Oprah, Dick Van Dyke and More Remember Mary Tyler Moore as TV Tributes Are Set to Air in Upcoming Days

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Members of the entertainment industry and television networks are coming together to pay tribute to Mary Tyler Moore‘s life and cultural influence after she passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017.

Oprah Winfrey, a lifelong admirer of Moore, spoke with Entertainment Tonight‘s Nancy O’Dell over the phone on Wednesday night and tearfully expressed her gratitude for Moore’s existence.

“What I’m grateful for is that, in my lifetime, I was able to share with her what her presence in television had meant to me as a young, growing, aspiring reporter,” said Winfrey. “It’s the first time that I can recall a public figure in recent years passing — and we’ve lost so many people recently — where I actually sat down and shed tears about it.”

Winfrey described her as a “role model” for “young single women in the workforce” and recalled that Moore inspired her to pursue her own brand.

“Mary Tyler Moore first gave me the idea that you can own your own show and produce it. She was the one,” Winfrey said. “So, when I say that she had a powerful influence on me, it wasn’t just being that iconic figure that was women in the workforce, doing the same job I was doing, working in news as a journalist, in a newsroom, and who was single and really OK with it. Every episode wasn’t about trying to find a man, it was about trying to find your way in life.”

“She paved the way through storytelling for women and was a value system for women without even knowing it. So, her legacy will live on in ways I know the creators of [The Mary Tyler Moore Show] never even imagined.”

CBS will broadcast a special one-hour CBS News tribute to Moore called Mary Tyler Moore: Love Is All Around tonight (Jan. 26, 2017) at 9 p.m. EST. It will be hosted by Oprah’s closest friend and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.

Dick Van Dyke, who portrayed Moore’s husband on The Dick Van Dyke Show, remembered his dear friend in an essay for The Hollywood ReporterHe wrote, “I don’t know what made her comic timing so great. On Dick Van Dyke, we had Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie, both of whom were old hams and had razor-sharp timing, and mine wasn’t bad either. But Mary just picked it up so fast. She had us all laughing after a couple of episodes. She just grabbed onto the character and literally turned us into an improv group, it was so well-oiled. That show was the best five years of my life.”

Read the piece in its entirety here.

Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to Moore in a segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, revealing that his high school yearbook quote was from the iconic Chuckles the Clown episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. 

“She was a pioneer, not just for television and comedy, but for women. Her character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was really the first single working woman on TV.”

Watch his monologue here:


Michelle Obama spoke about how Moore influenced her when she was growing up as well in an interview with Variety in August, prior to Moore’s death.

“She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time,” Obama told Variety (via Entertainment Weekly). “She wasn’t married. She wasn’t looking to get married. At no point did the series end in a happy ending with her finding a husband — which seemed to be the course you had to take as a woman. But she sort of bucked that. She worked in a newsroom, she had a tough boss and she stood up to him. She had close friends, never bemoaning the fact that she was a single. She was very proud and comfortable in that role.

“I was probably 10 or 11 when I saw that, and sort of started thinking, ‘You know what? Marriage is an option. Having a family is an option. And going to school and getting your education and building your career is another really viable option that can lead to happiness and fulfillment.”

Other upcoming television tributes will include…

  • ABC – 20/20 will air a special about Mary Tyler Moore on Friday at 10 p.m. EST
  • SundanceTV – All 24 episodes of the final season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show will be re-aired on Saturday beginning at 6:00 a.m. ET
  • PBS – The 2015 documentary Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration featuring interviews with Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, Valerie Harper, and Oprah Winfrey will broadcast again. Check your local listings here.
  • MeTV – Three hours of the best episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show will air on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. EST/PS: “Love Is All Around,” the show’s debut episode; “Put On A Happy Face” from season 3; “The Dinner Party” from season 4; “Chuckles Bites the Dust” from season 6; “Lou Dates Mary” from season 7; and the series finale “The Last Show.” Find out where you can watch here.


Purchase Season 1 of The Mary Tyler Moore Show here:

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And purchase the complete box set of The Dick Van Dyke Show here:

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Launch the gallery at the top of the page to click through 10 of Moore’s best quotes.