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I never personally knew Mary Tyler Moore but from a very early age, always felt like I did. Leaping off the glazed expanse of my television screen, hair perfectly coiffed, smile bright and genuine, she had the kind of vivaciousness that could inspire not only this young girl but also an entire generation of TV-watchers and then another generation after that … and it did. 

Few actresses of her time accomplished what she could—starring on not one but two wildly successful television shows, (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show), grabbing a 1980 Best Actress Oscar nomination for Ordinary People—and yet, she remained humble.

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore

Moore was known for possessing an intense amount of self-awareness, forever eschewing the materialistic vapidity of Hollywood in place of altruistic endeavors. Since developing type 1 disease at the age of 33, she thereafter was a passionate advocate of diabetes awareness and showed a skeptical society that you could in fact live a full, healthy life even while bravely battling the disease. 

Her messages of resiliency and benevolence resonate even today, sadly her last, as we remember a fallen star who once turned the world on with her smile.

Melissa Kandel is a Southern California-based writer and the founder/president of little word studio. If you really want, you can follow little word studio on Instagram here.

One Comment

  • Betty says:

    Mary Tyler Moore was my very first TV role model! Lovely tribute to a stand up gal who opened the door of possibly to more young woman than she would have ever known. Thank you Melissa!

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