Mary Tyler Moore

Occupation: Actress
Date of Birth: December 29, 1936
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, N.Y., USA
Sign: Sun in Capricorn, Moon in Leo
Relations: Husband: Dr. Robert Levine; ex-husbands: Richard Meeker; Grant Tinker; son: Richie (deceased)
Education: High School


ALTHOUGH she was nominated for an Oscar in Ordinary People and honored by Broadway with a Special Tony for Whose Life Is It Anyway? (both tearjerkers), Mary Tyler Moore will always remain television's comedy goddess. Moore spent twelve years in our living rooms, first as a perky, clean-cut newlywed, then as a perky, clean-cut, single career woman. Add on thousands of hours of reruns and we've spent almost as much time with her characters as with our own sisters. And why not? Mary is nicer and funnier.

Beginning as a dancer, Moore toiled in television commercials (as the "Happy Hotpoint" pixie) and unmemorable series (for thirteen weeks as a detective's secretary on Richard Diamond, Private Eye, with only her legs on camera). When she became Mrs. Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, male viewers envied Rob. But it was when she tossed her hat in the snot-crystallizing Minneapolis air as Mary Richards that the actress found her greatest success. With its brilliant scripts and cast, The Mary Tyler Moore Show set a sitcom standard that has yet to be matched. She married handsome producer Grant Tinker, and the couple's M.T.M. production company made millions.

Moore's off-screen life has not always been quite as perky. Her Broadway attempt at a musical, Breakfast at Tiffany's, closed out of town, and three later television series flopped. When her twenty-four-year-old son shot himself in the head in 1980 (the same year she played the mother of one dead son and one suicidal son in Ordinary People), the coroner called the death an accident; she and Tinker divorced soon afterwards. In 1983, she married a doctor sixteen years her junior and then promptly checked herself into the Betty Ford clinic.

But if there's one thing we've learned about Moore over the years, it's that you can't keep her hat out of the air for long. She pocketed her seventh Emmy, in 1992, for Stolen Babies, and her winning role as the evil baby broker wasn't clean-cut or perky in the slightest. Her return to the little screen as a bitchy newspaper editor in New York News was short-lived, but she won raves for her over-the-top turn in Flirting With Disaster. Fans of The Mary Tyler Moore Show rejoiced at the news that her Mary Richards will be returning to primetime TV next season in a new sitcom that will reunite her with Valerie Harper's Rhoda Morgenstern.

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