So you already know that the next recipient of the Pop Culture HR Award is a woman. Thank you for the suggestions. I review every woman suggested and every time I checked, this person popped up every time. I was trying to find a reason not to select her, but could not. Therefore, the fifth recipient of the Pop Culture HR Award is…
Looking at her career, Mary’s story parallels what the modern working woman are achieving. She had to struggle with unique roles such as an elf dancer for commercials as a teenager, until Carl Reiner discover her and ask her to be the character wife of Dick Van Dyke. She was in her 20s and became a popular figure with her looks, fashion and comedic timing. Her experience under Reiner and Van Dyke help thrust to her most famous role.
As Mary Richards, Moore created the first independent working woman in television who was a career driven woman, who is single. The character at the time was bold and refreshing and gave a show an edge of how would an independent woman reacts to certain situations. You know the show was great when you make Ed Asner’s character funny when the character is gruff and dramatic (hence Lou Grant being a dramatic series). The show was in the top 25 for six of the seven seasons (the last season was the only season out of the top 25) and being the pioneer of working women at work and entertainment.
After the Mary Tyler Moore Show ended, Moore tried many different things and the results are mixed. She starred in Ordinary People as Beth Jarrett. Although some people thought this could ruin Mary’s career as people were familiar with her in a comedic role, the movie critics and audience agreed Mary was great in the role and was nominated for Best Actress. In the 1980s, Mary wanted to make a comeback to TV in her own variety show and sitcom, but both failed. In the 90s, as she became older, she revealed her problems with alcohol and being diabetic. Currently, she’s the International Chairman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and an animal rights activist.
If it was not for her, we would not know what the working woman would look like today. Without Moore, would every woman have a secretary job, be a trophy wife, earn little to no income today? Gladly, we wouldn’t know the answer because of her. To Mary, she was a prophet, hence the statue in Minneapolis below.
Congrats Mary Tyler Moore on being the fifth recipient of the Pop Culture HR Award and everyone is going to make it after all!