Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore: First in Feminism

Thank you to Mary Tyler Moore for her courageous life and good humor, and thank you to Dennis McLellan for his tribute to her in today's Los Angeles Times obituary.

He traces her rise starting with The Dick Van Dyke show, which I watched with pleasure from 1961 to 1966, unaware that she was opening new territory for women in careers on television.

I didn't see as much of the The Mary Tyler Moore Show because I didn't have a television for many of its years, 1970 to 1977.  Also I was a struggling grad student, so watching tv was mostly off-limits.

I didn't know about her personal tragedies:

  • 1969, being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes
  • 1978, losing her sister to a drug overdose
  • 1980, losing her 24-yr-old son, fatally shot by himself, possibly accidentally
  • 1992, losing her brother (a recovering alcoholic) to kidney disease

Raised by an alcoholic mother and distant father, she entered the Betty Ford Center in the mid-1980s for treatment for alcoholism.

All this--and what we remember her for most is her bright smile and spunk.

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