Mary Tyler Moore, the pioneering and iconic actress, who “turned the world on with her smile,” died today in Greenwich, CT. She was 80.
Moore’s eponymous series (for which she won her three of her six Emmys) was must-see TV in my suburban household. I admired her beauty, charisma, talent, wardrobe, hair. But it wasn’t her significant style that exerted the greatest influence. When I was growing up, a woman’s place was said to be in the home (and with the era’s economy, families were able to get by on one salary). Neither my clever mother, nor her friends, nor Abby, Stephanie or Andi’s mothers had an outside job.
I learned to be a woman in the world, at work, from watching Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards, TV producer at WJM in Minneapolis. When, at our shoot, I told her this, she replied, “Marlo Thomas didn’t do it for you?”
Maybe the quote sounds snarky written here, but it wasn’t. It was self-effacing and funny. And somehow I managed to resist throwing myself at Moore’s feet, chanting, “I am not worthy.”