A Minute With: Mary Tyler Moore on a life of achievement

Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:12am EST
 
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By Jill Jacobs

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mary Tyler Moore, has worn many hats during her long and celebrated career. But the hat she may be best remembered for is the iconic tam she tossed in the air during the opening sequence of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," in the 1970s.

Her portrayal of the thirty-something, independent, career woman, Mary Richards, served as a role model to a generation of women and earned 29 Emmys for the show.

On Sunday, Moore, 75, will be given a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Reuters spoke to the actress about her career and what Elvis was really like.

Q: Your television career spans over five decades starting with your 1955 appearance as the "Happy Hotpoint Appliance Elf," in a commercial. What does receiving the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award mean to you?

A: "Receiving a lifetime achievement award from anybody who wants to single me out as deserving of it is a wonderful honor. It pleases me to know that it would make my Dad awfully happy, I know that."

Q: You worked on Elvis Presley's final feature film "Change of Habit," in 1969. So what was Elvis really like?

A: "He was a supreme gentlemen; a Southern gentlemen. He was very willing to do what the director wanted and to play off me and other people in the cast, as was I in return. It was a thoroughly wonderful experience."

Q: Your TV husband, Dick Van Dyke, is presenting you with the lifetime award. Is he as funny off screen as he is on?   Continued...

 
<p>Actress Mary Tyler Moore arrives for the taping of "Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America's Golden Girl" in Los Angeles January 8, 2012. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich</p>