Mary Tyler Moore passed away on Jan. 25 at the age of 80. During her years in the spotlight, the actress, author, producer and activist influenced countless people with her trailblazing work.
One of the people whom she influenced through her work as a television star was former first lady Michelle Obama.
In August 2016, just a few months before Moore died, Obama sat down with Variety magazine and shared how “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” influenced her life as a young girl.
During the interview, she recalled watching the show over dessert when she was growing up, along with a Saturday night line-up that included “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”
“She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time,” the former FLOTUS 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.”