Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

“Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”
Image via IMDB

Today we say goodbye to an incredible actress, producer, activist, and Girl Scout—the venerable Mary Tyler Moore. To honor our fellow Girl Scout, we’re sharing all of her G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ moments that gave her strength to move forward and turn the tide for women in television.

  • At the age of 17, Mary wanted to be a dancer. She took a risk and auditioned to be a dancing elf, named “Happy Hotpoint,” for Hotpoint appliance commercials—a recurring role for the brand. However, when she became pregnant with her son she had to end her “Happy” character because they could not conceal her pregnancy in her elf costume.
  • After the birth of her son, Mary’s dream of the entertainment business lingered. She auditioned for the role of the older daughter of Danny Thomas on the sitcom Make Room for Daddy—and turned down because of her “tiny nose.” Like a Girl Scout, Mary brushed off her rejection and continued to search for new characters to play.
“You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.” 
Image via BBC

  • She accepted the role of the mysterious and captivating telephone receptionist on Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Although the audience could only hear her voice and see her legs, the role led to future opportunities.
  • Mary’s big break came in 1961 when she landed the role of Laura Petrie, the beloved wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Her go-getting attitude and comedic flair earned her two Emmys.
  • In 1969, Mary, along with her husband Grant Tinker, founded MTM Enterprises—the production company behind popular shows such as Taxi, Cheers, and of course, The Mary Tyler More Show.
  • Under Mary’s leadership, The Mary Tyler Moore Show became a cultural phenomenon and served to change attitudes about women in the workplace. Her role of Mary Richards was one of the first female television characters to portray a successful single woman. She earned three Emmys for Outstanding Continued Performance.

“I'm fortunate to have had a front row seat to the evolution of working women on television.”
Image via Parade

  • After The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she had trouble repeating her success on the small screen. She pursued bigger projects and her risk paid off—she won a Tony Award for her performance in Whose Life Is It Anyway? and an Academy Award nomination for Ordinary People.
  • Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her early thirties, Mary became a well-known advocate and spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Her generous work and contribution to the foundation inspired it to create the “Forever Moore” research initiative—a program dedicated to discover new treatment options for those living with the disease.
  • An avid animal lover, Mary co-founded “Broadway Barks” alongside Bernadette Peters. The annual event rallies Broadway stars to promote pet adoptions from shelters.
We will always remember Mary Tyler Moore—an original go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader, and a true Girl Scout!