Mary Tyler Moore MP

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Location: New York, NY, USA
Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Managed by: Oded Levinsky
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mary Tyler Moore

An iconic modern woman who starred in two very different, but very successful sitcoms, actress Mary Tyler Moore also made an enormous contribution to television history as the producer of numerous acclaimed comedies and dramas of the 1970s and 1980s. Audiences first fell in love with Moore as a believable symbol of the smart, young, pants-wearing mom in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (CBS, 1961-66) before she came to signify a new breed of independent, liberated professional woman in the Emmy magnet sitcom, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (CBS, 1970-77). In addition to her longstanding reputation for comedy, Moore delivered a powerful, Oscar-nominated performance in the 1980 feature “Ordinary People,” in addition to starring in over a dozen television movies. As co-founder of MTM Productions, Moore was integral to the success of top rated “Mary Tyler Moore” spin-offs “Rhoda” (CBS, 1974-78) and “Lou Grant” (CBS, 1977-82), as well as “The Bob Newhart Show” (CBS, 1972-78) and the police drama “Hill Street Blues” (NBC, 1981-87).

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Moore was raised in nearby Queens until the age of eight when the family moved to Los Angeles, California. She attended strict Catholic schools, but studied ballet with dreams of someday becoming a dancer.

Fresh out of Immaculate Heart High School, she landed her first show business job as a singing and dancing elf named Happy Hotpoint, promoting kitchen appliances in television commercials. She married salesman Richard Meeker and hung up her elf costume when she became pregnant with her only child, Richard Jr., who was born only months after Moore’s own mother, Marjorie, gave birth to daughter Elizabeth.

Moore resumed her career in 1959 when her legs and voice – but not her face – were featured in the role of a switchboard operator in the mystery series "Richard Diamond, Private Eye" (CBS-NBC, 1957-1960).

Three unsuccessful shows and a series of TV specials followed her more notable series: Mary (1978), the Mary Tyler Moore Hour (1979), and Mary (1985-1986). Her dramatic career took off in 1981, when she was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of the repressed mother in Ordinary People.

Moore had Broadway success with Whose Life Is It Anyway?, appeared in the highly acclaimed Finnegan, Begin Again with Robert Preston on HBO, and won a CableACE Award in 1993 for her performance as an evil orphanage director in Stolen Babies.

In 1996, Moore gained the appreciation of a new generation of fans with her hilarious turn as Ben Stiller's neurotic mother in David O. Russell's Flirting With Disaster. She also experienced a sort of renaissance through her mention in other films, notably Douglas Keeve's 1995 frockumentary Unzipped, which featured a beatific Isaac Mizrahi extolling the virtues of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and singing its theme song.

Moore reunited with her Dick Van Dyke Show castmates in 2004 for a reunion "episode" called The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited. In August 2005, Moore guest-starred as Christine St. George, a high-strung host of a fictional TV show on three episodes of Fox sitcom That '70s Show. Moore's scenes were shot on the same soundstage where The Mary Tyler Moore Show was filmed in the 1970s.

In addition to her television and film work, Moore, as a well-known diabetic, has been a longtime representative of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

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Mary Tyler Moore's Timeline

1936
December 29, 1936
Brooklyn, New York, USA
1955
1955
Age 18
1956
July 3, 1956
Age 19
1961
1961
Age 24
1962
1962
Age 25
1981
1981
Age 44
1983
November 23, 1983
Age 46
New York, NY, USA