Mary Tyler Moore: In The Beginning

Friday, 27 January 2017 08:12 AM Written by 

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Everyone in show business, of course, has to start somewhere. And so it was with Mary Tyler Moore, and well before The Dick Van Dyke Show or her own iconic sitcom. Two examples of those dues-paying days are here, along with her later reflections on this part of her career.

The first involved her dancing skills in a TV commercial. Her perky character was "Happy Hotpoint."

1956: Hotpoint Refrigerators and Dishwashers. This was a lead-in to the sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Hotpoint, like Kodak cameras, was a long-term sponsor of the show.

1959: As "Sam" on Richard Diamond, Private Detective. This TV adaptation of the long-running radio series (starring Dick Powell), a sort of Film Noir lite, gave David Janssen his first TV platform before he became a pop culture icon as The Fugitive. Re-runs were titled "Call 'Mr. D.'" Mary, always in the shadows, played "Sam," who worked for Diamond's answering service. Only her legs were on camera; otherwise, she was seen only in silhouette. She recalls doing just 12 episodes in Season 3.

She shows up at 1:57, right after the opening.

And at 14:32

1986: Mary on The Richard Diamond phase, interviewed for the Archive of American Television (connected to the Emmys). She discusses the dozen episodes she did, why she left, and the benefits.


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