'Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration'
(Mary Tyler Moore / DVD / NR / 2015 / PBS)
Overview: She "turned the world on with her smile" on The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show,, and countless movie roles. This special features dozens of classic clips - plus comments from Betty White, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod, John Amos, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore herself.
DVD Verdict: As we all know by now, Mary Tyler Moore is an American actress, primarily known for her roles in television sitcoms, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–77), in which she starred as Mary Richards, a thirty-something single woman who worked as a local news producer in Minneapolis, and, earlier, The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–66), in which she played Laura Petrie, a former dancer turned Westchester homemaker, wife and mother.
Her notable film work includes 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie and 1980's Ordinary People, in which she played a role that was very different from the television characters she had portrayed, and for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
'Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration' is one of the programs in the Pioneers of Television series and is an incredible delve into the life of one of TV's most beloved personalities. Within this "life" of Mary Tyler Moore, we learn she was a dancer at first, her first break in show business was in 1955, as a dancing kitchen appliance - Happy Hotpoint, the Hotpoint Appliance elf, in commercials generally broadcast during the popular TV program The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1952).
She then shifted from dancing to acting, and work soon came, at first a number of guest roles on TV series, but eventually a recurring role as "Sam", Richard Diamond's sultry answering service girl, on Richard Diamond, Private Detective in 1957.
Widely acknowledged as being much tougher and more high-strung than her iconic image would suggest, Moore has had a life with more than the normal share of ups and downs. Both of her siblings predeceased her, her sister Elizabeth of a drug overdose in 1978 and her brother of cancer after a failed attempt at assisted suicide, Moore having been the assistant. Moore's troubled son Richie shot and killed himself in what was officially ruled an accident in 1980. Moore has long been diagnosed an insulin-dependent diabetic, and had a bout with alcoholism in the mid-70s.
Divorced from Tinker since 1981, she has been married to physician Robert Levine since 1983. So yes, 'Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration' may not go quite that far into the depths of the Moore, but it does showcase the incredible depth of talent that Moore oozes. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.