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Mary Tyler Moore Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (52) | Personal Quotes (11) | Salary (1)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 29 December 1936Brooklyn, New York, USA
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mary Tyler Moore was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, on December 29, 1936, though Moore's family relocated to California when she was eight. Her childhood was troubled, due in part to her mother's alcoholism. The oldest of three siblings, she attended a Catholic high school and married upon her graduation, in 1955. Her only child, Richie, was born soon after.

A dancer at first, Moore's first break in show business was in 1955, as a dancing kitchen appliance - Happy Hotpoint, the Hotpoint Appliance elf, in commercials generally broadcast during the popular TV program The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1952). She then shifted from dancing to acting, and work soon came, at first a number of guest roles on TV series, but eventually a recurring role as "Sam", Richard Diamond's sultry answering service girl, on Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957), her performance being particularly notorious because her legs (usually dangling a pump on her toe) were shown instead of her face.

Although these early roles often took advantage of her willowy charms (in particular, her famously-beautiful dancer's legs), Moore's career soon took a more substantive turn as she was cast in two of the most highly regarded comedies in television history, which would air first-run for most of the Sixties and Seventies. In the first of these, The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), Moore played "Laura Petrie", the charmingly loopy wife of star Dick Van Dyke. The show became famous for its very clever writing and terrific comic ensemble - Moore and her fellow performers received multiple Emmy awards for their work. Meanwhile, she had separated from her first husband, and later married ad man (and, later, network executive) Grant Tinker.

After the end of The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), Moore focused on movie-making, co-starring in five between the end of the show and the start of Mary Tyler Moore (1970), including Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), in which she plays a ditsy aspiring actress, and an inane Elvis Presley vehicle, Change of Habit (1969), in which she plays a nun-to-be and love interest for Presley. Also included in this mixed bag of films was a first-rate TV movie, Run a Crooked Mile (1969), which was an early showcase for Moore's considerable talent at dramatic acting.

After trying her hand at movies for a few years, Moore decided, a bit reluctantly, to return to TV, but on her terms. The result was Mary Tyler Moore (1970), which was produced by MTM Enterprises, a company she had formed with Tinker, and which later went on to produce scores of other television programs. Moore starred as "Mary Richards", who moves to Minneapolis/St. Paul on the heels of a failed relationship. Mary finds work at the news room of WJM-TV, whose news program is the lowest-rated in the city, and establishes fast friendships with her colleagues and her neighbors. The show was a commercial and critical success and for years was a fixture of CBS television's unbeatable Saturday night line-up. Moore and Tinker were determined from the start to make the show a cut above the average, and it certainly was - instead of going for a barrage of gags, the humor took longer to develop, and arose out of the interaction between the characters in more realistic situations. It was also one of the earliest TV portrayals of a woman who was happy and successful on her own rather than simply being a man's wife. Mary Tyler Moore (1970) is generally included amongst the finest television programs ever produced in America.

Moore ended the show in 1977, while it was still on a high point, but found it difficult to flee the beloved "Mary Richards" persona - her subsequent attempts at television series, variety programs and specials (such as the mortifying disco-era Mary's Incredible Dream (1976)) usually failed, but even her dramatic work, which is generally excellent, fell under the shadow of "Mary Richards". With time, however, her body of dramatic acting came to be recognized on its own, with such memorable work as in Ordinary People (1980), as an aloof WASP mother who not-so-secretly resents her younger son's survival; in Finnegan Begin Again (1985), as a middle-aged widow who finds love with a man whose wife is slowly slipping away, in Lincoln (1988), as the troubled "Mary Todd Lincoln", and in Stolen Babies (1993), as an infamous baby smuggler (for which she won her sixth Emmy award). She also inspired a new appreciation for her famed comic talents in Flirting with Disaster (1996), in which she is hilarious as the resentful adoptive mother of a son who is seeking his birth parents. Moore has also acted on Broadway, and she won a Tony Award for her performance in "Whose Life Is It Anyway?".

Widely acknowledged as being much tougher and more high-strung than her iconic image would suggest, Moore has had a life with more than the normal share of ups and downs. Both of her siblings predeceased her, her sister Elizabeth of a drug overdose in 1978 and her brother of cancer after a failed attempt at assisted suicide, Moore having been the assistant. Moore's troubled son Richie shot and killed himself in what was officially ruled an accident in 1980. Moore has long been diagnosed an insulin-dependent diabetic, and had a bout with alcoholism in the mid-70s. Divorced from Tinker since 1981, she has been married to physician Robert Levine since 1983. Despite the opening credits of Mary Tyler Moore (1970), in which she throws a package of meat into her shopping cart, Moore is a vegetarian and a proponent of animal rights. She is an active spokesperson for both diabetes issues and animal rights. She and Levine live in Upstate New York and Manhattan.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Larry-115

Spouse (3)

Robert Levine (23 November 1983 - present)
Grant Tinker (1 June 1962 - 11 June 1981) (divorced)
Richard Meeker (25 August 1955 - 1962) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Her smile
The role of "Laura Petrie" on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961).
The role of "Mary Richards" on her self-titled series, The Mary Tyler Moore (1970) Show.

Trivia (52)

Broke a bone in her wrist while filming Mary and Rhoda (2000).
Her sister, Liz, was born 3 months earlier than her own son. Elizabeth was born March 20, 1956, and Richie was born July 3; both in Los Angeles at Queen of Angels Hospital.
Left dancing for acting because it "lacked the spotlight," and she "really wanted to be a star."
First TV appearance was in 1955 as "Happy Hotpoint" the Hotpoint Appliance elf, in commercials aired during the The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1952) TV show.
Strong animal rights activist.
Entered Betty Ford clinic for "Social Drinking Habit".
Son Richie's death in 1980 considered accidental, not suicide (hair trigger on gun went off - gun later removed from market for same reason).
Vegetarian.
Celebrity sponsor of the Great American Meatout, March 20, 2001.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent) at age 33.
She recently testified before Congress (along with actors Kevin Kline and Jonathan Lipnicki and former astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13) calling for an increase in funding for diabetes research and support embryonic stem cell research, which she called "truly life affirming." Also present in the hearing room were about 200 children with diabetes and their families, who were in town for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Children's Congress 2001.
Told David Letterman that her (and others') nickname for Dick Van Dyke when they did the The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) together was Penis Von Lesbian, a play on his real name.
Bronze statue capturing her character Mary's signature hat-toss went on display May 8, 2002 at the Minneapolis intersection where the scene for Mary Tyler Moore (1970) was originally filmed. On hand for the ceremony, Moore tossed her tam, but this time, into an appreciative downtown crowd.
Founded MTM Enterprises in 1969 with ex-husband Grant Tinker. Sold the company in 1990.
Appeared in the Broadway play "Sweet Sue" in 1988 with Lynn Redgrave and a fully nude Barry Tubb.
Mary Tyler Moore portrayed the first Sam, who was in charge of the answering service on CBS Television's Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957). Only her voice and her legs were known to the viewer.
Walked out of the Neil Simon play "Rose's Dilemma" in December, 2003, citing problems with the playwright. Reportedly he sent her an insulting note prior to an appearance regarding her failure to memorize lines. The problem was that he had kept rewriting her lines and expected her to learn them on the spot. She was replaced by actress Patricia Hodges, but the play closed two months later to poor reviews.
Was named as "Queen of Brooklyn" at the Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival in 1996
Was paired with Richard Chamberlain in 1967 for "Holly Golightly," a musical adaptation of Truman Capote's earlier novel (and film), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). When it became obvious during pre-Broadway tryouts that no amount of play-doctoring was going to save a potentially disasterous show, producer David Merrick announced that he was closing the show one week prior to it's scheduled Broadway opening, as he put it, "out of consideration for the audience."
Was a heavy smoker during the time The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) was in production. Has since quit. She was trying to quit smoking during filming directed by Carl Reiner when she discovered that she was going to be off-screen for the majority of the episode.
She won Tony Awards in 1980 and in 1985. She won in 1980 after taking over the lead in the play "Whose Life Is It Anyway?". She was so good that she was given a special Tony because she was not eligible for a traditional nomination due to being a replacement performer. She won in 1985 when her company, MTM, backed the revival of the play "Joe Egg".
MTM's mascot is a cute orange-striped kitten named Mimsie.
The kitten that was the mascot for Mary's company, MTM Enterprises, would meow at the end of all MTM shows. In addition, it would even "wear costumes" reflecting the theme of the MTM show: At the end of each St. Elsewhere (1982) episode, the kitty is seen wearing a surgical mask and it had a policeman's hat tilted on its head at the end of Hill Street Blues (1981) and Sherlock Holmes' trademark deerstalker hat and pipe at the end of Remington Steele (1982).
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992.
Her sister, Elizabeth, died in 1978 at age 21. Her death was ruled a suicide by drug overdose.
Met her husband, Robert Levine, when she took her mother to the hospital and he was the doctor.
Ex-stepmother of John Tinker and Mark Tinker.
Daughter of George Tyler Moore, a devout Catholic, and his wife, Marjorie Hackett, an alcoholic.
Best remembered by the public for her starring role as "Laura Petrie" on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and for starring in Mary Tyler Moore (1970).
In an interview, she stated that her famous "Oh, Rob!" as "Laura Petrie" on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) was based on the acting style of Nanette Fabray. On Mary Tyler Moore (1970), Nanette Fabray played her mother.
Broke her kneecap after tripping over her adopted dog, Spanky [June 2, 2008].
Her brother, John, died on December 26, 1991, in Los Angeles at age 47.
Kent cigarettes was one of the sponsors of The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and would regularly hand out free cartons of Kents to the cast and crew. During an interview with David Letterman, Mary confessed that she didn't like Kents, so she'd always take her share of the cartons and trade them in at the local store for her preferred brand.
Though Moore would become inseparable from Edward Asner's character Lou Grant on the TV sitcom Mary Tyler Moore (1970), both actors first co-starred in Elvis Presley's final feature Change of Habit (1969).
Close friend of Bernadette Peters.
Her vision has declined because of her diabetes, and she has had to give up her hobbies, like ballet and horseback riding.
That '70s Show (1998) was filmed on the same soundstage as Mary Tyler Moore (1970) was in the 1970s. When she played Christine St. George on "That '70s Show", she arrived for her first day's filming to find a huge WELCOME BACK MARY! banner waiting for her.
Attended WWE Wrestlemania 6 held in Canada in 1990.
Is mentioned by name in Peanuts comic strip by Snoopy [9-25-77].
Will undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor [May 12, 2011].
Her publicist is Alla Plotkin.
Will receive the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award on January 29, 2012 in Los Angeles [September 8, 2011].
Mary Tyler Moore is a descendant of Lt. Col. Lewis T. Moore. While Commanding the 4th Va. Infantry Moore offered his home in Winchester, Va. to be the headquarters for Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. From there Jackson planned his Shenandoah Valley Campaign 1861-1862. In the 1960's the house was purchased and converted into a museum and includes much of Stonewall Jackson's memorabilia. Mary Tyler Moore helped pay for the restoration, which is now a National Historic Landmark.
Was awarded "Golden Turkey Award" for "The Ecclesiastical Award for The Worst Performance By An Actor or Actress as a Clergyman or Nun" for her role in Change of Habit (1969). She said she was thrilled to get it.
Release of the book, "Mary Tyler Moore" by Jason Bonderoff.
Greenwich, Connecticut with her husband. [April 2007]
Release of her book, "Growing Up Again: Life, Loves and, Oh Yeah, Diabetes". [March 2009]
She lives in New York, NY in an Upper East Side co-op apartment building facing Central Park. This posh building was made famous as being the home of Pale Male (2002), a red tailed hawk who had nested on a ledge there with his mates for over 12 years. [December 2004]
Release of her autobiography, "After All".
She lives in Millbrook, New York. [October 2003]
Release of the book, "Mary Tyler Moore" by Margaret L. Finn.

Personal Quotes (11)

Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realize you're really strangers.
There is a dark side. I tend not to be as optimistic as Mary Richards. I have an anger in me that I carry from my childhood experiences -- I expect a lot of myself and I'm not too kind to myself.
Diabetes is an all-too-personal time bomb which can go off today, tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now - a time bomb affecting millions like me and the children here today.
I'm not an actress who can create a character. I play me.
Diets are for those who are thick and tired of it.
There are certain things about me that I will never tell to anyone because I am a very private person. But basically what you see is who I am. I'm independent, I do like to be liked, I do look for the good side of life and people. I'm positive, I'm disciplined, I like my life in order, and I'm neat as a pin. I love order and discipline. God, I sound like a Nazi don't I?
Couldn't you just slap my face for being so positive and optimistic?
[on throwing her hat in the air for the title shots for Mary Tyler Moore (1970)]: "It was a hat that my aunt had given me for Christmas, and I brought it with me because they said: 'Be sure and dress warm. It's going to be freezing in Minneapolis.' So - I forget which writer it was - but we were all outside, and he said: 'You know what would be good? If you take that hat, the beret, and throw it in the air.' "
[when she was cast as the icy mother in Ordinary People (1980)]: "I was thinking of my own family history and how we missed the mark of being everything that I'm sure people thought I was. Because I had, though nothing that would raise your eyebrows. I had problems with my father, in that he expected more from me than I was able to give. I did not do well in school, and that was a big disappointment to him. [on the other hand,] we did our shows, both the The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and mine, in front of audiences, and he and my mother would come to every show. And I could recognize my father's laugh."
[about her pit bull Spanky]: He has, as with some dogs that have been written about, the ability to sense when things are off in their owners, their masters, whatever we're calling them in this day and age. He can tell when my blood sugar is dipping low.
I've been a diabetic for about 35 years now (as of 2012), and I'm one of the very lucky few who has managed to live that long without having major problems. I do have problems with my eyes, one eye in particular, and if I fall, I generally break a bone.

Salary (1)

The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) $450 /episode (1961-62)

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