Mary Tyler Moore

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017) always knew she'd have a career on stage, "I knew at a very early age what I wanted to do. Some people refer to it as indulging in my instincts and artistic bent. I call it just showing off, which was what I did from about three years of age on." In her two-hour Archive interview, Mary Tyler Moore discusses growing up in Brooklyn before moving with her family to Los Angeles. She chronicles her first TV job, as "Happy Hotpoint" on commercials for the sponsor of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which she began right after graduating high school, and discusses her time as a chorus dancer before choosing to pursue acting. She talks about playing the unseen "Sam" on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, which was when her career began to take off. Moore next describes turning to comedy when Carl Reiner cast her as "Laura Petrie" in The Dick Van Dyke Show. She discusses that show, as well as meeting her future husband Grant Tinker on the set. She then talks about her next series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the first of many series produced by MTM Productions. She speaks of her later series and her acclaimed work in the film "Ordinary People," and on stage in "Whose Life is it Anyway?". Diane Werts conducted the interview on October 23, 1997 in New York, NY.

"My grandfather once said, having watched me one entire afternoon, prancing and leaping and cavorting, 'This child will either end up on stage or in jail.' Fortunately, I took the easy route."

Highlights
Mary Tyler Moore on her "oh, Rob!" catchphrase on The Dick Van Dyke Show
00:39
Mary Tyler Moore on Lucille Ball giving her the greatest gift "she ever received in the business" while working on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:15
Mary Tyler Moore on tossing hat in the air for the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
00:45
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show finale, "The Last Show" (airdate: March 19, 1977)
02:53
Mary Tyler Moore on her work on the film "Ordinary People"
02:25
Mary Tyler Moore on how she'd like to be remembered
01:11
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On growing up in Brooklyn, NY
03:30
On moving to Los Angeles with her family
06:46
On her first jobs, including playing "Happy Hotpoint" on commercials for the sponsor of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, chorus dancing, and small acting roles
04:56
On her first regular role, on Richard Diamond, Private Detective
02:33
On auditioning for The Dick Van Dyke Show and the relationship between "Laura" and "Rob Petrie"
06:57
On working with Carl Reiner and developing her character on The Dick Van Dyke Show
03:41

Chapter 2

On some classic episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show and her "oh, Rob!" catchphrase
04:12
On working on The Dick Van Dyke Show; on meeting and falling in love with Grant Tinker
11:06
On winning her first Emmy, the success of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and her sadness at the ending of the series
04:36
On her film and stage work after The Dick Van Dyke Show, including the ill-fated stage production of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
02:23
On being diagnosed with diabetes; on starring in the special Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman, and the formation of MTM
05:07

Chapter 3

On the development of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the casting of the ensemble
11:45
On the development and reaction to the pilot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
04:50
On memorable episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the origin of the show's opening, and going off the air
11:19

Chapter 4

On The Mary Tyler Moore Show finale, and the growth of MTM as a studio
05:03
On her later variety special and series; on her film work in "Ordinary People" and "Flirting with Disaster"
07:33
"Whose Life is it Anyway?" and the TV movie Secrets of the Rose Garden
08:57
On summing up her career; on appearing on the "Lobster Diary" episode of Ellen; on her animal activism, and her opinion on the then-future of TV
05:13

Chapter 5

On where "Laura Petrie" and "Mary Richards" would be in 1997; on how she would like to be remembered; on her induction into the TV Academy Hall of Fame
04:43
Shows

Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, The

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Mary Tyler Moore on being "Happy Hotpoint" on commercials for the sponsor of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
01:59

Danny Thomas Show, The aka Make Room for Daddy

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Mary Tyler Moore on auditioning to play one of the daughters on The Danny Thomas Show
00:47

Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Mary Tyler Moore on her audition with Carl Reiner for The Dick Van Dyke Show
00:51
Mary Tyler Moore on initially disliking The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Never Bathe on Saturday" (airdate: March 31, 1965), when Laura's toe is stuck in a faucet
02:03
Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "My Blonde-Haired Brunette" (airdate: October 10, 1961)
01:47
Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "The Curious Thing About Women" (airdate: January 10, 1962)
01:31
Mary Tyler Moore on filming The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Turtles, Ties, and Toreadors" (airdate: December 4, 1963) without an audience due to JFK's assassination
01:29
Mary Tyler Moore on her feelings about the end of The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:21
Mary Tyler Moore on where she envisions The Dick Van Dyke Show's "Laura Petrie" would be today (1997)
00:34

Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman

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Mary Tyler Moore on the special Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman, which led to CBS asking her to do a series
00:52

Ellen

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Mary Tyler Moore on guest-starring as herself on the Ellen episode about animal activism,  "Lobster Diary" (airdate: February 20, 1996)
01:16

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Mary Tyler Moore on winning an Emmy in 1963 for her work on The Dick Van Dyke Show
00:37

Gore Vidal's Lincoln

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Mary Tyler Moore briefly on playing Mary Todd Lincoln in Gore Vidal's Lincoln
00:35

Mary (1978)

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Mary Tyler Moore on her short-lived series Mary
01:46

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The

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Mary Tyler Moore on the development of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
03:59
Mary Tyler Moore on the casting of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
07:22
Mary Tyler Moore on the difficulties of making the pilot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
04:39
Mary Tyler Moore on the character of "Mary Richards," exemplified on "The Good-Time News" episode (airdate: September 16, 1972) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:32
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (airdate: October 25, 1975)
02:18
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Put on a Happy Face" (airdate: February 24, 1973)
01:43
Mary Tyler Moore on directing The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "A Boy's Best Friend" (airdate: November 23, 1974)
01:01
Mary Tyler Moore on the reactions she's gotten over the years about her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
00:59
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show finale, "The Last Show" (airdate: March 19, 1977)
02:53
Mary Tyler Moore on where she envisions The Mary Tyler Moore Show's "Mary Richards" would be today (1997)
00:54

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The: "Chuckles Bites the Dust"

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Mary Tyler Moore on breaking up at the wrong time during rehearsals of the classic The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust"
02:18

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The: "The Lars Affair"

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Mary Tyler Moore on the casting of Betty White as a guest star, playing "Sue Ann Nivens" - the Happy Homemaker, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "The Lars Affair"
02:05

Rhoda

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Mary Tyler Moore on how she felt about the Rhoda spinoff
00:31

Richard Diamond, Private Detective

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Mary Tyler Moore on her first regular role, as the unseen "Sam" on Richard Diamond, Private Detective
02:25
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Mary Tyler Moore on restrictions including the objection to her wearing pants on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:14
Mary Tyler Moore on CBS refusing to allow her character to be a divorcee on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:20

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on her "Oh Rob!" catchphrase on The Dick Van Dyke Show
00:39
Mary Tyler Moore on tossing hat in the air for the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
00:45

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on initially disliking The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Never Bathe on Saturday" (airdate: March 31, 1965), when Laura's toe is stuck in a faucet
02:03
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (airdate: October 25, 1975)
02:18

Comedy

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on initially disliking The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Never Bathe on Saturday" (airdate: March 31, 1965), when Laura's toe is stuck in a faucet
02:03
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (airdate: October 25, 1975)
02:18

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on filming The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Turtles, Ties, and Toreadors" (airdate: December 4, 1963) without an audience due to JFK's assassination
01:29

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on filming The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Turtles, Ties, and Toreadors" (airdate: December 4, 1963) without an audience due to JFK's assassination
01:29

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (airdate: October 25, 1975)
03:48

Pop Culture

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on initially disliking The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Never Bathe on Saturday" (airdate: March 31, 1965), when Laura's toe is stuck in a faucet
02:03
Mary Tyler Moore on her "Oh Rob!" catchphrase on The Dick Van Dyke Show
00:39
Mary Tyler Moore on tossing hat in the air for the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
00:45
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song
00:58
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (airdate: October 25, 1975)
02:18

Studio and Network Management

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Mary Tyler Moore on the formation of MTM
01:56
Mary Tyler Moore on the sale of MTM Productions
02:12
Mary Tyler Moore on Grant Tinker's leadership of MTM Productions
01:11

TV Theme Songs

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Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song
00:58

Television Industry

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on restrictions including the objection to her wearing pants on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:14
Mary Tyler Moore on the formation of MTM
01:56
Mary Tyler Moore on CBS refusing to allow her character to be a divorcee on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:20
Mary Tyler Moore on the sale of MTM Productions
02:12
Mary Tyler Moore on Grant Tinker's leadership of MTM Productions
01:11

We Laughed

View Topic
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (airdate: October 25, 1975)
03:48
Professions

Actress

View Profession
Mary Tyler Moore on initially being a "dramatic" actress on a comedy on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:21

Dancer/Choreographer

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Mary Tyler Moore on being a chorus dancer early in her career
01:33

Performers

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Mary Tyler Moore on initially being a "dramatic" actress on a comedy on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:21
Genres

Comedy Series

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Mary Tyler Moore on the sensibilities of The Dick Van Dyke Show
02:30
Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show's failure in audience testing
04:07

Commercials

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Mary Tyler Moore on being "Happy Hotpoint" on commercials for the sponsor of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
01:59

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Mary Tyler Moore on her special, Mary's Incredible Dream (1976)
01:10
People

Edward Albee

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On her film and stage work after The Dick Van Dyke Show, including the ill-fated stage production of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
02:23

Morey Amsterdam

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Mary Tyler Moore on working with Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:24

Edward Asner

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Mary Tyler Moore on the casting of Ed Asner as "Lou Grant" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:28

Lucille Ball

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Mary Tyler Moore on Lucille Ball giving her the greatest gift "she ever received in the business" while working on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:15

James L. Brooks

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Mary Tyler Moore on James L. Brooks and Allan Burns creating The Mary Tyler Moore Show
05:31

Allan Burns

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Mary Tyler Moore on James L. Brooks and Allan Burns work The Mary Tyler Moore Show
05:31

Abe Burrows

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On her film and stage work after The Dick Van Dyke Show, including the ill-fated stage production of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
02:23

Sonny Curtis

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Mary Tyler Moore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song
01:09

Sam Denoff

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Mary Tyler Moore on the special Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman, which led to CBS asking her to do a series
00:52

Dick Van Dyke

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Mary Tyler Moore on working with Dick Van Dyke on The Dick Van Dyke Show
00:50

Valerie Harper

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Mary Tyler Moore on the casting of Valerie Harper as "Rhoda" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:58

Ted Knight

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Mary Tyler Moore on the casting of Ted Knight as "Ted Baxter" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:19

Sheldon Leonard

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Mary Tyler Moore on working with executive producer Sheldon Leonard on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:07
Mary Tyler Moore on Sheldon Leonard selling sponsorship of The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:09

Gavin MacLeod

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Mary Tyler Moore on the casting of Gavin MacLeod as "Murray Slaughter" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
00:27

Rose Marie

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Mary Tyler Moore on working with Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:24

Bill Persky

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Mary Tyler Moore on the special Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman, which led to CBS asking her to do a series
00:52

Arthur Price

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Mary Tyler Moore on Arthur Price taking over MTM Productions after Grant Tinker's departure
01:01

Carl Reiner

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Mary Tyler Moore on her audition with Carl Reiner for The Dick Van Dyke Show
00:51
Mary Tyler Moore on initially disliking The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Never Bathe on Saturday" (airdate: March 31, 1965), when Laura's toe is stuck in a faucet
02:03
Mary Tyler Moore on working with Carl Reiner on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:43

Pat Robertson

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Mary Tyler Moore on her surprise that Pat Robertson's company briefly owned MTM Productions
02:12

Danny Thomas

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Mary Tyler Moore on auditioning to play Danny Thomas' daughter on The Danny Thomas Show
00:47

Grant Tinker

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Mary Tyler Moore on meeting and falling in love with Grant Tinker during her work on The Dick Van Dyke Show
03:13
Mary Tyler Moore on the formation of MTM
01:56
Mary Tyler Moore on Grant Tinker pairing James L. Brooks and Allan Burns to create The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:53
Mary Tyler Moore on Grant Tinker's leadership of MTM Productions
01:11

Betty White

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Mary Tyler Moore on the casting of Betty White as "Sue Ann Nivens" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:55

Robert D. Wood

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Mary Tyler Moore on CBS executive Robert D. Wood championing The Mary Tyler Moore Show
00:32

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