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Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story

 

Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story: Herbie J Pilato

 

Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story: Herbie J Pilato

Hidden behind her smile that many said could turn the world on, Mary Tyler Moore hid the true Mary. Her love for dance, singing, and acting came through, but her own inner joys and happiness were hidden behind a facade readily available for the public and those that surrounded her. But the smiles, laughter, and love that the fans saw was like a portrait that changed with the years and seasons and was created to show the many sides of Mary. Each portrait would depict another Mary; some with actors that made a difference in her life and smiles that would light up the world, while others would show her torment, her strife, and her disconnections. Her career peaked in the 1960s and 70s, and even today so many of us watch the reruns featuring her as the feisty yet at times docile Laura Petrie, wife of Rob Petrie, played by Dick Van Dyke, and the same show with his name as the title. Every facet of her life is boldly, honestly and carefully depicted and crafted in this outstanding and important tribute to Mary Tyler Moore. The book does not just showcase  what Mary wanted the public to see it allows readers to understand who Mary was and still is to so many.

The author’s purpose in writing this book was to allow readers and fans of Mary Tyler Moore to experience events in her life, understand the obstacles that she endured and his  unique style of writing, the inclusion of the many interviews and allowing readers to hear her own words allows readers to understand the life of Mary. Taking us inside her life and opening doors with the dialogue he included between Mary, journalists and other actors made the story come to light in a realistic and creative fashion.

Including her feelings about her parents and helping readers understand what she endured as a younger person was creatively written with utmost integrity as if she were going to read this herself. The cover alone is true Mary and the smile that lights up the cover lit up the world for so many years each time she came on the silver screen.

The fact that she was abused by a neighbor when she was a child would hamper her too, as Mary—as do other abused children—often felt that it was her fault. She found fault within herself and had trouble dealing with it without some type of outside intervention. Sometimes Mary needed to learn how to be happy within herself and realize that she had so much to offer. How do you overcome this, and how do you handle so many difficult issues?

Mary’s life took many turns in numerous directions. Her personal life was filled with obstacles and strife. The Dick Van Dyke Show was paramount in her life and meeting him created other choices. At the age of eighteen she married Richard Carleton Meeker, and realized that she was pregnant. Her son Richard Jr. entered this world on July 3, 1956. However, the marriage did not last more than five years, and they were divorced, as related by the author, in 1961. However, Mary met CBS executive Grant Tinker, who became chairman of NBC, and they were married in 1962. The author relates that because of Tinker, Mary’s career soared, and she became a force on the sitcom.

The Dick Van Dyke show was amazing and focused on the lives of Rob and Laura Petrie. Rob was the head writer on the Alan Brady Show, and Mary played his wife. They had a son named Ritchie. I loved learning more about Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, who played Sally Rogers and Buddy Sorrell, the other writers, respectively. But I loved the interplay between Morey and Mel Cooley, played by Richard Deacon, that is related in this book. Mel’s personality was the opposite of the others. Carl Reiner appeared as Alan Brady, and Jerry Paris and Ann Guilbert played the roles of Rob and Laura’s friends, Millie and Jerry. The author takes us behind the scenes of the Dick Van Dyke show understanding the difficulties and conflicts between her and Rose Marie.

Mary lived in many different worlds one her life as a parent who was not close to her son and then living behind her addiction to alcohol and trying to become everything to everyone but what about herself? The Dick Van Dyke show was paramount in making her a star and the reunion show and the cast members reactions to each other made that section of the book one of my favorite parts to read and reread over again.

Real life issues are brought out as we learn that she had Type 1 Diabetes and would eventually take on the role of a spokesperson against the disease hoping to create more awareness for research for a cure.

Reading this book brought back memories of watching her on the Dick Van Dyke show, the Mary Tyler Moore Show and the differences in the roles that made her so special and unique. Mary Tyler Moore will always be an icon and a living legend who whose light will never go out and whose smile will always be present every time you watch the reruns. I also loved the photo albums that brings the casts of so many shows, plays and movies back to life and this is one book that I will keep on my shelf as a cherished reminder of Mary Tyler Moore and the creativity of outstanding author Herbie J Pilato.

The author goes on to tell us more about Grant Tinker and how he supported her on both The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I quote: “Grant helped her and made it clear to those involved with the show that she needed to be pushed to the forefront of that series.” When I watched some of the episodes before writing this review, Mary’s name was listed last on the credits when the show was introduced. Conflict arose with Rose Marie when Mary was getting all the attention as they planned in the original plan for the show.

Herbie reminds us of why he wrote Twitch Upon a Sta,r and that he was immersed in the life of Elizabeth Montgomery. She was a friend, and her children and ex-husband were friends too. He reminds everyone that if not for her, he would not have a career and he would not have written about her life. Mary might not have been a friend, but to the author and to this reviewer was a loved and beloved actress. Telling readers about her flaws, and not making her perfect but more human and real, helps everyone

The human qualities of Mary come through and the author created a portrait or a tapestry with so many layers that each chapter and each section allow the reader to immerse himself or herself completely in what is being presented and told about her life and her career.

The one thing you must admire is how much her independence on the Mary Tyler Moore Show as Mary Richards mirrors her life,  as we learn when she moved to a hotel room in the Waldorf and needed her own space and way to create the life she wanted, not what anyone would create for her. Mary on the screen and Mary in real life might have been the same person acting the part, but they were two different people in many respects. Her role as Mary Richards had more depths than the one as Laure Petrie, yet both endeared her to so many.

The author reminds us that sometimes what we see on the outside, the person sees something else and does not realize their inner and outer beauty are perfect. Many, like Mary, wanted  to improve themselves with many different types of enhancements, but Mary also was battling alcohol problems and diabetes.

Meeting Dr. Robert Levine might have been her savior or saving grace, as they were married for thirty-three years, and he never faltered in his loyalties to her. Mary loved life in her own way, and the interview shares the moments where the author allows us to hear her words.

Mary had many different personas at times, and changed her appearance to match her roles, but three things that never changed were her smile, her kindness, and her love of being MARY. When you look up in the sky and see the sun shining down just as brightly as Mary, her legacy will live on forever.

Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine/MJ Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mary

About Just Reviews by:gabina49:

author educator book reviewer for authors reading and writing staff developer Book reviewer for manic readers, ijustfinished.com book pleasures and authors upon request blog tours on my blog and interviews with authors I am the author of five published books. I wrote three children's books in my Bertha Series and Two on Alzheimer's. Radio show talk host on Red River Radio/Blog Talk Radio Book Discussion with Fran Lewis the third Wed. of every month at one eastern. I interview 2 authors each month feature their latest releases. I review books for authors upon request and my latest book Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Is an E book, Kindle and on Xlibris.com Some of the proceeds from this last book will go to fund research in the area of Brain Traumatic Injury in memory of my sister Marcia who died in July.

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