Mary Tyler Moore has passed on at the age of 80, and the world will never be the same. The first person to portray a “modern career woman” on TV, she brought hope and inspiration to an entire generation and beyond. With her signature wit and endless charm, she defied the status quo, giving a face and a voice to all women, and especially those who struggled in the work place.
With “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” she became a symbol of feminism and a career driven professional, highlighting the fact that, yes, women can go to work, and actually succeed. Her character was also a single, divorced woman – a big no-no on TV in those days – further showcasing that women were capable of anything. It went on to become one of the most popular TV shows in history, and earned her seven Emmy wins.
That was just one of her many great contributions to culture and the entertainment world. Prior to her to her boundary-shattering role in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” she cleverly redefined the common housewife trope in “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Although she sometimes played into the hysteria women were unfortunately characterized with, she held her own – and created a space for herself – against a mega star such as Van Dyke.
Later in her career, she appeared in films such as Ordinary People and Flirting with Disaster, movies that, if you think about it, couldn’t be imagined without her now. Her unforgettable talent also inspired countless megastars like Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing, and Tina Fey, to name a few. Her legacy is impossible to quantify.
An advocate for the education and treatment of childhood diabetes, and a strict vegetarian, Mary Tyler Moore was a force both on and off camera. Her contributions in shaping the way society views women will last forever. We’ve lost an American treasure, but we will never forget her.