Mary Tyler Moore is one of the most beloved television actresses in American history. She started out as a a dancer, and her first big role was in a television commercial for Hotpoint appliances in the 1950s, but she soon catapulted to stardom with her spunk and charm.
Catching the eye of the legendary Carl Reiner, she got cast as Laura Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke Show," one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s.
But it was her own show of the 1970s, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," that solidified her own legend. She played Mary Richards, a TV news producer and a single woman dealing with idiosyncratic coworkers and a complicated but independent personal life. Along with Elton John records, it's the best reason to to be nostalgic for the seventies. :-)
In both shows, she was the woman every woman wanted to befriend and every man wanted to marry. As America's sweetheart, she stunned people in her first big dramatic movie, the 1980 film Ordinary People, about a distant upper-middle-class suburban mom dealing with family tragedy. (She had also appeared as a nun in one of Elvis Presley's last movies, the punningly - and awfully- titled A Change of Habit.)
Now, as Mary Tyler Moore approaches the age of eighty in December 2016, she has an incredible career to look back on. We should declare her a national treasure and leave it at that.
Fun fact: Mary Tyler Moore doesn't go by her full name out of conceit. When she first registered for Actors' Equity, another actress named Mary Moore had beaten her to it. Hence the inclusion of her middle name on her own Actors' Equity card.