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December 30, 2023

20 Portraits of a Young and Beautiful Mary Tyler Moore in the 1960s

Mary Tyler Moore is best known as one of the stars of the beloved 1960s and 1970s television comedy series The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her portrayal of the independent, spunky television news producer Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show made her a hero to many American women, who were beginning to break out of traditional feminine roles at that time. Moore also inspired feminists with her real-life success as the chairman of the board of MTM Enterprises, a television production company that created a number of successful shows in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mary Tyler Moore (December 29, 1936 – January 25, 2017) got her start in show business as a dancer in commercials, playing the part of Happy Hotpoint, a dancing elf to promote home appliances in the mid-1950s. Moore also found work as a chorus dancer in television variety shows and, in 1959, landed a role in the TV drama Richard Diamond, Private Detective, playing Sam, a glamorous secretary whose face was never shown but was represented by her shapely legs. She made several guest appearances in television shows including Johnny Staccato, Bachelor Father, The Tab Hunter Show, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, and Lock-Up.

She made her film debut in 1961 in X-15, an aviation drama starring David McLean and Charles Bronson.

Moore became a household name in 1961 when she landed the role of Laura Petrie, one of television’s most beloved wives on The Dick Van Dyke Show, created by Carl Reiner and starring Dick Van Dyke. As the charming Petrie, Moore showed off her flair for comedy and won Emmys in 1964 and 1966 for her work.

After the show ended in 1966, Moore focused on making movie musicals, including Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), where she played an aspiring actor opposite Julie Andrews, and Change of Habit (1970), starring as a nun who falls in love with a doctor, played by Elvis Presley, as she prepares to take her vows. She also played a dramatic role in the television thriller Run A Crooked Mile (1969), starring opposite Louis Jourdan.


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