Mary Tyler Moore was the sweetheart of my generation.
I’m trying to put her death — at age 80 — into a sports context, but the best I can do is Minnesota: home of the Twins, Vikings and North Stars.
Minneapolis was the closest place Saskatchewanians could, in 1970, travel to see MLB, NFL and NHL games. In the Mary Tyler Moore Show, her WJM-TV newsroom was in Minneapolis, of all places. Many of us had made the trip to Minneapolis and it had the same weather, similar people, so it didn’t feel so far away, like Los Angeles or New York.
From my perspective, that’s what made Mary Tyler Moore wonderful: She felt like a close friend. It started in the 1960s, when she was Laura Petrie, acting as the housewife of the star of the Dick Van Dyke Show.
Those roles are now considered cutting-edge television: portraying an independent woman with the ability to laugh at herself. And when I watch her comedic genius in one episode, when she can’t stop laughing at the funeral of Chuckles the Clown, I laugh right along. And cry, too, because she’s gone.