tv 2020 ABC January 27, 2017 10:01pm-11:00pm EST
. >> reporter: tonight, remembering the woman who could turn the world on with her smile. >> the show was brilliant because mary is who you want to be. >> reporter: a tv icon, speaking out. >> would you shut up, ted. >> reporter: and inspiring generations of young girls and women. >> reporter: co-stars you love. how the show almost ended before it got started. >> it tested and still retains the honor of being the lowest rated television episode ever viewed.ealing
years -- >> they say, "she is so nice." >> reporter: the secrets no one came out i went to betty ford. >> reporter: the strength and struggle behind that gladiator smile. >> the diabetes, your divorce, your son, did you ever think, this is insupportable? >> reporter: and the life-changing part in "ordinary people" that finally laid bare that dark side. >> the whole movie is about the loss of a son, then that happened. >> very reminiscent of my own life. >> reporter: hats off in minneapolis today for the legend who made it, after all. >> good evening, i'm david muir. >> and i'm elizabeth vargas.
she was the woman millions of people welcomed into their homes every saturday night, and into their hearts forever. mary tyler moore, dying at the age of 80 from heart problems related to pneumonia. >> behind the laughs, she had great pain, and personal heartbreak. so, tonight, a special tribute to mary tyler moore. stories from her friends, and your favorite episodes. and also, her greatest regret, which had nothing to do with showbusiness. >> reporter: mary tyler moore dazzled us with her dancing, made us keel over in laughter and, like the song says, turned the whole world on with her smile. >> mary tyler moore was, without question, one of the most influential actresses in television history. all you need to say was one word, "mary." everybody knew who you were
talking about. >> reporter: she ripped up the television comedy rule book and rewrote the chapter on women. >> i'm upset, and you're just ignoring it. >> well, i figured it was just one of those woman things. >> mr. grant, it's not. >> she was actually one of the first to portray a modern woman on television. >> she reaches right out through the television set, says, you know, "i gotcha." >> i think mary tyler moore has probably had more influence on my career than any other single person or force. >> she was the first character to make people laugh by being good at her job. lucille ball made us laugh by being bad when she was trying to work. >> speed it up! >> mary richards made you laugh by handling the egoes and insecurities of the guys she worked with. >> reporter: but to understand
just how mary was able to make it after all, - you have to rewind to brooklyn in the 1930s, where right from the start mary set herself apart from the rest. >> i was born in brooklyn. and when you're from brooklyn, you're supposed to talk like you're from brooklyn, right? you know what i mean? well, my family had no money, but they did both major in english in college and they taught me how to speak correctly. >> reporter: her early life is a difficult one, with an alcoholic mother and a distant father. for solace young mary turned to dancing, working hard at limbering up the legs that would one day carry her to hollywood. >> my grandfather once said, having watched me one entire afternoon, prancing and leaping, this child will either end up on stage or in jail. >> reporter: and when her family decides to go west, moving to california, 9-year old mary is the first one out the door. >> i knew i would be discovered in hollywood, it wasn't likely to happen in brooklyn. >> reporter: at 18, in an act of rebellion, mary marries her first husband, a salesman nearly
ten years her senior. she would later explain why to barbara walters. >> why did you get married so young? >> well, you know, i don't want to denigrate my parents. but i was going through a stage at about 16,17, 18, where i didn't like them very much and i really wanted to be independent. i didn't want to be told what to do. >> reporter: in 1955, mary breaks into show business as a dancing pixie. but hotpoint appliances goes cold on mary after she gets pregnant. >> there i was, not looking very much like the logo they had in mind. >> reporter: after the birth of son richie, she turns to acting. she told our diane sawyer in 1993 it was her only option. >> you really think you would have gone in a completely different trajectory? >> if i hadn't become an
actress -- i think i probably would have been homeless. i really don't think there's very much else in life i was prepared to do. but i was disciplined. >> reporter: that discipline would carry mary to her big break. in 1961 when she's called in to audition for "the dick van dyke show." legendary comedian carl reiner was the show's creator. >> she said the first line, and i heard this sound in her voice, a ping in her voice. my hand became the claw in that machine that picks out candy in the, at the, you know, the arcades. i walked across the room. >> in the middle of the scene, he put his hand on my head, sitting on a chair across from him, and said, "get up." i got up, and he steered me down the hall to sheldon leonard's office. >> and i said, "sheldon, i got her." >> the dick van dyke show. >> reporter: but her on-screen husband dick van dyke isn't as sure. >> she was 23 when she came on the show and had never done any comedy.
>> i knew i was in with a bunch of black belts in comedy and i had no real experience at it. >> reporter: even if mary herself was a little unsure, america wasn't. it fell in love with her portrayal of the feisty and funny housewife laura petrie. >> are you looking for something? >> what makes you think of that? >> she just got it so quickly. and i'm still fascinated by how fast she grew on that show. >> reporter: but as her career takes off, mary's personal life stumbles when her first marriage fails. she turns to carl reiner for support. >> reporter: i was her father figure becaus her father was a non-communicative man who didn't know how to talk to her. she was 16 years old before he ever gave her a compliment and she was going to her prom with a
prom dress. he looked at her and he said mary, you look very handsome. imagine a beauty like that getting that as your only compliment. >> reporter: on the show, reiner encourages her to bring parts of herself to the role. >> the big objection was the pants that she wore. i had seen too many housewives on television that were vacuuming in high heels and a floral printed frock and i said wait a minute, that's not the way it really is. i want it to represent something of me and i was married and a mother and wore pants. >> oh, rob. >> reporter: that familiar line that would become her catchphrase. just two words that could say so much. >> people were saying that even if their husbands weren't rob. >> reporter: as her confidence grows, mary finds both popular success and critical acclaim.
>> the winner is mary tyler moore. >> reporter: winning her first two emmy awards for the show. but far more gratifying for her personally was the respect of one particular peer. >> gee, i'm glad you're home. how about a great big -- see you later. >> lucille ball was our landlady. she owned desilu and we'd be rehearsing on the set and we'd hear a laugh. we'd look up and there she was on the catwalk. and she'd be up there watching us. and i will never forget one day she walked out of the studio and came back, and said you're very good. and then walked on. that was the greatest gift i ever received in this business. >> reporter: "the dick van dyke show" ran for five seasons before going off the air in 1966. >> it was the end of a family.
the family that i never felt comfortable with as a child i suddenly felt at home with this bunch of people. >> reporter: and by now she had married a second time, to an advertising executive named grant tinker. together, the couple was about to transform the tv landscape. >> what nobody saw coming was that she would be front and center on one of the most formative shows in television history. this was a seismic change. >> reporter: stay with us. ok can we... sfx: (balloon squeals) i'm being so serious right now... i really want to know how your coffee is. it's... sfx: (balloon squeals) hahahaha, i had a 2nd balloon goodbye! oof, that milk in your coffee was messing with you, wasn't it? yeah. happens to more people than you think. try lactaid, it's real milk, without that annoying lactose. mmm. good right? yeah. lactaid. it's the milk that doesn't mess with you. our blogs are buzzing about the designer smile...
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>> reporter: when the cameras stop rolling on "the dick van dyke show," mary tyler moore takes a gamble. makes a break for broadway and accepts what seems to be the perfect role. audrey hepburn's holly golightly in a staged adaptation of the classic film "breakfast at tiffany's." that's mary, along side her young and sprightly leading man, richard chamberlain. >> that was your one venture into broadway and it seemed to have everything. >> it sure did. it was just a super duper flop. super duper. >> reporter: as mary's dreams on the great white way quickly fade, the resilient actress decides to take her dance steps to the silver screen. >> i must study you if i'm going to be an actress. >> she did have a pretty nice role in "thoroughly modern millie," which was opposite julie andrews.
>> it showcased her wonderful skills. >> reporter: but just as the young ingenue is about to regain her stride, her next role opposite elvis presley has the actress reciting a whole lot of hail marys. >> she did play a nun, hence the "change of habit" title. >> reporter: the film "change of habit" hits far from gold at the box office. it would turn out to be the king's last dramatic role in a movie and mary's last appearance on the silver screen for more than a decade. >> mary tyler moore's career kind of bumped around here and there for a while aimlessly. >> reporter: then, the woman who dazzled the world as laura petrie is asked to reunite with her former co-star in a television variety special called "dick van dyke and the other woman." >> we showcased her. she danced, we did sketches. you remember when i said i'd like you to come on my special? and you said how long was it, and i said an hour? >> yeah. >> well, it's up. >> reporter: the show is a ratings getter.
the network brass quickly offer mary her own sitcom bearing her name. >> reporter: her partner in the project? grant tinker. the husband and wife team collaborate on a comedy about a decidedly single woman by the name of mary richards. >> mary richards was actually originally intended to be a divorced woman. and cbs hated this idea. they said, "people don't want to see divorced people television any more than they want to see people with mustaches, jews or people from new york." >> reporter: mary's character is eventually retooled. on saturday, september 19th, 1970, as a nation is embroiled in antiwar protests, "the mary tyler moore show" debuts on the tiffany network. >> so you're low -- lola? >> yes. >> and i'm mary richards. >> "the mary tyler moore show" came on television when i was just 12 or 13 years old.
the opening sequence of that show. you had sort of the fear and trepidation of driving to a new city and starting a job with people you didn't know. and it made me think, "hey, i could do that. i could have a career." >> reporter: cbs at first fears a show about a single woman juggling home and work -- a woman who drives the quintessential muscle car, a ford mustang, will fail to attract an audience. they wonder if the sitcom will resonate with the stereotypical stay-at-home american housewife. >> this show was not an instant hit at all. >> what nobody saw coming was that she would be on a show that would reshape the way women were portrayed on television. >> what would you say if the station manager kept trotting in people and saying, this is our woman executive?
>> but would reshape the way viewers thought of themselves and thought about women in the workplace. >> reporter: an associate producer employed in the fictitious newsroom wjm, the character of mary richards has her share of run-ins with her rough and tumble boss, lou grant. >> there was one scene when mary went to mr. grant and said -- >> i would like to know why the last associate producer before me made $50 a week more than i do. >> and lou grant looked up at her and said -- >> because he was a man. >> i mean they were dealing with pay equity before anyone even understood the term. >> reporter: as the show builds a budding audience, "the mary tyler moore show" also begins knocking down taboos on television, like birth control >> don't forget to take your pill. >> i won't. >> i won't. >> that was really unheard of in the early '70s, but so funny.
and as lou grant said -- >> you know what? you've gone spunk. >> well -- >> i hate spunk. >> one of my favorite moments was when she told ted baxter -- >> will you shut up, ted? >> every woman who had to deal with an egotistic, bombastic, conceited co-worker, they were giving her a standing ovation at that moment. >> reporter: but as forward thinking as the show is for its day, feminists, like gloria steinem, aren't fawning over the show. or, for that matter, the new fresh face of feminism. >> next to something like "all in the family" or "good times" or "the jeffersons" or any number of these shows, it might've looked like it was avoiding the issues on everybody's mind in the early 1970s. >> feminists kind of really picked her apart a little bit
for being not quite feminist. they wanted her to be the perfect feminist, and she wasn't. she called her boss "mr. grant," when everyone else called him "lou." >> reporter: but as the book "mary and lou and rhoda and ted" points out, the sitcom is quietly breaking ground in another way, behind the scenes. >> they also hired more women than any other show before it. >> reporter: female writers, who know a thing or two about sex and the single girl. >> what do you think you're doing? put on your shirt. >> come on, mary. >> put on your shirt! >> you value that writing. you never take it for granted, because it doesn't happen that often. >> hello? >> reporter: what they never could imagine, is that they are about to pave the way for future, aspiring comedy writers like lena dunham, amy schumer and tina fey. >> if you call yours, i'll call mine. >> reporter: because before anyone ever heard of carrie, miranda, samantha and charlotte, there was mary, phyllis, sue
anne and rhoda. >> the show was brilliant because mary is who you want to be, who you wish you were. rhoda is who you probably are, and phyllis is who you are afraid you'll become. and that's pretty close to the truth. >> because if you push me, then i just might have to push back. hard. >> come on, you can't carry that off. >> i know. >> reporter: but "the mary tyler moore show" did push back. >> she went out on a date and stayed out all night. >> reporter: challenging the premise, who says you can't be single and alone but not lonely. >> you thought, "well, who needs a boyfriend?" i mean, great if it happens, but who needs a guy to orient your life around? >> take care of yourself? >> i think i just did. next, how mary, and a clown named chuckles, made tv history. >> a little song, a little
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do you have any idea of when i started working here? >> i guess about a year ago. >> it was a year ago last week. >> reporter: against the odds, america embraces a complex, strong, modern working woman and mary tyler moore begins to shine. >> how many big disasters do we have here in minneapolis? >> hi, guys. >> reporter: mary's gifts are bolstered by a surrounding cast that brims with talent and a mixed bag of personalities dancing together as one onscreen. >> it had, you know, a phenomenal cast of characters. >> reporter: maury mcintyre is the president of the television academy, which interviewed the entire cast of "the mary tyler moore show" for its online archive. >> lou grant, who was so gruff
and hardy. >> the only time i push people away is when i don't want them around me. >> murray. >> i'm going to see how long it takes before you to say something stupid. >> was that an insult? >> three seconds! >> reporter: ted baxter, who was always so into himself. >> we'll see who's the funny guy around here. >> we're on the air, ted. >> i know that. >> reporter: that vessel of uncorked ambition, sue ann nivens. >> i must confess, it baffles me why lou would want something he's already had when he can have something fresh and new and exciting. >> one of the other great things about -- about mary richards, she was most fully herself with her female friends. okay, with rhoda morgenstern, with phyllis lindstrom. >> what man in your life could have been a long time ago or someone you just met that you wish you knew better? >> well, there was this professional dancer.
>> not you, phyllis. >> reporter: and the cast itself benefits from a selfless star in mary. >> she would say in a run-through, you know, jim, allen, i think this joke is a rhoda line. i don't think it's as good for mary. she's giving away laughs. >> reporter: as mary explains to barbara walters, she had no issue playing the straight woman. >> are you naturally funny? >> no. i'm really not. i have a natural love of other people's senses of humor. >> reporter: the show begins effortlessly churning out iconic moments. >> there was the one where walter cronkite shows up. that's pretty funny. >> excuse me, could you tell me where i can find lou grant? >> yeah, he's right in there.
>> that's walter -- >> cronkite. i thought you said you were good friends. >> i never said we were good friends. i only said we'd never met. >> reporter: speaking of good friends, rhoda and phyllis keep the laughs coming at mary's stylish apartment. in the attic of a victorian in minneapolis, which still remains a tourist attraction. >> the show where valerie has lost her job as a window dresser and she's in mary's apartment day and night, night and day, 24/7, i'm just sick of it! i'm just sick of it. >> mary. we have to force her to take a good, hard look at herself. we have to shake her up! we have to slap some sense into her! >> and she says, "rhoda!" >> rhoda! >> rhoda! and then she comes over and takes, disconnects my dryer. >> rhoda! >> what? what? >> and the winner is "mary tyler
moore show"! >> reporter: throughout its run, "the mary tyler moore show" amasses historic critical success. >> "the mary tyler moore show," as a whole actually, was one of the most awarded, by the television academy. >> reporter: and mary tyler moore also has success behind the camera. the production company she started with her then-husband grant tinker begins launching a string of hit shows. >> they did "the bob newhart show." they did their spin-offs from "the mary tyler moore show," which were "rhoda." >> do you believe this person. >> "lou grant." >> i liked you better fat. >> everybody says that. >> "phyllis." "hill street blues." >> reporter: the mtm signature, a cat meowing in homage to the roar of the mgm lion -- and mary herself. >> i think it actually really symbolizes her nicely because she was a tough broad, but she was also this amazing comedic actress and powerhouse. >> reporter: but if there's one episode that showcases all of
mary tyler moore's gifts, it's the one titled "chuckles bites the dust," considered by many to be one of the greatest episodes in television history. >> something terrible has happened. chuckles the clown is dead. it was a freak accident, he went to the parade dressed as peter peanut and a rogue elephant tried to shell him. >> it was about how different people react differently to death. some people have to laugh it off. >> i can just see the insurance claim. cause of death, a busted goober. >> and mary didn't think it was proper to do that. >> it's a release, mary. people need it to get over a tragedy. everybody does it. >> i don't. >> she was very stern with everybody who was making jokes about how this chuckles the clown had died, dressed in a peanut suit. >> imagine if he hadn't have been dressed as a peanut. would it still be funny? >> could have been worse, he
could have gone as billy banana and had a gorilla peel him to death. >> she was actually trying so hard not to laugh all week during the shooting of chuckles the clown that she kind of almost bit her lip raw. >> i wonder which ones are the other clowns? >> you'll know soon. they're all going to jump out of a little hearse. >> reporter: when he got to the funeral scene, this pompous minister is talking about all this stupid stuff that chuckles had done in his life. >> billy banana. and my particular favorite, aunt yoo-hoo. >> and it's the first time she loses it and just starts bursting out laughing. >> there was always some deeper meaning to whatever chuckles did. >> excuse me, young lady? >> comedy gold. because it contains this phrase.
a little song, a little dance -- >> a little seltzer down your pants. >> reporter: but all good things come to an end. and after seven seasons, "the mary tyler moore show" ends its run, a bittersweet moment for its star. >> i was crumbling inside. i didn't want it to end. it was my family, and i thought, surely there are more stories to be done. >> reporter: their story ends with a tearful group hug. a final gaze from its trailblazing star, before she turns off the light. coming up, the lights dim on the show, but not on the dark secret in mary's life. and the tragedy that mirrors her most famous film. >> it's just so shocking that something like that would happen. >> reporter: stay with us.
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covers, mary is trying to figure out her next act. it is 1979 when she invites barbara walters into the home she's just built. her 16-year marriage to grant tinker seems, if only on the surface, to be as solid as ever. >> you never thought, "hey, you know, look at all i missed out there?" >> no, because i get so much from grant. i think of him primarily as my best friend. and he is also my lover. what more do i need? >> well, i'm not going to talk you out of it. >> reporter: but what she's not telling barbara is that her marriage is actually crumbling. mary later writes of fights with tinker, "storming into my car, in a fury, playing dangerous russian roulette as she'd hit the accelerator and run each stop sign." just seven months after this
interview airs, the marriage is over. her career isn't faring much better. she tries two new musical variety shows. both shows are quickly cancelled. >> do you feel like a flop? do you feel like a failure? did it hurt like hell? >> yes, it did, all of those things. yeah, it really hurt a lot. i'm going to be very grown-up, lay some of the responsibility on myself and say, "okay, look in another direction." >> reporter: that direction turns out to be a dark one. but it leads to her much-awaited comeback. >> i know i'm not porkt. -- perfect. >> reporter: director robert redford casts mary in "ordinary people," the story of an affluent family strained by the accidental death of their prized son. >> redford knew what he was doing. i mean, it's a risk in the sense that she wasn't a bankable actress, you know? she wasn't jane fonda. >> he claims that he used to see me walking on the beach at malibu, where we both lived, and he used to wonder about the dark
side of mary tyler moore. and i guess he was right to wonder about that because there is, in fact, a dark side. >> and in that dark side is anger, tension? >> rigidity, and unreasonable expectations, not bad characteristics, well-meant. people after that film would say, "oh, she was such a bitch, wasn't she?" and she wasn't. >> we just want you to be happy. >> happy? >> yes. >> ward, you tell me the definition of happy. but first, you'd better make sure that your kids are good and safe. that no one's fallen off a horse, or been hit by a car, or drowned in that swimming pool you're so proud of. and then, you come to me and tell me how to be happy. >> reporter: the performance draws rave reviews and an oscar nomination. >> the popular mary tyler moore. >> reporter: but less than four weeks after the movie's release -- >> the 24-year-old son of
actress mary tyler moore has died of a gunshot wound to the head. >> reporter: the shooting is later ruled accidental. >> i mean, the whole movie is about the loss of a child, the loss of a son. it's just so shocking that something like that would happen right in the middle of her talking about this movie. >> what got you through it? >> i think time, just -- just time. >> did you ever think, "this is insupportable"? >> mm-hmm. yeah. but i know that the only alternative is not one that i want and the alternative is to not be here. >> reporter: but mary is checking out in other ways. turning to alcohol, a secret addiction she has been hiding even during her star turn as mary richards. >> i think i should have talked about it more, either with a counselor or a therapist or my friends. and then i probably would not have gone through the
alcoholism. i'm not sure that that's true and i don't want to lay that off entirely on -- on my son's death. >> reporter: while dealing with her heartbreak and self-medicating with alcohol, in 1982, mary meets a doctor caring for her mother. >> i saw this tall, dark, handsome doctor. and i thought to myself, "well, mary. you bad girl, you. you know what you're going to do, don't you?" and i did. i knew i was going to be assertive and i was going to make the first move. >> how did you make the first move? >> in parting, he said, "i'm going to leave you my home phone number in case there's any kind of emergency ever." >> reporter: dr. robert levine is 17 years her junior. still, mary decides to call that next night, at 3:00 in the morning. >> and i said, "does acute loneliness come under the heading of emergency?" he said, "i can't think of a better reason to be awakened."
>> reporter: the two marry, and the third time is a charm, as they stay together for the rest of mary's life. >> everyone looks at mary as being exceptionally confident and capable and able. and although she is capable, the confidence really is not there. >> reporter: after years of numbing those insecurities with alcohol, in 1984, mary finally checks herself into rehab at the betty ford clinic. >> was it hard to stop? >> yes, it was. people were stunned when it came out that i went to betty ford, which i tried to do very quietly, very secretly. but it did come out. and in retrospect, i'm glad that it did because it was helpful to a lot of women like me, women who thought of themselves as being kind of ladylike and fairly intelligent and obviously, therefore, not alcoholic, because how could you be? but you can be. >> reporter: next, the famous five, mary, rhoda, phyllis,
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>> reporter: in a career that spanned nearly six decades full of smiles and success, there's something else. a lifelong struggle with type 1 diabetes. >> when you're a diabetic, you live with the question, sort of, if i can put this in a dramatic way, every day you wake up and you say, is this going to be the day that the kidney fails or that this fails, or that i have a heart attack or a stroke? >> reporter: over the years, she talks about it often. >> i need insulin to stay alive. >> reporter: the same woman who turned the world on with her smile is losing her eyesight. who danced with dick van dyke becomes unable to walk down the street without stopping to rest. >> join us. your help is our hope. >> reporter: and now, in a very different kind of role, mary tyler moore changes the world again. >> we're here because of our children. our loved ones with diabetes. >> she was thinking of young people who needed her support and needed the funding and research to try to change their lives. >> reporter: as international
chairman of the juvenile diabetes research foundation, she gives her time, and her famous face, to make people in power care about the issue. >> and it won her the respect of the medical community and everybody who ever saw her on that behalf. >> we need to be able to tell the children that we are investing the dollars necessary. >> her heart was bigger than anyone i've ever met. she had such compassion towards people in need, and animals. >> these are dogs that are either abandoned or lost. >> reporter: together with her close friend bernadette peters, she starts broadway barks, a group of actors dedicated to finding homes for four-legged friends in distress. >> she just couldn't let those things go by. >> no wonder, then, so many tweets this week, honoring mary
pouring in from animal lovers, from the humane society, to peta. they know for her, every living creature counted. for all her those good deeds and of course all those great performances, in 2012, the screen actors guild honors her with a lifetime achievement award. there to present it, who else? dick van dyke. >> i really can't think of someone in the entertainment industry more deserving of a lifetime achievement award than mary tyler moore. >> thank you. thank you so much. >> reporter: but still to come, another show-stopper. >> hello, globs. >> reporter: in 2015, for the first time in decades, mary and all her co-stars from frozen minneapolis reunite on "hot in cleveland," as guests on betty white's show. >> how come she got to be in the center of every picture? >> because i had the smile. >> you bet your beret it was a big deal to have them all together.
i mean, it was! >> reporter: such a big deal -- >> that show opened up a whole new world for girls watching it, including me. >> reporter: katie cu ric can't pass it up. a group interview right on the set. >> i hear it all the time about mary. mary inspired me to do this. >> she, i think, was such an exceedingly private person, and very humble. >> why did mary richards captivate and really capture the hearts of so many people? >> i think it was because our writers wrote so honestly. >> even though she was the heart and soul of that show, she would always credit the writers or talk about the ensemble nature of the show. >> what is it like for you all working together after 40 years? >> heaven. >> it really is heaven. and none of us has changed.
>> we've done the best we can. >> gravity has taken over a little bit. >> you could tell sitting in that room that those women truly loved each other. and it was so genuine. you can't fake that. >> it's just, you know, makes me think what a lucky woman you are. how fabulous to be working with the people who are your very good friends. >> when someone like mary leaves us, it's just really heartbreaking. >> any regrets? >> my only regret is that i didn't have more children. i lost my son 14 years ago, and i don't have, and will not, have grandchildren. >> so how would you like to be remembered? >> i would like to be remembered as somebody who made a difference in the lives of animals. >> and in terms of television, movies, broadway? >> as somebody who always looked for the truth, even if it wasn't funny.
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>> reporter: endlessly recreated, from joan jett, to "family guy." for creator sonny curtis, a musician with a rock pedigree the song came surprisingly easily. >> it all happened in one day. believe it or not. >> reporter: based off a four-page description of the show, curtis writes the song, "love is all around," in one afternoon. rushing to cbs to play the tune for show's creator, james l. brooks. >> he said, "you know, you're a little early. we didn't change a word. >> reporter: it may only be 56 seconds, but even decades later, "20/20" has no problem finding people who know every word to that iconic song. ♪ who can turn the world on with
her smile ♪ ♪ who can take your nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile ♪ ♪ it's you girl and you should know ♪ ♪ love is all around ♪ no need to waste it it after all ♪ ♪ >> a song for the ages. and one we'll probably be singing all weekend long. so, what was your favorite mary tyler moore scene or episode? >> let us know, using #abc2020. >> that's our show.
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