Another great passes away

A few weeks ago, we wrote that the passing of Carrie Fisher was like a death in the family.

Well, Wednesday a celebrity who seemed like a member of the family for much longer than Ms. Fisher died. And it is a very sad passing.

Mary Tyler Moore came into our life in our early adolescence. She was the beautiful, bubbly, funny wife on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Her character, Laura Petrie, captured our hearts. In addition to being a model wife with a sharp wit, Laura could dance and sing.

She was also one of our first adolescent crushes.

As great as the Van Dyke show was, though, the actress became even more acclaimed when her own sitcom, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” debuted in 1970. Set in a television newsroom in Minneapolis, the show was about a single, 30-something woman making her way in a male-dominated world.

Mary Richards was a feminist with a velvet touch. Everyone in America rooted for her to succeed whether it was to gain a promotion or find a decent date. Every episode was uproarious, while quietly and consistently making social commentary.

The show also had perhaps the greatest ensemble cast ever assembled — Valerie Harper as Mary’s best friend, Rhoda; Edward Asner as her gruff boss, Lou Grant; Betty White as “The Happy Homemaker,” Sue Ann Nivens; Ted Knight as the bumbling anchorman, Ted Baxter; Gavin McLeod as news writer, Murray; and Cloris Leachman as her neighbor, Phyllis.

In one of its most famous episodes, “Chuckles Bites The Dust,” Mary is critical of her friends for laughing about the death of the TV station’s clown who hosts children’s programs. Chuckles, dressed as Peter Peanut, is killed in a parade when a rogue elephant tries to shell him (source: Wikipedia).

However, Mary finds herself unable to stop laughing during the clown’s eulogy as she thinks about his tag line: “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.”

Well, MTM, we’ll smile and probably laugh out loud thinking about your wonderful performances. But, please know, there’ll be a bunch of tears, too.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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