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Mary Tyler Moore’s tragedies and triumphs revealed in documentary

“Being Mary Tyler Moore” unfolds like a film version of an immersive literary biography, delving into Moore’s blissfully enigmatic public persona and revealing her personal struggles, triumphs and tragedies — including her 24-year-old self. The death of her son Richard, her sister’s fatal overdose and her battle with diabetes.

Co-produced by Lena Waithe and directed by James Adolphus, this documentary covers all the familiar ground in Moore’s career, including “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and her Oscar nomination for “Ordinary People.” role” and her role in “Whose Life Is This?” “Broadway Victory in

It also touches the unfamiliar territory of her lesser-known TV roles (“Richard Diamond, Private Eye,” playing a pixie in a hit commercial from the ’50s), and includes never-before-seen footage — including a Moore shower video before she married her third husband, Dr. Robert LevineIn 1983, her former “TMTMS” co-star Betty White stole the show.

mary tyler moore and dick van dyke scene in classic sitcom "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-66).
Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke on the classic sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-66).
Courtesy Everett Collection

Friends and colleagues, including Ed Asner, Beverly Sanders, Norman Lear, James Brooks and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” writer Susan Silver help tell the puzzle of Moore’s life through off-camera interviews – some More recently, some archive-leaving documentary laser-focused on Moore, who died in 2017 at the age of 80.

“I learned a lot about her – even the look on her face when Rona Barrett interviewed her [for a TV show] And the way her face reacts subtly to things,” Silver told the Post. “It’s amazing.

“She was always very private, very friendly, but not very open,” she said. “I approach [‘TMTMS’ co-stars] Valerie [Harper] and Ed…but Mary is very closed…for now [after watching ‘Being Mary Tyler Moore’] I understand why.

Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman and Mary Tyler Moore "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," It premiered in 1970 on the cusp of the women's liberation movement.
Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman and Mary Tyler Moore on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” , which premiered in 1970 on the cusp of the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Courtesy Everett Collection

“At the time I didn’t know [since] She is very sweet and friendly with a warm smile. “

A chunk of the documentary covers Moore’s transition from her Emmy-winning turn as suburban housewife Laura Petrie”The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-66) to her iconic role as the single career woman Mary Richards on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77), for which Moore won four Emmys (and four nominations).

The series premiered on CBS as the women’s liberation movement took off; Moore, described on “Being Mary Tyler Moore” as a “female feminist,” was happy to publicly support the cause but privately lived a different life with her husband Life grant tinkerThey ran their joint production company (they were married from 1962 to 1981).

Mary Tyler Moore nominated for an Oscar "ordinary people" (1980), she co-starred with Donald Sutherland.
Mary Tyler Moore was nominated for an Oscar for Normal People (1980), co-starring Donald Sutherland.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Col

“That wasn’t her life,” Silver said of Moore’s on-screen role as Mary Richards. “She wasn’t all that into feminism. But the show was open to women; don’t forget, very few women wrote about TV before that… lila garrett and joanna lee …and then on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” Treva Silverman Then there is me.

“By the end of the series, there were 25 women who had written the show over the years. It was really important.”

[Silver, who also wrote for, among others, “The Bob Newhart Show,” “The Partridge Family” and “Maude,” wrote five episodes for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” including the one where Mary has to wear a bad bridesmaid’s dress, and “The Square-Shaped Room,” when Mary arranges for Rhoda to redecorate Lou Grant’s living room. Ed Asner, who played Grant, won an Emmy for the episode and gave Silver a shout-out when he accepted his award.]

Moore and her third husband, Dr. Robert Levine, 18 years his junior, remained faithful to his wife until her death.
Moore and her third husband, Dr. Robert Levine, 18 years his junior, remained faithful to his wife until her death.
Getty Images

The documentary doesn’t gloss over Moore’s weaknesses—she becomes aggressive after a few drinks, can be “cold and withdrawn,” and has a strained relationship with apathetic parents who can’t show her any love (“What a horrible people,” Silver said).

Her life changed for the better when she met and married Levine, 18 years her junior, who doted on her until the end (he was interviewed), while her career took a different direction Directions: “Ordinary People” (her son Richard Mick died of an accidental gunshot wound six weeks after the film’s opening), “Whose Live?” on Broadway (she won a special tony award) and helped raise millions for the Juvenile Diabetes Association.

“It’s corny to say, but she lit up the world with her smile,” said Silver, quoted from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” theme song.

“That’s the greatest thing.”

“Being Mary Tyler Moore” premieres May 26 at 8 p.m. on HBO.

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