Sunday, August 6, 2006

Mary Tyler Moore

Speaking of women's liberation...

The Mary Tyler Moore show debuted in September 1970, and ran for 7 years. Audiences immediately fell under the spell of the beautiful Mary Richards, a sweet yet vulnerable young woman who moved to Minneapolis after a failed relationship. Although not the first show to feature a young, single female lead, it is the most highly acclaimed and beloved of that genre.

Mary Tyler Moore's character, Mary Richards, was initially supposed to be a divorcée. Producers were worried that audiences would think she divorced Rob Petrie, her onscreen husband during the Dick Van Dyke Show, which had ended only 4 years prior. It was then decided that her character had moved to Minneapolis after a broken engagement.

Screen captures from the first season, where Mary wore a wig.

Producers were also concerned about visual differentiation of those two characters. Seeing as Mary Tyler Moore's hairstyle had remained essentially the same since The Dick Van Dyke Show, she wore a long flip wig during the first season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

That wig must have been hell-on-earth for Mary under those hot studio lights, but I love the way it looked! I prefer it to her natural hair...!

One of the best moments of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (and one of the greatest moments in television history, for that matter) was the opening theme, where Mary tosses her hat as a sign of independance.

In 2002, the cable network TV Land had a statue made to commemorate that moment. It stands in downtown Minneapolis, in front of Macy's department store.

Included below is the opening sequence... Enjoy!

With sidekicks Phyllis (Cloris Leachman, left) and Rhoda (Valerie Harper, right).

images: (1)


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