In an October 1997 interview with Archive of American Television, the actress, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 80, explained the humorous scene that was her most favorite from the 1970s comedy series.
“Mary had been thought of as near perfection. In this show, she woke up and had a cold, and came to the office and discovered she had a hair bump. Just one of those things you get in long hair that just won’t lie flat. Then she twists her ankle,” Moore, who starred on the series from 1970-77, explained about the evening that her character was to be nominated for a Teddy award.
“The dress she is planning to wear comes back from the cleaner with a stain on it — so she can’t wear it. She ends up having to wear Rhoda’s dress which is too big. Her eyelash falls off and lands like a big spider on her cheek,” she continued about the series of unfortunate events. “And she hears her name called, stands up to the podium and the first thing out of her mouth is a tearful, I usually look so much cuter than this.”
Moore, who won numerous Emmys for her starring roles on The Dick Van Dyke Show and MTM show, also dished on the episode that she was most proud of.
“I’m particularly proud of the show where Mary finds out that the man who had the job before her earned a good deal more money. And she takes Lou to task for this and he listens to her and agrees with her and says that is terribly unfair. But he says, ‘Would it make any difference if I told you he was married and had three children?’ And it made a difference to Mary. And I loved that about her,” Moore explained. “I loved that she didn’t take the fight further.”
Additionally, Moore also shared about the last scene of the series — she called it “a pot of gold” — which documented the cast hugging one another and putting actor improvisation into practice.
“In my favorite moment from that show was the group hug, which came about just spontaneously. But there we were all embracing each other and somebody said, ‘We need a Kleenex,’ and Georgia Engel’s line was, ‘Well, there’s a Kleenex on Mary’s desk,’ ” she said. “And somehow we all just kind of did that little step. In the script, it was written that they break up and they go to the Kleenex,” said Moore, who added, “but wasn’t that a pot of gold?”
Episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show are now available on Hulu.