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CNN NEWSROOM

Actress Mary Tyler Moore Dies At Age 80. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired January 25, 2017 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00] DICK CAVETT, TV TALK SHOW HOST (on the phone): If you were teaching a comedy course in a school you would have to use Mary breaking up with laughter at a funeral something that is in feared and maybe one had happened to but that should be shown once a month to inspiring comic actors (INAUDIBLE)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Where did she get it from, the funny bone, the talent?

CAVETT: Well, as I said, her father was quite a witty man and so was her mother. She certainly had the reckless (INAUDIBLE) of a comic star, suffering the diabetes, her son's suicide, alcoholism running in her family, divorce, and through all of that, all of that, in the worst times, she was able to slap on the makeup and make people laugh and then as she said go home and put my face in the pillow and try to get to sleep.

BALDWIN: Tell me -- what about her last few years, Dick Cavett. What has she been up to?

CAVETT: I'm sorry, say it again? Whose last few years?

BALDWIN: Tell me about Mary Tyler Moore's last couple of years? What was she up to?

CAVETT: You know, I don't know. I haven't Mary in a couple of year. The very last time I saw her she was honored at the hold players' club downtown (INAUDIBLE) and she was quite bright, quite sparkling, quite healthy looking. She walked lamely and I remember thinking oh, I hope things aren't getting worse for Mary. And then, of course, there was those ghastly Enquirer stories they are the ones who every few weeks have somebody within one inch of death whether it's Cher or Mary or whoever. And luckily both of them outlived two or three of those each.

But she certainly was the epitome of star quality. And on the street, people would stop and just went, oh, Mary. We love you. I guess you could get tired of that, but not easily. She could do anything, obviously. She could act and she said - once, she said, you know, people always said gee, you are a comedian, how did you know you could also act? Well every comedian can act. It is so much easier for them to act than to certain actors. All comedy is acting. And she was just one of the best could somehow magically turn off the funny Mary so as not to march the serious film like "Ordinary People" that she did with Robert Redford. BALDWIN: Right. Where she was nominated for an Academy Award as her

best actress. I mean, just looking at the spectrum of her career. I just love ho she played this - I love, you know, just to Mary Tyler Moore show. And as (INAUDIBLE), you know, single, successful, woman on her own, breaking glass ceilings at the time which is just awesome.

Dick Cavett, I'm so sorry for loss of a friend.

CAVETT: And luckily, thanks to film and tape we will always have her.

BALDWIN: We will. Everyone knows the theme song.

Iconic. Iconic. Thank you so much, sir. I appreciate your time.

And, let me just play a little bit more. We can't get enough of this. This is Mary Tyler Moore on CNN talking about how she and Dick Vandyke met.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LARRY KING, TV SHOW HOST: How did you meet?

DICK VANDYKE, ACTOR: We met in (INAUDIBLE), didn't we?

MARY TYLER MOORE, ACTRESS: Right.

VANDYKE: And then, we went down (INAUDIBLE). You know, at the time, you know, she was a very serious actress and sound a little bit like Catherine Hepburn.

MOORE: Yes, I did. In fact, if you look at in the earlier episodes you will hear a little bit of darling, hello, darling.

KING: Was that - the magic that you can't invent, was that instant with the two of you?

VANDYKE: It seemed to me to be in the pilot. It worked right away.

MOORE: But we click as real people. You know, I just - loved him. I loved his kindness and his humor and his dance, everything about him I love. Didn't connected to.

KING: And you the same?

VANDYKE: Yes. We bounced off each other immediately. And then within three or four weeks she was as funny as anybody on the show.

KING: Was the pilot the first show that aired?

MOORE: Yes.

VANDYKE: Was it?

MOORE: Yes.

MOORE: It was the party and we had to go out and Richie was hiding. KING: When you were here last time both of you admitted, you more

than she, that there was more than just playing.

MOORE: Larry.

VANDYKE: That we had a crush --

VANDYKE: Yes.

KING: You were both married right?

MOORE: Yes.

VANDYKE: We used to break up laughing. We had a terrible time that we were here. Looking in each other on the set and started to laugh. And if psychologist told me that's a sign of an affection.

[15:35:03] MOORE: It's sexual tension and that's how you release it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Mary Tyler Moore with our own Larry king.

Coming up we are going to stay on this story here and talk to Carl Reiner. He is going to call in. He is the one who gave Mary her big break. We will be right back. .

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:38:06] BALDWIN: We are back with our breaking story here, a sad story to report to you that Mary Tyler Moore has just died. She was 80 years of age. She was surrounded by her, we are told, her family and her husband of some 33 years.

We have been talking all these different voice of her past. And now with me on the phone is Carl Reiner who really helped give Mary Tyler Moore her very first break way back on the "Dick Vandyke show."

Mr. Reiner, thank you so much for joining me. I'm so sorry for the loss of someone, I'm sure you cared very deeply about. Can you take me way back to when you first noticed her?

CARL REINER, CREATOR/PRODUCER, THE DICK VANDYKE SHOW (on the phone): Yes, I can. When we were casting the Dick Vandyke show we had already cast Dick and we were looking for somebody to be his wife. (INAUDIBLE) were my partners as they were the executive producers. And I was -- I actually saw 23 different girls and it didn't quite work.

BALDWIN: Yes. REINER: And finally I sent for somebody in New York where I have

heard about. She came out and she was OK but she was much too strong for Dick. And because (INAUDIBLE) was putting up the (INAUDIBLE), I told him about this and he said you know who was that girl auditioned for me to play my daughter but her nose went the wrong way? And he says they have three names and she was on a Richard Diamond show. She has played a secretary all you saw were her legs. When I looked it up and it was turned out to be Mary Tyler Moore. I called her and she was reluctant to come in because she had failed at two auditions that week. But she walked into this room and there was this beautiful starry-eyed girl with long beautiful legs and I asked her to read. I gave her a page and she read the first word, the first line actually. And I heard a ping in her voice. I said this before and my hand became a claw, the kind of claw that those machines that pull candy and I clawed the top of her head, took her down the head and deposited her in Sheldon Lens' office and here I found here and that was the beginning.

[15:40:27] BALDWIN: No kidding? No kidding? And so, what - I mean, I was just talking to Dick Cavett and he kept talking about her beauty but that she was also so funny. Where do you think she got that? Where did that spunk that's sparkle come from?

REINER: She never saw herself being a comedian of the first family show. She was worried about that. She said I never did anything funny. She was just hop, hop, and dancing. She never done anything -- as a matter of fact, the first thing there was a scene where she cries but funny crying and she goes how do you cry funny crying? She said show me, her oh, robs and all of those were all her, she learned -- not learned, inside of her was a comedian dying to come out and it came out in starry form.

BALDWIN: Mr. Reiner, when was the last time you were in touch with her?

REINER: Some big of black tie event. It was very sad because he looks fine but she had childhood diabetes had taken away her vision and she didn't know it was me until I got real close to her and started talking. I said how are you hold up? And we heard but she barely saw me. IT was very sad.

BALDWIN: Do you have of all, I'm sure, hilarious scenes? Do you have a favorite all-time scene of Mary Tyler Moore?

REINER: I do. As a matter of fact, I wrote a book called "How I won the Dick Vandyke show." And my favorite all-time and as many people's all-time favorite scene was it called coast to coast (INAUDIBLE). And when she comes in her office to apologize, it may be one of the funniest scene has ever done on television. And Mary was sensational trying to apologize for telling people that I was bald. As a matter of fact they colorized that show. It was on the air not too long ago and it looked sensational.

BALDWIN: What was her relationship like with Dick Vandyke off camera?

REINER: You know, they said that later after if neither one had been married at the time they really loved each other, but they pissed each other. They would not allow to dampen very quickly, but I both admitted later that they could become a couple if it were not the fact that they were both married.

BALDWIN: When we talk about female comedians today, and I think of some great like a modern like Amy Schumer. You know, I mean, what do you think she did for the Amy Schumers of the world? Just Mary Tyler Moores is even existence in success so many years ago?

REINER: Well, I think -- Mary broke it open for a lot of people who could not only be funny but with deeply talented actors. Amy Schumer is a force of nature. That "Train Wreck" that she did, that she wrote and directed and -- was extraordinary. I mean, it was were the best movies of the year. No question about it. I adore that film. But that it was touched with same (INAUDIBLE) except Amy was much more creative. She was a writer. But Mary could dance like nobody. And that was like -- when she did the soft shoe, I melted.

BALDWIN: That's how she started her career, she was dancing, you know. I understand she got into it from dancing. And of course, you know, you found her and the rest is history.

REINER: Yes, it is history for me, history making for me.

BALDWIN: Carl Reiner, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it.

REINER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Here is a little bit more of Mary Tyler Moore here on CNN. This is when she was talking about how she overcame her alcohol addiction.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Were you had an alcohol problem. You discussed it in the past. How did you beat it?

MOORE: I just made up my mind to stop.

KING: No AA?

MOORE: Well, I went to the Betty Ford Center and got a lot of education there and a lot of spirit and determination. Somebody said something. It's a cliche. You heard it a hundred times but they say if you want to get all the air out of a glass what do you do? There's no way to do it but with fill it with something else. And that something else is joy of living, reading being creative, know you are doing the right thing and that got me to thinking.

[15:45:11] KING: Why didn't the joy of success work?

MOORE: I don't know.

KING: One doesn't know, does he?

MOORE: No. And you know with alcoholism you tend to drink because you are angry or you drink because you are sad now or you drink because you are just so happy you want to celebrate.

KING: I have a friend who says alcohol is my Prozac.

MOORE: Yes, yes, but unfortunately it's debilitating and Prozac is not. KING: So are you completely sober or do you now reached the point

where you can have a glass of wine?

MOORE: No, I don't do that. I don't think I will be able to do that again nor do I want to. I'm perfectly content with good food and there's a nonalcoholic wine that tasted pretty good. It has a good taste.

KING: Do you ever missed it?

MOORE: Every once in a while, I will think I should have - and I don't even get through to the last word of the sentence. That's how fleeting it is. And I'll think, and that funny.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: MARY Tyler Moore. We are just looking back over her incredible career. We just talked to Carl Reiner who just gave her, her first big break on Dick Vandyke show. And now I have with me the legendary Bob Newhart.

Bob Newhart, I'm so sorry for the passing of someone who I believe was really close with you. I know you were friends. I just want to hear stories. Will you just tell me a Mary Tyler Moore story?

BOB NEWHART, COMEDIAN (on the phone): Boy. Well, she and Grant and Arthur Price created this really magical place that I was lucky enough to be at. It just was -- it was creativity was -- they loved it and encouraged it. And that's what I'm missing right now along with Mary. I'm missing that wonderful place that was Mary Tyler Moore and "Hill Street Blues" and "St. Elsewhere." Just so many.

BALDWIN: What was her role in getting your show on the air?

NEWHART: Well, her show was such a big hit that she said I would like to -- went to CBS and said I would like to do a show called "the Bob Newhart show." And they said where would you like it, you know? That was Mary. Her show was such a huge hit that they wanted more. And they wanted more from ATM just because of the quality of it and the creativity again because you were tackling everything that hadn't been attacked. For instance Suzanne and I - I think were the first couple on television that slept in the same bed.

BALDWIN: No kidding?

NEWHART: I mean, before that. It sounds weird to say today but before that everybody had twin beds going back to Lucy.

BALDWIN: Yes, yes, and how she was this you know single successful back on her show, journalist which was breaking all kinds of glass ceilings, I know at that time.

What was she like though when the cameras weren't rolling? What made her laugh, you know, off set or what did she care a lot about?

NEWHART: She cared a lot about actors. I mean, when we would go to the commissary it was like a dream. It was -- there was Ed Asner, and Ted and I, and Betty White who kissed her 95 and the guys from Hill Street. I think Mary protected the actors and insisted that they would be treated with respect, which they were. And I don't know that that exists anymore.

BALDWIN: Mr. Newhart when was the last time you actually saw her or talked to her?

NEWHART: Mary called about three years ago. It was mistakenly reported in the papers that I was going to do a show at I think it was "Nick at Night" and so was Betty. And Mary thought the two of us -- and she called and I picked up the phone and she said I want in. I want to be part of it. And then I said - you know, I'm doing it. I may do a thing and that he may do it but we are not doing it together. But - she loved to work. She just - that was - that was what she lived for.

[15:50:31] BALDWIN: Yes. I'm supposed to be talking to Betty White, actually in a couple of weeks. So suddenly I realized now what a huge chunk of our interview will be about. We have here at CNN this big history of comedy series. That's coming out next month. And so, you know, Bob Newhart, as we talk about Mary Tyler Moore, just put into context of all these funny women today, you know. Maybe who wouldn't be here or be a center stage or packing arenas had there not been a Mary Tyler Moore. I mean, can you just speak to her impact and the path she paved?

NEWHART: Well, I can still feel her. You know, I can still but Mr. Grant, you know, actress isn't comedy today, but they sound like Mary. I mean, that was her instill.

BALDWIN: Still. You still feel, you still hear her influence today, that stunning.

Bob Newhart, thank you. And again, my sincerest condolences.

NEWHART: Thank you, Brooke. And I enjoy your work very much.

BALDWIN: That means the world. Thank you. Thank you.

Mary Tyler Moore's long-time friend, producer Norman Lear, legendary producer Norman Lear joins me now on the phone.

And again, expressing my condolences to you. I'm talking to all these incredible people who have all these stories. And I understand you have a fond memory of a trip to China with Mary Tyler Moore. Tell me that story.

NORMAN LEAR, PRODUCER, ALL IN THE FAMILY (on the phone): Well, it was three years or so before we normalized relations. We hadn't -- Nixon hadn't normalized relations when I was asked by the Chinese delegation to the United Nations to put a group of Hollywood people who did the kind of things that they thought I was doing and that they included Mary Tyler Moore, who was married to Grant Tinker at that time. And they and Carl and Estelle, Reiner and a number of others, David and his wife, and I put together this group, and she was the ambassador. They knew her in China and they loved her in China the way we loved her here. And I will never forget those three weeks and that trip with Mary.

BALDWIN: What was she like? Give me the details, Norman Lear.

LEAR: Well, because among the women that were on the trip, she was the best known. That this was when everybody in China was wearing a Mao uniform. And you would step out of a hotel and that there would be 300 people around you within seconds because they hadn't seen that many Caucasians at that time. And among those that they had seen, Mary's face was known. So, she was wonderful. She was a great woman anyway, and a wonderful personality and a real lady. So, she in a sense was the ambassador is the word.

BALDWIN: We are going to make it one, Norman Lear, we are going to make it one. She was an ambassador as I was talking to Carl Reiner and also been Bob Newhart.

LEAR: We have every right to make it a word.

BALDWIN: Yes. I think you do. Think you do. You know, you produce some of the biggest shows of the '70s. So you're allowed. We think of all in the family and you.

Let me ask, because you, sir, were ahead of your time in terms of comedy. How was she so ahead of her time as well?

LEAR: Well, Carl was, you know, the creator of that show. So, you got to give Carl his do. He was leading that pact. Mary was a glorious actress, a great comedian, and that Carl told me this morning. I talked to him this morning. I don't know if he told you if you were talking to him this morning that he remembers her audition.

BALDWIN: That's what we just talked about.

LEAR: He loved her -- yes, he loved her smile and he loved her laugh and he gave her one or two words. He said, say them. She said them, and he took her immediately to see Sheldon Leonard. She had the role. I'm in a car and I've just arrived at my destination, Brooke.

[15:55:17] BALDWIN: OK. Well, then Norman Lear, I don't want to hold you. We are just, you know, having a little chat on national television about someone legendary talking to someone legendary. But I don't want to hold you up. So, if you need to go, I'll let you go.

BALDWIN: I love talking about her. And we can talk another moment or two if you want.

BALDWIN: Let me pulled on you for one. Can I hold onto you one more moment? Let me just remind everyone, you know, if you don't know this, if you don't have this memorized, this was her theme song. Roll it.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING) BALDWIN: I can just hear all the people listening and watching us and, you know, mouthing every word of that song. Last question, Mr. Lear. What do you think of when you hear that?

LEAR: I think of the hat in the air.

BALDWIN: At the very end.

LEAR: She tosses the hat, yes, yes. And we are all floating with that hat at the moment.

BALDWIN: That's a perfect way to end all of this.

Thank you so much, Norman Lear, for calling in. And, of course, Bob Newhart and Carl Reiner.

LEAR: I like you more than Bob Newhart does.

BALDWIN: You made my day. Thank you very much. I am so touched. Thank you.

LEAR: Thank you. Bye.

BALDWIN: Thank you for being with us. We are going to continue special coverage in just a moment.