One of a Kind! The Modern Woman, Dies at 80

Growing up in Iowa and living in the Twin Cities for most of my 20s it was hard not to think of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. I mean, I lived in Bryn Mar, which was next to Kenwood where Mary Richards' apartment from the show is still located to this day. I would drive by the house on my way to run around Lake of the Isles 3-4 times a week.

Mary's house from the Mary Tyler Moore show in the Kenwood district of Minneapolis.

I watched the show when I was a kid, but I didn't totally appreciate Mary's character or Moore's performance yet. At the time I got a kick out of Lou Grant's gruffness and Ted Knight because he was the incensed, sour, yet funny man from Caddyshack. 

There was also Mary Tyler Moore's work at WJM downtown and the throwing of her hat in the air with that ambitious, happy with life smile. It represented her being single, over 30, independent, this made her character a groundbreaking feminist, not only in prime time--but on a top rated series.  This summer the statue of Mary Richards tossing her hat in the air is expected to return to hits proper place at 700 Nicollet Mall near the entrance to the fictitious TV station.

Mary Tyler Moore is currently in storage, but is expected to return to its spot on Nicollet Mall this summer (click on picture for the story about the statue)

When I was producing the Canterbury Park magazine show that aired on Midwest Sports Channel Jon Mikkelson had an idea to shoot a Mary Tyler Moore themed promo for the Minneapolis Handicap with the voice of Canterbury and the Minnesota Vikings, Paul Allen. It still lives on YouTube!

I really didn't start to appreciate Moore's performance in the iconic series until I revisited the show a couple of years ago in Los Angeles.  It's funny how much more sentimental you can become towards a show or movie back in a town that you still adore and will always consider it as one of your hometowns.

One of my favorite Mary Tyler Moore scenes is when she wears a dress designed by a new friend. Mary heads into the closet to change only to return with Ted and Georgette on the couch. As only Ted can say, "Get me a glass of water."

And who can forget Mary fighting so hard to hold back her laughter at Chuckles the Clown's funeral.

And then there is Moore's Oscar-nominated performance as the grieving mother who has lost her compassion and love for her surviving son. A complete change of what we've seen to this point from Mary Tyler Moore on screen.

And at the age of 59 Mary Tyler Moore stole this scene in the film, "Flirting with Disaster."  Moore explains to her daughter-in-law the benefits of a good bra.

And that's just the performing side of Mary Tyler Moore.

Rest in peace, Mary! Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017)