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TELEVISION: Mary Tyler Moore, Who Made Prime TV Time Ready For Modern Women, Dead @ 80

MTM

 

NEW YORK TIMES: At least a decade before the twin figures of the harried working woman and the neurotic, unwed 30-something became media preoccupations, Ms. Moore’s portrayal — for which she won four of her seven Emmy Awards — expressed both the exuberance and the melancholy of the single career woman who could plot her own course without reference to cultural archetypes. The show, and her portrayal of Mary as a sisterly presence in the office,as well as a source of ingenuity and humor, was a balm to widespread anxieties about women in the work force.

It modeled a productive style of coed collegiality, with Ms. Moore teasing out the various ironies known to any smart woman trying to keep from cracking up in a world of scowling male bosses and preening male soloists. “Mary Tyler Moore became a feminist icon as Mary Richards,” Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, the author of “Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic,” said.

“She only wanted to play a great character, and she did so. That character also happened to be single, female, over 30, professional, independent, and not particularly obsessed with getting married. Mary had America facing such issues as equal pay, birth control, and sexual independence way back in the ’70s.” Ms. Moore had earlier, in a decidedly different era, played another beloved television character: Laura Petrie, the stylish wife of the comedy writer played by Dick Van Dyke on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Also on CBS, the show ran from 1961 to 1966. MORE

FRESH AIR: TV executive Grant Tinker died last week at age 90. Today, we’ll listen back to Terry’s 1994 interview with him, as well as a 1995 interview with Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker’s ex-wife, who starred in two famous and influential sitcoms with which Tinker was involved – “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”  MORE

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