Mary Tyler Moore: TV pioneer, feminist icon and — album cover girl?
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Moore was born in 1936 in Brooklyn Heights, but her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 8 years old. As a teenager, she aspired to be a dancer and appeared in several commercials at the beginning of her career.
Mary Tyler Moore arrives at the Emmy Awards in 2001.(Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Mary Tyler Moore appears on the set of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”(Paul Brownstein Productions)
Mary Tyler Moore accepts her Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award during the 18th SAG Awards show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 2012.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Mary Tyler Moore attends the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles in 2008.(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
Academy Award-nominated film and Emmy Award-winning television actress Mary Tyler Moore poses during a 1979 photo portrait session in Los Angeles.(George Rose / Getty Images)
Dick Van Dyke, left, and Mary Tyler Moore, co-stars on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” appear backstage at the Palladium with their Emmys for best actor and actress in a series at the Television Academy’s 16th annual awards show in 1964.(Associated Press)
Mary Tyler Moore appears with her then-husband, Grant Tinker, at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles in 1966.(David Smith / Associated Press)
Actress Mary Tyler Moore and actor Michael Douglas attend a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation event in 1997. Moore had Type 1 diabetes.(Getty Images)
Posing in a 1972 publicity photo for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” are, back row, from left, Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morgenstern, Ed Asner as Lou Grant and Cloris Leachman as Phyllis Lindstrom, and front row, from left, Gavin McLeod as Murray Slaughter, Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards, and Ted Knight as Ted Baxter.(CBS Photo Archive)
Mary Tyler Moore, center, and Dick Van Dyke, right, are colorized in the newly released “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”(Calvada Productions)
Moore auditioned to play
After the end of “The
Mary Tyler Moore and then-husband Grant Tinker appear at a Hollywood event in 1966.(Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Moore got her second sitcom, “The
In 1969, Moore founded her own production company, which produced “The
With “Ordinary People,” a wrenching domestic drama about the troubles of an upper-middle-class family after the death of their eldest son, Moore earned her first Academy Award nomination playing the grief-stricken mother opposite
Former President Clinton leans in to chat with Mary Tyler Moore, the Rev. Billy Graham and Lauren Bacall at the 75th anniversary gala for Time magazine at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on March 3, 1998.(Sonia Moskowitz / Associated Press)
Moore has written two memoirs about her life. In the first, published in 1995, she revealed that she was a recovering alcoholic. In the second, published in 2009, she talked about living with Type 1
Mary Tyler Moore accepts her Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award from Dick Van Dyke at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2012.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Before Mary Tyler Moore was a television star on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and later with her own pioneering series, her face (and occasionally curvaceous body) graced the covers of long-forgotten albums of easy-listening instrumental music in the late 1950s.
That little-known fact is bubbling up in the wake of Moore’s death Wednesday. An ambitious working girl who could and did almost everything on the Hollywood road to success, Moore appeared on nearly a dozen album covers for acts such as Raoul Martinez and His Orchestra and the Norman Leslie Orchestra.
The music hasn’t exactly stood the test of time, but Moore’s twentysomething visage has given the LPs some cultural cachet. On eBay, you can snag “Million Sellers” (see Moore in gold lamé) for $9.99 and “Gigi” (see Moore sipping Champagne) for $22.50. If you’re particularly curious, you can buy a bundle of six albums (current bid: $22.27).
Here’s a gallery of Moore’s multiple album covers, many of them for the defunct Tops record label, from “Cha Cha Cha” and “Organ Favorites” to “Dance to the Latin Beat” and “The Roaring ’20s.”
Although she never recorded an album herself, Moore had a decent set of pipes, especially when paired with her beloved co-star Van Dyke.
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