As the entertainment industry says goodbye to yet another television icon in Mary Tyler Moore, many are celebrating her life and legacy. Her strong and independent character on '70s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show inspired many women in entertainment and young girls that grew up with the show, one being Michelle Obama.
The show was based on Moore's character and her friends living the single life and experiencing trials at work and home during the 1970s. During an interview with Variety, Michelle described how Moore's character changed her way of thinking in regards to career and marriage.
“She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time,” Obama said. “She wasn’t married. She wasn’t looking to get married. At no point did the series end in a happy ending with her finding a husband — which seemed to be the course you had to take as a woman. But she sort of bucked that. She worked in a newsroom, she had a tough boss, and she stood up to him. She had close friends, never bemoaning the fact that she was a single. She was very proud and comfortable in that role."
She continued, “I was probably 10 or 11 when I saw that, and sort of started thinking, ‘You know what? Marriage is an option. Having a family is an option. And going to school and getting your education and building your career is another really viable option that can lead to happiness and fulfillment."
She speaks the truth. Mary Tyler Moore will surely be missed, but it's clear her impact will last far beyond her lifetime.