Mary Tyler Moore

Actress and TV icon Mary Tyler Moore passed away at age 80 on Wednesday this week. Moore had a career spanning decades, with roles in films such as Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) and Ordinary People (1980), a role which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She also had an expansive television career, starring in The Dick Van Dyke Show, and, of course, the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Moore was an awesome lady one of the original TV feminists, creating the role of Mary Richards, a single woman working as a news producer in Minneapolis, taking on issues like sexism and the gender wage gap before it was cool. But did you know she was also a dancer?

It's true - as a young woman, Moore decided that she wanted to be a professional dancer. She began her career as a dancer in commercials. Her first TV gig was as a "Happy Hotpoint Elf," where she dressed up and danced to promote Hotpoint appliances. Her character on the Dick Van Dyke Show was also a dancer. Check out this awesome clip of the two of them tap dancing, in shackles!

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.