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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Meet the real Mary, plus get the TV theme song & lyrics (1970-1977)

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Cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Meet Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970)

From the Reno Gazette-Journal (Reno, Nevada) September 15, 1970

The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a bright new comedy series making its bow on the CBS Television Network this season, presents talented Miss Moore making her debut as star of her own series.

Other regular cast members of the weekly half-hour comedy series are Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Valerie Harper and Ted Knight.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show features Mary in the role of Mary Richards, a small-town single girl who moves to the big city (Minneapolis-St Paul) and lands a job as associate producer of a news program on a local TV station.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary throwing her hat

Mary Richards is 30 years old, and has just broken off her engagement of four years. Far from being a confirmed bachelorette, Mary seeks a change of scene, a chance to sort things out, and the opportunity to meet some new friends. Being the only girl in the station newsroom, she has no trouble attracting males.

Her boss is an old-time, two-fisted, hard-drinking news editor, Lou Grant (played by Ed Asner), and it soon becomes clear to Mary that although her title of associate producer sounds important, her duties are pedestrian but all-inclusive.

Gavin MacLeod plays the role of Murray Slaughter, a sardonic writer in the news department at the station, who has a flair for the barbed quip. Actor Ted Knight is newscaster, Tex Baxter, an egocentric anchor-man with a charming smile, resonant voice, and marginal intelligence, whose proclivity for misreading cue cards is legend. Valerie Harper is the fifth regular on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, playing the role of Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary’s apartment neighbor.

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The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song & opening credits (video)


The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song lyrics

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it’s you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement, you show it

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can never tell, why don’t you take it
You’re gonna make it after all
You’re gonna make it after all

How will you make it on your own?
This world is awfully big, girl this time you’re all alone
But it’s time you started living
It’s time you let someone else do some giving

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can never tell, why don’t you take it
You might just make it after all
You might just make it after all


Valerie Harper, Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Mary Tyler Moore Show cast

Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore)
Lou Grant (Edward Asner)
Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod)
Ted Baxter (Ted Knight)
Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper)
Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman)
Georgette Franklin Baxter (Georgia Engel)
Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White)


The ‘Buttoned-Up’ Mary Tyler Moore (1974)

By Joseph N. Bell – Boca Raton News (Florida) June 9, 1974

“Basically,” says Mary Tyler Moore, “I’m a pretty buttoned-up person, and I don’t share my innermost feelings with anybody, except my husband. I’m pretty structured. I tend to be ahead of time and waiting when I’m working. To pull back from uncomfortable situations. To be reserved. I generally weigh and evaluate social causes, then take a moderate, even conservative, position.”

Actress Mary Tyler Moore c1974

None of these cautious tendencies, however, has prevented Mary from taking strong positions on behalf of American women, both on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” in which she plays a single woman competing with some happily chauvinist men in the newsroom of a minor-league TV station, or in other public activities in which she has spoken cogently and effectively for the women’s movement.

“I like women,” she says, “but I recognize that lots of people don’t. Women over the years have let themselves be made into unlikeable creatures, permitted out once in awhile to make big talk with the men. If women don’t like themselves, how can other people like them?”

“Although I totally accept these arguments intellectually, I sometimes have a tough time accepting them emotionally, partly, I suppose, because I’m forever tempering my views with other considerations that have become a part of my life.

Mary Tyler Moore show

“I still tend to defer to my husband, to accept his dominant role. And even though the areas men and women can explore together have been broadened so much in recent years, there are still female things I like to talk over with women friends.”

There are two walls around Mary Tyler Moore. The first is papier mache and can be penetrated by virtually anyone who needs help and can get his problem before her. She will respond. With grace, with style, with charm. Up to a point.

The second wall is tall and sturdy; its ramparts are defended by a battalion of concerns, longings, and uncertainties. Practically no one scales that wall, including Mary, who prefers to live out front, and does most of the time.

On June 22 Miss Moore will receive the “Susie” Humanitarian Award from B’nai B’rith for her efforts on behalf of several medical foundations and rehabilitation centers. A few months earlier, she was seen on CBS-TV narrating a program designed to dramatize the new stirrings and needs and injustices borne by American women.

Young Mary Tyler Moore - vintage yearbook photo
Young Mary Tyler Moore – vintage yearbook photo

Both her public and private image can easily bridge the mild militancy of women’s lib and the earnest humanitarianism of the Fund for Animals and the other charities she sponsors and supports. Nor is the humanitarianism abstract.

Last year, one of her closest friends, Valerie Harper, who plays Rhoda on the show, was offered a show of her own for next year and was agonizing about what to do. Finally, she put the question to Mary, whose answer was immediate: “I’ll miss you terribly, but I can’t hold you here. You must go on.”

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Says Valerie Harper: “I value Mary’s friendship, especially because she doesn’t offer it easily, even though she’s warm with everybody and always makes you feel very easy, very fast. She’s never permitted a hierarchy, a star structure on this show because she doesn’t see herself that way. She’s a fellow player, and her show has an ensemble feeling. All our awards go right back to her doorstep. During the time I worked with her, I’d always take my lead off Mary because she was someone I looked up to.”

Another associate, close to her for a long time, says: “Mary is one of the few people I know who can ad lib in complete English sentences. She answers the phone on the set and picks up her own coffee. The star sets the mood and atmosphere of any show — and that’s why there’s a minimum of back-biting and politicking on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show.'”

The Mary Tyler Moore Show cast

This is the out-front Mary. On the several occasions I’ve interviewed her, she has been impeccably cooperative. Her luminous brown eyes look straight at a visitor. She answers questions earnestly and honestly — as long as they don’t invade areas of personal privacy that she protects absolutely. She is warm, outgoing, self-deprecating. But when the interview is over, it’s over. There is no lingering small talk, no easy confidences. Mary doesn’t do this sort of thing well — or at all — and she knows it.

Miss Moore’s husband is Grant Tinker, TV executive and guiding hand behind MTM Enterprises, Inc., which has a stable of highly successful properties — of which Mary’s show is the cornerstone — on network television.

Tinker is a friendly, expansive man who met Mary when she was making her first big mark as Laura Petrie on the “Dick Van Dyke Show.” They were married in 1962 and separated — as quietly as it is possible for people so much in the public eye — last year. At the time, Mary said: “There’s no other man. There’s no other woman. There are just some very personal problems between two people named Grant and Mary. We hope we can work them out and be happy.”

Since their separation, the two have — as a friend put it — been “courting” and are reportedly back together again. At no time has their working relationship apparently been affected.

Mary Tyler Moore was born in Brooklyn one of three children in a middle-class American family — in 1937. (It is typical of Mary, that she is one of the few actresses over 18 or under 60 who permit their actual birthdates in press biographies.)

Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda


Is Mary Tyler Moore too good to be true (1974)

Is Mary Tyler Moore too good to be true? (1974)

by Joyce Maynard – McCalls – March 1974

She’s a gum chewer, a chain smoker, and an obsessive dieter. Outside of that, she’s perfect. Everybody loves her, but no one really knows her. “If there were anything wrong in her life,” a close friend says, “she would be the last to inflict it on anyone.”

When I first talked with Mary Tyler Moore, she had not yet separated from her husband, Grant Tinker. “I’m totally happy,” she told me then. “My life is perfect. I guess it’s the old Puritan ethic — the idea that everything evens up in the long run. I keep waiting for some giant sandbag to fall.”

Mary Tyler Moore and Husband, Grant Tinker

We spent time together on the set of her television series, but never at the big new house in Malibu she and Grant had moved into a short time before, a house filled with Emmy awards and 20 needlepoint pillows made by Mary Tyler Moore herself. (She showed them to the architect and told him to build a house to match.)

Not many people see the house, and I am sure that if they come, they don’t just drop in casually.

The show’s cast members are all friends, whose birthdays Mary marks in a special book and takes pains to celebrate, whose lost dogs she worries about, whose children’s pet frogs she examines on the set, and someday, I am certain, there will be a party at the Malibu house, and Mary will be gracious and welcoming and sociable, but she will not, I’m equally sure, drink too much champagne and take a friend aside and tell her secrets.

“My husband and I are very private people,” she said, not in the way some stars announce they’re Very Private People as a prelude to Telling All.

And now her husband has moved out of the big new house on Malibu Beach, and Mary Tyler Moore is more private than ever.

Mary Tyler Moore 1960s


See Mary Tyler Moore’s needlepoint (1974)

by Helene Brown – American Home, October 1974

The warm, glowing living room you see here reflects the very personal decorating statement of TV’s Mary Tyler Moore.

Mary succumbed to the needlepoint vogue awhile ago, finding it a soothing and productive way to pass the time on set between scenes. Three years and 23 glorious needlepoint creations later, when Mary and her husband, Grant Tinker, had finished remodeling their home in Malibu, California, her appealing handiwork became the focus of their decorating. Working with interior designer John Hall, they picked their colors accordingly.

Now, with flower-garden hues and greenery everywhere, the house carries out the look of Mary’s unique needlepoint — fresh, bright and casual.

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See Mary Tyler Moore's needlepoint (1974)

See Mary Tyler Moore's needlepoint (1975)

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