Born in Brooklyn on Dec. 29, 1937, Moore grew up in Southern California. As a teen, she danced on stage and in commercials, most notably for Hotpoint appliances. Moore's first regular part was on Richard Diamond, Private Detective in 1959. Although she had dialogue on this show, only her legs were seen. In 1961, Moore became a star as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, a role which showcased her has a modern mom for a new era and earned her two Emmy Awards. Following that, Moore endured a few show-business disappointments until reuniting with Dick Van Dyke for Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman. That prompted CBS to renew interest in her as a TV star, and she was given carte blanche to develop any project she desired.
Moore and husband Grant Tinker formed the production company MTM, and pitched an idea to CBS that became The Mary Tyler Moore Show, one of the most critically praised shows in the history of the medium and earning Moore four more Emmys. Additionally, thanks the show's runaway success, MTM productions would go on to launch shows such as The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Lou Grant and WKRP in Cincinnati.
Moore ended The Mary Tyler Moore Show while it was still at its peak, hoping to explore her dramatic side. She won an Emmy nomination for her moving portrayal of a woman battling breast cancer in the TV movie First, You Cry and a Tony Award for "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" In 1980, Moore earned an Academy Award nomination for her acclaimed role in Robert Redford's Ordinary People.
She received her seventh Emmy Award for her role in Stolen Babies in 1993, and would continue to appear on TV series and movies throughout the decade. In 2000, she reunited with Valerie Harper in the made-for-TV Mary & Rhoda and reunited with Dick Van Dyke in 2004 on The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited. Most recently, she had recurring roles on That '70s Show and Lipstick Jungle. In 2002, TV Land dedicated a statue in Minneapolis to the character she made famous on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The statue stands in front of Macy's, depicting Mary's iconic throw of her hat during the show's credits.
Moore is the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and has been elected to the board of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She and her husband make their home in Manhattan and in upstate New York.
Perky Laura Petrie lives with her loving husband Rob and adorable son Richie on Bonnie Meadow Road in New Rochelle, New York. The maiden Laura (or Laurie) Meeker (or Meehan) met Sergeant Robert Petrie of Company A at Camp Crowder Army Base in Joplin, Missouri, while she was entertaining the troops as part of a USO show. He tried to make a good impression, but instead broke her toes after a dance. They healed, as did her heart, and she married him shortly thereafter. She was only 19. She later confessed to being only 17, after which they were remarried.
Intelligent without being too intellectual, amusing, sensible, and shapely, Laura nicely complements her lean, capricious mate. She is a clever, stylish woman who takes pride in her appearance, her home, and her family. While she is her own woman, Laura is not beyond sobbing, "Oh, Rob!" whenever things seem to go wrong, which happens regularly.
Rob, head writer for The Alan Brady Show, frequently brings his work and his antic colleagues back home. And Laura, no stranger to show biz, blends right in with the gang, lending support in any way she can.
An eternal romantic, Laura plans great candlelight dinners, and she really knows how to pose in a pile of walnuts. Her favorite soap opera is "Town of Passion," and she deftly conceals love sonnets from her high school sweetheart in some loose bricks behind the furnace in the basement. Laura manages to maintain her trim 112-pound figure by performing dance routines with Rob and keeping up with her zany next-door neighbor Millie Helper.
One would be hard-pressed to find anyone in TV Land who looks better in capri slacks and ballet flats than Laura Petrie.