Mary Tyler Moore
As I was working on my laptop yesterday the newsflash crawled across the screen announcing that Mary Tyler Moore had passed away. I immediately had a flash of her tossing that royal blue knit cap into the air and flashing that dazzling smile on her sitcom from the 1970’s. Didn’t we all want to BE her? I was also reminded of a more personal memory I had of the lovely Mary Tyler Moore.
I was young, maybe 11 or 12, racing through the airport at LAX with my family to catch a plane. It was crowded and I bumped into someone–POW!! It was like a full body block. Slightly stunned, I looked up and saw the face of Mary Tyler Moore. I stammered “Sorry”. She was kind to me, flashed that brilliant smile, gave my shoulder a pat and she raced off to catch her plane, still smiling. It was a quick moment in time, lodged so deeply in my memory I had almost forgotten, but it was one of those small brushes with fame, and one of my favorite television stars, that I will always remember.
As I think back on her legacy, from this age, Mary Tyler Moore had a deeper impact on my life than I realized. She embodied style, fun, optimism and kindness. She showed a generation of us girls that we could have a successful career, a love life, a close-knit group of girlfriends, a super cool apartment and, most importantly, a life we created someday. In her personal life, Mary Tyler Moore showed it was okay to experience difficulties – health, loss, heartbreak, divorce – and, still continue to view the world with hope and optimism. She had type 1 diabetes, battled alcoholism, lost her only son at age 24 and married 3 times (yes, optimistic). She never lost that spark. Instead, she raised money and fought for the causes she believed in with a strong desire to make a difference.
Mary Tyler Moore will continue to “turn the world on” with her smile.
Rest in peace, lovely lady.
In other brushes with fame: I was “invited to dance” by Kevin Bacon and Tom Cruise was scheduled to come to my classroom for ‘star of the week’ back in the 1990’s.
Have you had a brush with fame recently? Were you a fan of Mary Tyler Moore like me?