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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Mary Tyler Moore

Aired May 08, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a favorite lady, Mary Tyler Moore. Despite some really tough times, battling addiction and an ongoing fight against a disease that could kill her. She can sure turn the world on with her smile. Mary for the hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It is always a great pleasure to welcome Mary Tyler Moore to LARRY KING LIVE, the award-winning actress, international chairperson of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for the past 18 years. I'm proud to be a member of the board of that augus group.

And we must tell you that the "Mary Tyler Moore Reunion" will air Monday, May 13 on CBS. That's Monday night, May 13, "The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion." How did it come about?


KING: That's right, 10:00 Eastern. We've been asking you for years, every time you come on the show and people call in, you ever going to do a reunion?


KING: You always say no.

MOORE: We did one in 1993. And it was fun. It was of the ilk then, you know, people sitting around on a couch and spewing forth prepared dialogue that is supposed to convince the audience that you're just thinking these things up. So we decided to not do that.

So what we did is I play a kind of Barbara Walter-ish role in that I sit with each one of the cast members and we reminisce and we talk about how I felt, how they felt, what was going on in the world, what was going on in our hearts and so on.

KING: Do you make them cry?

MOORE: Yes, I did, a few of them. But I didn't have to work very hard.

KING: Do we see scenes from the show?

MOORE: Yes, you will see clips, lots of clips and lots of really wonderful moments. KING: When these are discussed, does anyone say, why don't we do it as if it were -- do a storyline? You are now Mary Tyler Moore with the editor and the people and the...

MOORE: Yes, well, that's not a half bad idea. We could do that, couldn't we?

KING: Why not?

MOORE: Yes, well, exactly. So do you want to produce it?

KING: That's the next reunion.

MOORE: Yes, we could. And we could have a story where Larry King comes into the newsroom.

KING: That's right. What do we do with him?

MOORE: I don't know. But we'll figure out something.

KING: Only one member of the cast has passed away?

MOORE: Ted Knight, yes. We lost him several years ago. And I loved that man. I really truly did. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He was pretty open although he didn't realize he was open about his emotions. He was a naughty boy sometimes and, you know, a little jealous from time to time of Ed Asner who might have been getting more attention than he was.

KING: But eventually, they had some conflict and then made up.

MOORE: Oh, they had a lot of conflicts. They were always making up. But that's like a family. You know, there was never anything that couldn't be fixed within a very short period of time.

KING: Was it emotional for you to do this?

MOORE: To do the reunion?

KING: Yes.

MOORE: Yes, sure it was. Yes, I was walking around for a couple days with a major lump in my throat.

KING: Since you're doing the interviews, who asked questions of you?

MOORE: They all did.

KING: Oh, it's a conversation?

MOORE: Exactly. It's a sit-down conversation. Do you remember that thing where Henry Winkler played your date and he was sitting up in the window? Yes, yes, yes. And what were you doing? You had a problem with the amount of food. KING: Before we talk about the genesis of that program and diabetes and lots of things, what's it like to have a statue? There's a statue in Minneapolis of you.

MOORE: Yes, it's coming up.

KING: Have you seen any drawings of it.

MOORE: Yes. I've seen a lot of drawings in some detail.

KING: Is it you with the hat?

MOORE: It's me with the hat. And the sculptor woman was so clever in the way she did it. She had the beret just about to leave my hand. So it's attached to this finger and that's what will keep it there. And I'm looking up at it, so there's no question but that that beret is going to fly.

KING: Where are they putting it?

MOORE: They're putting in the Nicolette Mall, very close to where I stood. But nobody would go where I stood. I was right in the middle of the intersection there.

KING: You were out in the street.

MOORE: Yes, I probably...

KING: Was that a whim, by the way, or did the director say, let's do this?

MOORE: The director said, let's do this. And it was -- I have oft times said it was Jim Brooks, but it was not. It was a man named Raisa Badiya (ph) who was hired to do the opening titles for the show.

KING: Is this the city of Minneapolis? Who is doing this?

MOORE: It is TV Land.

KING: Who shows the "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

MOORE: That's right. And they asked if that would be a good idea. And I said, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: What was the genesis of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show?" Had you just come out of Dick Van Dyke?

MOORE: I had come out of that show probably a year and a half earlier.

KING: And had been doing what?

MOORE: Had been doing what? Oh, I did "Thoroughly Modern Millie," the movie.

KING: With Carol Burnett, by the way, right? MOORE: No, not Carol. It was Bea Lilly and Carol Channing. And that was great fun. But I went to Broadway and did "Breakfast At Tiffany's" which closed before it opened. And then Dick called and said, I'm going to do a special called Dick Van Dyke and the other woman, that would be you, because every time I try to check into a hotel with my wife, they look at me as though I'm cheating on Laura.

And so we did this special. And Dick just gave it to me. He gave me so many wonderful things to do, as was true all during the situation comedy. And CBS called up shortly after they saw the final cut version and they said, we think you should have your own situation comedy. What do you think? And I had just recently been married to Grant Tinker (ph), who was very talented and had a lot of good ideas. And he said, well, let's do it with our own production company.

KING: He had his own production company?

MOORE: Well, he didn't at the time but we formed it to accommodate the series.

KING: How many years did it run?

MOORE: Seven.

KING: Was the genesis, did someone say, let's have her work at a TV station?

MOORE: Well, it was Jim Brooks and Allen (ph) Burns who were hired to create the premise for the show. And they and I had met several times so that they could get a feeling for what my personality was like and what I might want to be involved in. And Jim, having spent some time working in a newsroom, had always wanted to delve into that in some form. So this was a natural for him.

KING: Did you like the idea right away?

MOORE: Oh, yes. Yes, I thought it was wonderful.

KING: That it'll be a newsroom and you'll be the sort of assistant and all these crazy characters around?

MOORE: Yes, right. Having lived with a man who I put through medical school and who then, upon graduating and about to become an intern and resident, dumped me. CBS chose that over my having been divorced. They said, there's nothing funny about divorce. And not only that, they'd think she was divorced from Dick Van Dyke.

KING: Probably agree with that.

MOORE: I do.

KING: Dumping is funny. Divorce is not.

MOORE: Yes, right.

KING: We'll be right back with Mary Tyler Moore. Don't forget, "The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion" airs Monday, May 13, 10:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Don't go away.


ED ASNER, ACTOR: Look, miss, would you try answering the questions as I ask them?

MOORE: Yes, Mr. Grant, I will. But it does seem that you've been asking a lot of very personal questions that don't have a thing to do with my qualifications for this job.

ASNER: You know what? You got spunk.

MOORE: Well...

ASNER: I hate spunk!




TED KNIGHT, ACTOR: OK, Lou. No more prayers, I promise.

MOORE: Good.

KNIGHT: Besides, I've got a better way to end the news tomorrow. I'll return a lost dog to some little kid. Yes, that will be good for my image. Ted Baxter reunites boy with puppy, right on the news.

MOORE: Where are you going to find a puppy?

KNIGHT: We'll steal it from a kid.


KING: We're back with Mary Tyler Moore. By the way, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is back on in New York, right?

MOORE: On Broadway, yes. It got...

KING: And Julie Andrews...

MOORE: Julie Andrews was the star of it. I neglected to say that. Julie, forgive me.

KING: You leave the star out.

MOORE: Yes, right.

KING: Mary Tyler Moore's in something.

MOORE: No, no, no. That's not true. But Julie was wonderful for me because she knew I was going to Broadway right after that movie. And she gave me a little silver box filled with throat lozenges. She said, you'll need these because it is really rough on the throat. Boy, did I need them. I ended up opening with a temperature of 103 and a range of about four notes.

KING: Another thing I remember you were doing brilliantly, "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" They thought that was written for a man. You did it as a woman.

MOORE: That's right. We only changed pronouns. Everything else remained the same.

KING: Right. It was a paraplegic who doesn't want to live.

MOORE: Right. We changed the sex of a couple of the key players because there was a flirtatious bit of tomfoolery between me and the nurse. And in Tom's play, it had been a woman. In my play, it became a man.

KING: And, Carol Burnett, I was wrong about her being in that movie, but you do know her, right?

MOORE: I know her, yes, indeed. I love her.

KING: How's she doing?

MOORE: She's doing great.

KING: She's had to deal with loss as you've dealt with loss.

MOORE: Yes, indeed. Indeed. And when I wrote her a note, I just couldn't think of what to say that would make her feel better. And I just finally said, there is nothing that's going to make you feel better. Just know that we're all out here and we're hoping that you heal quickly.

KING: You never get over something like that, really.

MOORE: No, of course not.

KING: Never get over it over it?

MOORE: Never. Never. It is a part of you as much as an appendage is always there.

KING: Is there a difficulty being married to someone who is co- producing the show with you?

MOORE: You mean, as in Grant Tinker (ph)?

KING: As in Tinker comma Grant.

MOORE: Tinker comma Grant A.

KING: Grant A. I'm sorry.

MOORE: No, there wasn't. We got along just great because I didn't do anything. It was Grant's company and he made all the decisions. And that was just fine.

KING: You had input, though. You're the star. You didn't want input?

MOORE: Yes, well, I didn't have to have input about my show because Jim Brooks and Allen Burns and the writers that they then hired were so good that they just bombarded us with one storyline after another that made our heads spin.

KING: So whatever they wrote you did?

MOORE: That's right.

KING: Do you ever remember saying, I don't want to do this?

MOORE: I'm sure there were one or two scenes like that and I can't think of one right now, but so unimportant as to be not worth discussing.

KING: Why do you think we're loving memory lane?

MOORE: I think the turnabout that has happened since 9/11. You know, we're all shaken by that. And I think as a result, therefore, much more appreciative of the people we love. The people we love and that we care about.

KING: And these are people we love, right?

MOORE: That's right.

KING: We've taken to them and I want to ask about why. Where were you on 9/11?

MOORE: I was standing by the kitchen table looking at the television set.

KING: In L.A.?

MOORE: In New York. And I could not believe it. First of all, they said, oh, it was a little plane. And that's because they were standing on the street and looking up. And what was a huge plane looked small. So it didn't occur to anybody that it was anything like what it turned out to be.

KING: Do you remember what you did all day?

MOORE: Just mostly talked to people on the phone. A lot of people calling me who weren't familiar with New York and didn't know what the battery was and how far away it was from where we lived, concerned for our safety.

KING: Where do you live?

MOORE: On the upper East Side. And that's all you are going to know. I don't want you knocking on my door.

KING: And you're married to a doctor and he's a cardiologist. I'll knock if I need him. How do you explain all that resilience of New Yorkers? MOORE: I think it would have happened to any town. And New Yorkers do think of themselves as being a town. And it's a kind of a small town. But I think it would have happened in L.A. It would have happened in Kansas, anywhere. You just pull together and you say, you're not going to do that to us. You're just not.

KING: Why did "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" work?

MOORE: I think I can take responsibility for that in that I was the audience. I was the voice of sanity around whom all these crazies did their dance. And I reacted in the same way that a member of the audience would have reacted.

KING: You were the counter-puncher?

MOORE: Exactly, yes.

KING: It happened to you. All these people revolved, but you were centered?

MOORE: Yes, that's right. And that's what the audience was feeling too, as they watched the show and as they watch it now. And overriding all of that is the way it was written. It was written honestly. There was never any manufactured laugh. There was never compromising of character.

KING: Any characters in the pilot taken out of the show or added to?

MOORE: Well, first of all, there was never a pilot. This was back this the sunshine days of 24-episode commitment.

KING: Wow.


KING: You got in, you got -- they bought the script then?

MOORE: That's right. They bought the premise and they bought the people. Interestingly that some of the characters did not turn out the way Jim and Allen had envisioned them. They thought that Ted Knight, rather the character, Ted Baxter, would be a love interest for me, that he was going to be tall, dark and handsome. You know, not a rocket scientist, as they say, but you could believe that they would have a romance.

And Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter was going to be my nemesis. He was going to be extremely jealous of me and trying to trip me up whenever he could. And when they met the people, they realized that it was totally different from what they had thought of, but they were so compelling. That they just went with it.

KING: Was Lou Grant always Lou Grant?

MOORE: Lou Grant was pretty much always Lou Grant. But I tell you something else. Gavin MacLeod was called in to read for the part of Lou Grant and turned it down. He said, this is fun. I would like the do that, but I really love the character of Murray Slaughter. Can I have a shot at that?

KING: Wow. How about Rhoda and Phyllis?

MOORE: Well, Rhoda was, I think, the last actress that we saw. There had been so many wonderful actresses who were close, really close. But there was no magical epiphany.

KING: You pick this Catholic girl to play this Jewess, right?

MOORE: Yes, I guess so. I guess, yes.

KING: She had it down, didn't she?

MOORE: She had it in her core and still does, you know. She's tough. She's a fighter. And that's what we wanted to see, somebody who was not afraid of telling me what to do.

KING: And Phyllis?

MOORE: And Phyllis, who is not afraid of anything ever. She came into that room with Jim and Allen and Dave Davis and Lorenzo Music (ph) and all the writers and just kind of flitted like a mayfly from person to person.

KING: Were you a hit from the start? Was Mary Tyler Moore a slam, bang dunk?

MOORE: No, it wasn't that kind of a hit. It was pleasantly received, though. But a lot of the press thought it wasn't going to do well, that it wasn't going to be worthy.

KING: When did you take it off? First season?

MOORE: First season, yes.

KING: We'll be right back with Mary Tyler Moore. Don't forget, the special runs, "The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion" will air Sunday night, May 13, on CBS at 10:00 Eastern, 9:00 Central. I like to say that. 8:00 Mountain. We'll be back after this.


GAVID MACLEOD, ACTOR: Mary, I love you.

MOORE: And I love you too.




MOORE: It is very difficult to look a kid in the eye and say, everything's OK, because it's not. And they know it, too. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think of all the things that I can't do and everything.

MOORE: I'm Mary Tyler Moore. We at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are dedicated to finding a cure.


KING: Mary Tyler Moore is the spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, chairman been for the past 18 years. How long have you the disease?

MOORE: That makes me your boss, doesn't it?

KING: That's right. I'm on the board.

MOORE: If you are a member of the board and I'm the chairman of the board.

KING: I quit.

MOORE: No, you can't quit.

KING: OK. That's right, I can't quit.

MOORE: Nobody knows how you get it. They know certain things about it, that the predisposition to get it is genetic. You start with that. Either a virus, a trauma, either physical or an emotional one, can bring it on into active diabetes.

KING: Why is it called juvenile?

MOORE: Well, because it used to be thought that it only hit children in the way that you have to treat it as a type-one, we call it now. It's insulin dependency that is called juvenile or type one.

KING: I have type two. I don't take insulin shots. I just take a drug, glucophage.

MOORE: Right. And you have to watch what you eat and you exercise, I hope.

KING: That's right. Exercise and take my little blood tests. And sometimes, if I get low in sugar, I get dizzy.

MOORE: Oh, yes. That's the worst.

KING: And up in sugar, you get a little tight.

MOORE: Yes, right. No, it's a terrible thing. And those are just the easy things to live with. The hard things to live with are the threat of amputation, the threat of blindness.

KING: That's more the case for type one, isn't it?

MOORE: No, it is both. Type one and type two have exactly those complications.

KING: I thought type one was the more danger of a lesser life?

MOORE: No, it isn't. They're both the same.

KING: The only difference then is you get to administer the insulin.

MOORE: Yes, right. I take it three times a day.

KING: You inject yourself or do you have the automatic thing now?

MOORE: No, I inject myself.

KING: What's the biggest advance made in the 18 years since you've been chairman?

MOORE: Quite a few things. The methods of testing your blood sugar, for one thing.

KING: It's simple now.

MOORE: Yes, that's pretty huge. The research that is going on that's bringing us closer and closer to the cure through, for the most part, stem cell research, which is out there waiting to happen.

KING: The night the president made the decision to use some but not all...

MOORE: We were together.

KING: And you praised him. Many in your area of expertise criticized him, that he should have just let it go all the way? Have you changed your mind?

MOORE: I would have preferred that he give us an open-ended pass to use in-vitro fertilization embryos, but he chose to give us just 67, I think it is, and I am cool enough to realize that you got to work with people. I hope that he gets my message when I'm speaking to Congress and that he knows how I feel about it, that I want to see it go forward and that's it's very important, that we have an obligation to those who are living just as we have an obligation to preserve would-be life.

KING: There's no pain associated with diabetes, is there?

MOORE: No, not really.

KING: So you don't have a clue without checking your blood?

MOORE: That's right. You really don't. When it starts to get really out of hand, like prior to diagnosis, I was pregnant and I had a miscarriage. And I felt dry in the mouth and I had a kind of headache and was low in energy. And I applied all of those symptoms to having had an unhealthy pregnancy. And when they checked my blood sugar in the hospital, you're supposed to be somewhere between 75 and 110. Mine was 750. I made it into a book, not as Mary Tyler Moore, but anonymously...

KING: Highest ever recorded?

MOORE: Yes, right, at that time. I don't know if I still have that honor.

KING: I know you're not a physician, but why does it cause blindness?

MOORE: What happens is that the system builds many inferior blood vessels in the eye to take the place of the vessels that are dying. And those blood vessels are not up to the task. And they bleed. They hemorrhage and they cover the eye inside with blood.

KING: That's why you have your eyes checked every year, right?

You bet.

KING: They take that machine and go right in.

MOORE: You bet. And if you have got some bleeds and your doctor feels that it is time to do something about it, you go in and you get a laser treatment, and it is not the end of the world. It's quite easy to take.

KING: How about amputation? Why amputation?

MOORE: Amputation because of the vascular impairment.

KING: It's leg loss, usually, right?

MOORE: Yes, right. And I came close to losing a part of my foot on two occasions. I hope I'm consistently lucky and that the next time I develop a blister or step on something sharp, that I don't go as far as I did on those two times.

KING: So the things you watch is what you eat. Every day, you watch what you eat?

MOORE: Yes. Well, you have to factor it in. You have to factor it with the amount of insulin you're taking and the amount of exercise your expending.

KING: What regular foods don't you eat? Are there certain foods you can't eat?

MOORE: Well, there are certain foods that I prefer not to eat because they're just such a jolt to the system.

KING: Snickers.

MOORE: Right. No candy bars unless I've had a low blood sugar where I'm shaky. KING: And then you need the orange juice.

MOORE: Then you need the orange juice or if you're lucky and you have a Snickers bar.

KING: That's the best.

MOORE: It's right there. Yes.

KING: I remember once I just grabbed a whole box of M&Ms.

MOORE: Did you really?

KING: And it goes right away.

MOORE: Congratulations.

KING: What are you going to do?

MOORE: I know it.

KING: You're only going to do what you're going to do.

MOORE: I know. But you can laugh about this stuff too. That's what keeps you going.

KING: Except when you see all the children.

MOORE: They laugh too. They laugh because they see you laughing. And they take it in stride. Some of the best young people I've met grew up as diabetics.

KING: Do you think there's going to be a cure?

MOORE: Oh, I know there is. There's no question about it. It is just a question of how soon it is going to come about. And we need to be looking at not only in-vitro fertilization embryos before they -- as they reach the stage of blastocyst, which is a couple of cells that are not differentiated yet. They're just waiting to be directed. We've got to be able to change the president's mind on this issue and have more. And we've got to look at therapeutic cloning, not reproductive.

KING: Let me ask what that is. We'll be back with Mary Tyler Moore. Tomorrow night, Tom Brokaw will be the guest. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. I have been saying Sunday, May 13th. It is Monday night May 13.

MOORE: I've been saying Type One diabetes is no more threatening, life threatening, than Type Two. Well, it is.

KING: One is worse.


KING: So what you have is worse than what I have.


KING: You're always better than me, aren't you. You got to be one, I gotta be two. The special airs Monday night, May 13th on CBS, not Sunday night, Monday night. Tell me about this cloning thing.

MOORE: There are two kinds of cloning right now. One is therapeutic cloning which is for coming up with cures for life threatening, really, really awful diseases. Then there is reproductive cloning, which is to make a human being out of your DNA and a donor egg.

I am very much against that. And so are some 40 Nobel Laureate scientists who have stated that they are very much for therapeutic cloning. And that's simply a matter of taking a donor egg, removing the nucleus from it and putting some of your, Larry King's DNA, in that egg and before it reaches the stage of cells dividing and they know what they are, you are able to then stop the evolution and put those cells to work building whatever it is you need to have replaced, whatever is missing in your life that gives you a disease like diabetes, that gives you a disease like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and ALS and all of those awful, awful diseases that I feel we owe cures to.

KING: When you die of diabetes, you don't die of diabetes...

MOORE: You die of one of the complications.

KING: It will say complications from diabetes. I could be heart disease.

MOORE: A stroke, any number of the amputations that don't work.

KING: Do you live in any kind of fear?

MOORE: I live in a kind of controlled awareness. I wouldn't call it fear, but it's an awareness. I know I have a responsibility to behave in a certain way. I'm able to do that.

KING: I don't like to get personal, but every time I take my blood it is always 110.

MOORE: That's perfect.

KING: Or 100 or 118, so I never feel like I have it.

MOORE: Well, don't fool around and test it to see if you can prove anything to yourself. Just keep doing what you're doing. That's good.

KING: Why is exercise important?

MOORE: Because it helps use up some of the sugar that is free- floating in your body. You don't have eyelet cells to process the insulin that the body would normally naturally supply. And so if you can exercise, you can help correct that situation.

KING: By the way, if you ever want more information, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, New York City, Mary's the chairman. I am on the board and they do a lot of really, really wonderful things. Back to some things with the show.


KING: First of all, anything you haven't done you'd want to do? I mean, you've played serious in movies.


KING: Did a great one, too. What was that?

MOORE: "Ordinary People?"

KING: "Ordinary People" are you kidding, you were phenomenal.

MOORE: Thank you.

KING: So you played serious. Anything that you say, boy, I'd like the do that?

MOORE: I just like the continue doing what I've been doing. A melange of funny, straight drama, television, movies, a little theater here and there wouldn't hurt. So if I can keep doing that, I'll be a very happy person.

KING: Why do you live in New York?

MOORE: I live in New York simply because I don't know any better. I moved there when the show went off the air a couple of years after that. I knew that I was going back to do the play "Who's Life Is It Anyway," and I thought, I'm just going to stay on here once the show was over and see what life as a New Yorker is. I just found it charming and stimulating and all those things that to me, California is not. Los Angeles is not.

KING: Did you like doing theater every night, 8:00?

MOORE: No, I tell you what I like is having the play close after a decent run and looking back on it and saying, yes, I did that, and wasn't it wonderful? Because while you're doing it, it is really tough. It is so hard.

KING: Some actors, Henry Fonda said they loved it. Couldn't wait for 8:00.

MOORE: There are a few people like that, but I'm not one of them. I find it very difficult. But I'm never one to shirk a challenge.

KING: I know. Anyone would say, if you find it difficult, if it's taxing, why do it?

MOORE: Because when it's over, it's so much fun.

KING: Was every night the applause fun?

MOORE: That's great, too. To be able to get the reward of your efforts right then.

KING: It was hard because you were lying in bed the whole show.

MOORE: But I stood up for the curtain calls.

KING: But you were a little propped up in bed.

MOORE: Unable to move from the shoulders down.

KING: Who was the original male lead?

MOORE: Tom Conti.

KING: Did you replace him?

MOORE: What shoes to fill. Yes, I did.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Mary Tyler Moore, the special the Mary Tyler Moore reunion airs Monday night May 13th. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: A producer does not wear a veil.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Murray, don't use that tone on me. I mean, if you have something you wish to say to me, let's act like civilized people and simply sit down and discuss it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: All right. I'm sorry, Sueann. Forgive me, you were absolutely right. Let's sit down.



KING: We're back with Mary Tyler Moore. Who came up with that kitty cat to take off the MGM lion routine?

MOORE: Nobody can remember specifically who it was. But we were all in a room talking about the show. Titles came up. Somebody said, MTM sounds like MGM, doesn't it? Then somebody said, maybe we should use a lion. No, you can't steal the lion from MGM. Maybe we could have a little orange cat. That's how it evolved. But who knows who said it.

KING: Is there still an MTM productions?

MOORE: There's not a productions as far as I know. But I guess there is the overseeing company which is now owned by 20th Century Fox.

KING: Are you looking always at projects, too?

MOORE: I am. But I'm not a great initiative-taker. I don't actually go out and make them happen. I suppose I should do more of that. But I'm very happy with my life the way it has been turning out. A little time in the country, a little time with the animals and working on behalf of them.

KING: You work for the animals.

MOORE: Very much so. As close to my heart as the work for diabetes.

KING: Always has been?

MOORE: From the time I was 9 and coming home from school and I saw a man cornered a dog and was beating him with a stick. And I yelled at him to stop it, and he wouldn't, and I just dropped my schoolbooks and ran and jumped him and beat him around the head and shoulders and kicked him with my feet. And I feel that to this moment.

KING: Ever turned down anything you regretted?


KING: Never a movie part or television idea that you said no?

MOORE: Maybe that's because they just aren't asking me.

KING: Or in the past.


KING: Being married to a doctor.

MOORE: What about him? Well, I have it easy because he's not a practicing physician anymore.

KING: Did he give it up for you?

MOORE: No, he works for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He's also involved with several think tanks in Washington and helps to improve the health care.

KING: So you never had to live with him when he got a call at 2:00 in the morning.

MOORE: No, no. That's nice.

KING: Helpful having a doctor as a husband?

MOORE: You bet it is.

KING: Little pains, aches, he's right there? MOORE: Exactly. But he can take advantage of the situation and try to boss me a little too much, too.

KING: Do you keep in touch with the cast members?

MOORE: Yes, yes. It's hard, though, because we are separated by some 3,000 odd miles.

KING: They're mostly in California.

MOORE: Right.

KING: Where was the special shot?

MOORE: In both places, in California and then in New York because Valerie is doing a show. And we had to do her part there.

KING: Are you a first nighter? Do you go to all the shows. I saw you opening night at "The Producers." We sat near each other.

MOORE: Unbelievable.

KING: That night. Do you ever talk to James Brooks?

MOORE: I haven't in a while, no. I haven't talked to Jim.

KING: Very talented guy.

MOORE: He surely is and a sweetheart. I love him.

KING: Always remember that night here with Dick Van Dyke. You talk to Dick?

MOORE: I talk to Dick, yes. I can't jinx it by telling you what it is, but there is the possibility that Dick and I may have a project together.

KING: And onscreen project?

MOORE: An onscreen project, Larry, yes.

KING: Just in the realm of possibly, would it be a regular thing or a special thing?

MOORE: A special thing.

KING: Would it be involving the couple as they were as we knew them?


KING: Song and dance?


KING: What's the odds it's going to come true? MOORE: I think about 90 percent.

KING: Television or film?

MOORE: I'm not going to tell you. I can't. Because it's been my experience in the past if I give away too much information, something awful happens and it doesn't work.

KING: It is 90 percent done, you got a good shot it will work.

MOORE: Well, yes, maybe it's 80 percent done.

KING: Who would not want Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore back on the screen together?

MOORE: Yes, right.

KING: What do you think that was? What did you two have? I know he admitted he was in love with you.

MOORE: That's so stupid, he was not in love with me.

KING: He was in love with you. He told me that again later. He had a secret crush on you.

MOORE: He thought I was a nifty dame but you know...

KING: Nifty dame?

MOORE: Nifty Dame, that dates me, doesn't it? Nifty broad, a hottie?

KING: Do you think Mary Richards was a trend setter? Do you think she was a feminist?

MOORE: She wasn't aggressive about it, but she surely was. The writers never forgot that. They had her in situations where she had to deal with it. There was the time where she found out that the man before her in that job was paid a good deal more money than she. And she stormed into Lou's office and said, explain this, will you? And he did and it didn't soothe her at all. He said, all right, how about this? Would it make you feel better if I told you that that man was married and had three children? And she says yes. And she gives in.

KING: I love you.

MOORE: I love you too, Larry, you're the best.

KING: Mary Tyler Moore, international chair person for the diabetes research foundation. She'll star in the Mary Tyler Moore reunion airing Monday night, May 13th on CBS. Always a pleasure to be in her company.

MOORE: Thank you.

KING: Stay tuned for NEWSNIGHT with Aaron Brown. I'm Larry King. Good night.