We’ve had a death in the American family.
Actress, comedian, producer, pioneer, artist, sweetheart Mary Tyler Moore has passed away at 80.
For people of a certain age range, and it’s pretty broad, her work as Laura Petrie in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” from 1961-66 and Mary Richards on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77) was so endearing, tender, funny and relatable.
I was telling my daughter tonight that here was a star who men and women loved: for men, she was damn near the perfect, yet attainable, woman. To women, she was friendworthy. You knew people like Mary Richards, you’d known them in school, or had them as a room mate, or worked with them.
Later, she would do incredibly good work in a handful of movie roles, often playing against her “type”, leaving hard-to-impress critics stunned by her craft.
She took on a cause with a personal tie, juvenile diabetes, and almost single-handedly gave it top tier awareness and massive fundraising.
But here is the highest compliment I can pay her: in the Riccardi house when I was growing up, these two TV shows, the former as a re-run, the latter as a current show, were totally safe and approved for everyone in the family.
You made us laugh together.
A fresh-faced girl tossed her cap into the air and twirled right into our hearts, and is there still.
God bless you, Mary.