When Screen Actors Guild (SAG) president Ken Howard called Mary Tyler Moore to inform her of being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, she said that she thought he was calling her to ask her to present something to someone. Moore, who helped to create two of television’s most memorable and groundbreaking roles, The Dick Van Dyke Show’s Laura Petrie and The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s Mary Richards, feels honored at all the attention. She says that she looks at the SAG award as a reward for doing something good.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show featured Moore playing the role of the main character, Mary Richards, and ran on CBS for seven years. Mary Richards was a single, career woman in her thirties who had just broken up with her med student boyfriend, whom she had supported for the past two years. Now here she was starting over, making it on her own without having been married and she wasn’t seeking a man to support her.
Mary Richards was the first “real ‘grownup’ career woman on TV.” She was a real person who displayed real insecurities and fears. You couldn’t help but to like her and by the end of each episode you just knew that she would “make it after all.”
Although Moore is appreciative of the SAG award and other honors that she has received, she is most proud of the work she has performed for juvenile diabetes and animal rights.