and reflect upon the effect she had on my young life.

Mary Tyler Moore's character of Mary Richards was a very 
positive role model for young girls and young women.  Her 
level headed, spunky and sunny attitude was one that I 
certainly wanted to emulate.  Mary Richards proved to us
that a woman can handle a grumpy boss, an unprepared
newsman, and eventually the over sexed character of
Sue Ann, with grace, diplomacy and good cheer.

I have always been especially fond of the relationship between
Mary and her neighbor Rhoda.  Mary was the sweet small town girl,
and Rhoda was the bold and brash New Yorker.  Their first meeting was
when Mary went to look at the apartment Phyllis told her about.  Rhoda
insisted it should be hers, Mary stood her ground, but Rhoda knew
that Mary was a pushover, and of course, Mary being Mary, admitted
that she didn't have the guts to stand up to Rhoda.  This tiff didn't last
long because they soon realized that they could not stay mad at one
another.  Despite a shaky start, they became the closest of friends and
that relationship provided us with so many laughs and happy memories.
For me, it was the type of friendship that I would one day develop
with other women.

And of course, there was THAT apartment!  When I was young,
before the days of TiVo and DVD's, I had to watch the show so 
closely to take in every detail of the space I loved so much.  
The beautiful, large and character filled window, the beamed,
cathedral ceiling, the walls and accessories.  It was a space that
was so obviously put together with family hand me downs and
thrift store finds, yet it all worked together to create a cozy, eclectic,
and fabulous space.  I just knew I would have an apartment just
like it one day, but sadly my first apartment didn't quite live
up to that dream.  I quickly learned that architectural charm such
as this, is not easily duplicated.

The adorable tiny kitchen with the push-up window that created
an open space to share in the conversations with the steady stream of
Rhoda, Phyllis, Bess and the newsroom crew. 

Who could forget that horrible bridesmaid dress???  I still laugh so hard
every time I watch this episode.  Although Mary and Rhoda think the
dress is hideous, Mary, being Mary, tries to figure out a way to salvage
the dress and is willing to wear it for a former childhood camp friend's
wedding. Mary could never hurt anyone's feelings and was always kind
and generous, even when the dress was ugly.

I loved the episodes when Rhoda's mom, Mrs. Morgenstern came for a
visit.  Ida Morgenstern was the tiny, brash, Jewish mom from New York
who was an unforgettable, and lovable character.  Her mission in life was
to not only ensure that her daughter Rhoda got married, but that Mary
also find a husband.  She was the New Yorker, who like her daughter
Rhoda, always found something to complain about, while Mary always
encouraged them to find the silver lining.

The writing was excellent, the cast members played their roles
to perfection, and they entertained us every week.  It was and still
is, a beloved show.

In this tribute to Mary, I could go on and mention her performance
on the Dick Van Dyke show and her Oscar nominated performance
in the movie Ordinary People.  She proved to audiences that her
talent was broad and far reaching.  To me however, her role as
Mary Richards is her most memorable, as she gave young women
someone to emulate.  Mary Richards was good hearted, kind,
professional, cheerful, a true friend and a lady.  There is such a
stark contrast between Mary and the role models for young
women in the media today.  Perhaps it's just me, but it is my
hope that her values find a way of expression once again.

Mary Tyler Moore
1936 - 2017
Rest in Peace ~ You did make it after all.

Susan and Bentley


  1. Mary made a big impression on me as well. I loved her show and that adorable apartment. I have the DVD set and still enjoy watching.

  2. Replies
    1. I hope the angels were playing her theme song when she arrived in heaven!

  3. Oh, my word I grew up watching her. One of my favorites. I just this weekend was watching the Dick Van Dyke show with my hubs and he teases me how I act like Laura. I also loved this show. My favorite combo was Mary with Ed Asner. She could get a human response out of him most people couldn't. What a wonderful lady and she was a good role model in tv. Which seems like a contradiction.

    1. Her relationship with Lou was perfect! She brought out the best in him. My favorite scene is from episode 1, season 1, when Mary interviewed for a position in the newsroom. I laugh every time I see it!

  4. What a wonderful tribute to an excellent actress and TV show! Thank you for a delightful trip down memory lane! RIP MTM.

  5. I loved the Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore show. I loved her and will miss her. Great tribute to Mary!

  6. Thank you for this lovely tribute to a very special lady. I too loved her apt and wanted to be Mary Richards. She was always gracious and kind. RIP!

    1. We need more gracious and kind people on television!

  7. Loved her! She sure brought us lots of laughs
    Lily & Edward

  8. Yes she did! We all could use more laughter these days!!

  9. I wanted to be Mary Richards and have her apartment, clothes, job & friends. I thought that she and Emma Peel (from the British show, The Avengers) were so amazing. I teared up when I heard that MTM passed away.

    Briana from Texas

    1. I wanted to be a combination of Mary and Marlo Thomas from That Girl. Many of us teared up when we heard the news. Thanks for stopping by Briana!

  10. I don't think I have ever seen a show of hers but I remember the song at the beginning so the show was most likely on at my bedtime it was early to bed when I was a child.

  11. You wrote a lovely tribute to Mary and it makes me want to watch the whole series. Even though I was old enough to watch the show at the time, I saw very few episodes. I did love Rhoda and Mary and their relationship was enviable. So glad I read your post.

    1. I hope you do watch the whole series because it was so well written and performed. It's so easy to love Mary and Rhoda and their close friendship. I am so happy that you stopped by!

  12. Thank you for this lovely tribute to a fabulous lady. I too wanted to be Mary Richards when I grew up. I also loved Rhoda. Not too long ago I did a post about her apartment and how it would fit right into today of course minus the shag carpet. She will be dearly missed.

    Jody@Southern Seazons

    1. I would ditch the shag carpet too :-) Thanks for the kind words Jody. So many of us will miss our Mary.

  13. My sister and I had the good fortune of being in the studio audience for the filming of episode 11 of season 3. Such fun and the cast was so nice during the breaks. MTM was the best. May she Rest In Peace.

  14. She was a true model of a lady. I remember when, in the supermarket, she shrugs and throws an item in the cart. It expressed my feelings, what the heck. The show and the cast were just wonderful. RIP Mary Tyler Moore

  15. A beautiful tribute for a beautiful lady...inside and out.

  16. An Extraordinary tribute- Thank you Susan.
    I also grew up on The Mary Tyler Moore Show", and greatly admired both the private woman as well as the character she role modeled.


Oliver and I LOVE and read every comment.


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