Monday, December 13, 2010

Cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show

After appearing on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" for a number of years, Mary Tyler Moore took a break from TV and dabbled in film for a while.  Mary returned to TV in a big way with her own show and her signature role as Mary Richards in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". Which featured Mary moving away to Minneapolis to get away from life.  She worked in a TV newsroom where most of the action takes place with her uptight boss Lou Grant and her co-workers Murray, and Ted the anchorman who was not so bright and couldn't get enough of himself. And her friends Rhoda, Phyllis, Sue Ann, and Georgette would always keep the laughs rolling.  The show was the first ever to seriously portray the independent working woman.  Who can ever forget the last frame of the opening when Mary throws her hat in the air as the theme song "Love is all around" sung by Sonny Curtis, ends with the words "You're gonna make it after all...".  She certainly did.

"You're gonna make it after all..."
Mary Richards arriving at her new new home in Minneapolis

Cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" Front: Betty White (Sue Ann Nivens), Mary Tyler Moore (Mary Richards), Georgia Engel (Georgette Franklin).  Back: Gavin MacLeod (Murray Slaughter), Edward Asner (Lou Grant), Ted Knight (Ted Baxter)
Mary Tyler Moore (Mary Richards) and Valerie Harper (Rhoda Morgenstern) of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

The show ran for 7 seasons until 1977 and won a whopping twenty-nine Emmy awards and three Golden Globe Awards and was such a success that it spawned two spin-off shows during it's seven year run and one afterward.  Co-star Valerie Harper would get her own show "Rhoda" 1974 and Cloris Leachman would get her own show "Phyllis" a year later in 1975.  It is no coincidence however, because the production company responsible for "The Mary Tyler Moore" show was MTM productions.  Short for Mary Tyler Moore productions which she co-owned with her husband.  The end of the closing credits would always have the cute little kitten meowing in what looked similar to an MGM logo.  Apparently, she knew a good thing when she saw it. 

Cloris Leachman (Phillys Lindstrom) and Mary Tyler Moore (Mary Richards) of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

Ed Asner also got his own show based on his character at the end of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" titled "Lou Grant" which sort of continued the story of Mary's boss after everyone at the newsroom were fired.  Other cast members would star in their own shows as well.

Some of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" cast members showing off their Emmy Awards.  Ed Asner, Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore, Ted Knight

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was so popular show and had such an impact on everyday lives that in Minneapolis where the show was set, in front of the department store where the final frame of the opening scene found Mary throwing her hat into the air, a statue was placed.  Thus, immortalizing that moment in television history.

Statue at the spot front of the department store in Minneapolis immortalizing the opening scene of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

Click on the links of the cast members below to find out Whatever happened to:

    Mary Tyler Moore - Mary Richards

    Gavin MacLeod - Murray Slaughter

    Edward Asner - Lou Grant

    Ted Knight - Ted Baxter

    Valerie Harper - Rhoda Morgenstern

    Georgia Engel - Georgette Franklin

    Betty White - Sue Ann Nivens

    Cloris Leachman - Phyllis Lindstrom

Nancy Walker (Ida Morgenstern) made her debut as Rhoda's mom in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" before appearing on "Rhoda"

Many stars have stopped by as guests on the show or newcomers that passed by on their way to their own success have included:

    Nancy Walker - Ida Morgenstern who would go on to star in "Rhoda"
    Harold Gould - Martin Morgenstern who would go on to star in "Rhoda"
    Eileen Heckart - Mary' Aunt Flo, star of many films and TV shows
    Richard Kline of "Three's Company"
    Patricia Priest of "The Munsters"
    Penny Marshall of "Laverne & Shirley"
    David Ogden Stiers of "M*A*S*H" as station manager Mel Price
    Gordon Jump of "WKRP in Cinncinati"
    John Ritter of "Three's Company"

    And many, many more...

Recent photo of the surviving cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" Gavin MacLeod, Cloris Leachman, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, Valerie Harper, Ed Asner

"The Mary Tyler Moore" house in 2004
Mary Tyler Moore and her statue in Minneapolis, Minnesota


  1. You failed to mention that MTM's legs from the knees down played the part of "Sam" the receptionist at the answering service which had "Richard Diamond Private Detective" (David Janson) as one of its'clients. Her face and real life identity were not disclosed.
    Her legs were better actors.

  2. It was not a failure that it was not mentioned her legs starred in "Richard Diamond", it was purposely left out because it did not seem like a significant highlight of her career...

  3. This has to do more with MTM herself rather than her show. I don’t think that I have ever seen as beautiful a woman (ever) as she was in 1962 – 1965 on the Dick Van Dyke show. There was some kind of transformation that occurred in her appearance in 1962 (lighting, makeup, weight loss, plastic surgery, hairstyle?) that made her incredibly alluring.

    My question is “Why are there no women who look like this anymore (disregarding the makeup & hairstyle of the times) ?” Is it the result of evolution, dietary differences, etc.? You would think that in all my interactions with the world (real-life, TV, internet) I would see at least someone who comes close — but I haven’t.

    Can anyone tell me if they’ve seen somebody who resembles her? Or if you can explain to me why there isn’t anyone who resembles her as she was during the above-mentioned time period?