was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1936 (some sources say 1937).
From The Museum of Broadcast Communications, The Encyclopedia of Television:
On The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Moore played Mary Richards, a 30-something single woman “making it on her own” in 1970s Minneapolis. MTM first pitched her character to CBS as a young divorcee, but CBS executives believed her role as Laura Petrie was so firmly etched in the public mind that viewers would think she had divorced Dick Van Dyke (and that the American public would not find a divorced woman likable), so Richards was rewritten as a woman who had moved to the big city after ending a long affair. Richards landed a job working in the news department of fictional WJM-TV, where Moore’s all-American spunk played off against the gruff boss Lou Grant (Ed Asner), world-weary writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod) and pompous anchorman Ted Baxter (Ted Knight). In early seasons, her all-male work environment was counterbalanced by a primarily female home life, where again her character contrasted with her ditzy landlady Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) and her New York-born neighbor and best friend, Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper). Both the show and Moore were lauded for their realistic portrayal of “new” women in the 1970s whose lives centered on work rather than family, and for whom men were colleagues rather than just potential mates. While Moore’s Mary Richards’ apologetic manner may have undermined some of the messages of the women’s movement, she also put a friendly face on the potentially threatening tenets of feminism, naturalizing some of the decade’s changes in the way women were perceived both at home and at work.