Truthfully, it’s probably pretty hard for a lot of people under a certain age to understand just how influential Mary Tyler Moore was to an entire generation of women. She was the first single, professional woman featured on TV — and it made a huge cultural impact.
According to People, Oprah broke down crying when she heard Moore had passed — just to give you a sense of how meaningful she was to working women.
Oprah’s voice apparently broke as she continued the phone interview, “Mary Tyler Moore first gave me the idea that you can own your own show and produce it. She was the one. So, when I say that she had a powerful influence on me, it wasn’t just being that iconic figure that was women in the workforce, doing the same job I was doing, working in news as a journalist, in a newsroom, and who was single and really OK with it. Every episode wasn’t about trying to find a man, it was about trying to find your way in life.”
“She paved the way through storytelling for women,” Winfrey added, “and was a value system for women without even knowing it. So, her legacy will live on in ways I know the creators of [The Mary Tyler Moore Show] never even imagined.”
Mary Tyler Moore once even surprised Oprah on her show, and it’s a moment Oprah still holds incredibly dear:
Our hearts go out today to all of Moore’s family, friends, and to anyone feeling the weight of her loss today. R.I.P. Mary.