The late Mary Tyler Moore would have turned 84 today and will always be remembered for her iconic role of Mary Richards, the part Moore played on her self-titled sitcom from 1970-77.
Mary Tyler Moore — Roles To Love
The actress, however, played other parts on TV and in film. Here’s a look back at the beloved star’s other roles, which display her talent and versatility.
1. Laura Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66)
Okay, you probably didn’t forget this one in which Moore perfected her comedic chops as Laura, Rob Petrie’s (Dick Van Dyke) wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Laura supported Rob, helping him get out of jams; she got into a few of her own, too — like the time she got her toe stuck in a faucet! Originally, Mary Richards was set to be a divorcee, but there was a concern viewers would think she’d divorced Rob Petrie as Moore was so identified as Laura!
2. Sante Kimes, Like Mother Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes (2001)
This one is tough to wrap your head around. Not only did Moore play amoral grifter Sante Kimes, but one of her victims was millionaire Irene Silverman, played by All in the Family’s Jean Stapleton (Edith). Mary Richards being mean to Edith Bunker? Yikes!
3. Annie McGuire, Annie McGuire (1989)
It was unusual seeing Moore in a sitcom playing someone named other than “Mary,” but in this short-lived late 1980s blend of sitcom and drama, Moore played Annie McGuire, newlywed to Nick McGuire (Denis Arndt). The cast included Eileen Heckert as
Mary’s Annie’s mother. Previously, Heckert played Mary Richards’ aunt Flo on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
4. Sister Michelle, Change of Habit (1969)
Moore hit the big screen opposite Elvis Presley in the feature film Change of Habit. She was a young woman named Michelle Gallagher about to become a nun. He was a doctor in the inner city. Sparks flew between them, but as the film ended, Michelle was headed to a life of serving God while Presley’s Dr. John Carpenter sang for guidance that Michelle would ultimately make the right choice.
5. Mary Brenner, Mary (1985-86)
Moore returned to sitcoms in 1985 playing Mary Brenner, a former fashion magazine writer, who took a writing job at the Chicago Eagle after the magazine folded. Moore had a solid supporting cast including Mary Brenner’s gruff boss Frank DeMarco (James Farentino), and wisecracking office mate Jo Tucker (Katey Sagal), but this program lasted a lone season.
6. Beth Jarrett, Ordinary People (1980)
Director Robert Redford cast Moore as emotionally unavailable Beth Jarrett, a wife and mother of two boys, forever changed by the drowning of favorite son Buck (Scott Doebler). In a memorable scene in the film, son Conrad (Oscar winner Timothy Hutton), who survived attempting suicide, cried out that Beth would have visited Buck if he’d been in the hospital. “Buck never would have been in the hospital!” Beth fired back. Moore was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in this film.
What’s your favorite non-Mary Richards performance by Mary Tyler Moore? Sound off in the comments section below.