Not only did Mary Tyler Moore “turn the world on with her smile,” as her show’s theme song declared, she also influenced a generation of women to become more independent and to pursue successful and fulfilling careers. Moore’s own 50-plus-year career has spanned award-winning films and Broadway shows, as well as two beloved television series that broke ground and continue to entertain viewers. This one-hour special includes highlights from a recent interview with Mary Tyler Moore, tributes from her co-stars and clips from iconic moments throughout her career. The program looks at her breakthrough role on The Dick Van Dyke Show, her iconic turn as TV’s first independent career woman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and her Academy Award-nominated work on Ordinary People.
The triumphs and failures of middle age as seen through the eyes of runaway American housewife Mary Wilson (Jean Simmons), a woman who believes that ultimate reality exists above and beyond the routine procedures of conscious, uninspired, everyday life. She feels cheated by an older generation that taught her to settle for nothing less than storybook finales, people who are disillusioned and restless and don’t know why, people for whom life holds no easy answers. Great supporting cast includes John Forsythe, Teresa Wright, Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Jones, Bobby Darin, Tina Louise, Dick Shawn, and Nanette Fabray.