Article originally appeared in Seth’s column at the New York Observer.
In 1970s America, the initials MTM meant three things: actress Mary Tyler Moore; the show she starred in; and the company she and her husband Grant Tinker founded.
All three changed American life, but the third did so for decades, reinventing popular culture and turning the small screen into the dominant art form of its time.
In syndication, The Mary Tyler Moore Show inspired of a new generation of performers and writers. Oprah Winfrey said the show was “a light in my life, and Mary was a trailblazer for my generation. She’s the reason I wanted my own production company.” When Moore gave Oprah a version of Mary’s iconic wooden “M”— a golden “O” — Winfrey became speechless, then burst into tears.
Moore was the most significant actress of her era. The woman who refused Gloria Steinem’s invitation to join the feminist movement broke down more barriers for women artists and characters than any other American of her time. When asked how she wanted to be remembered, she said: “As somebody who always looked for the truth, even if it wasn’t funny.”
In 1998, Entertainment Weekly named The Mary Tyler Moore Show the best TV show of all time.
Read the full article here.