In the wake of news that Mary Tyler Moore has died at age 80, the TV icon is being remembered for roles on The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and a television appearance made outside of a scripted comedy — when she surprised Oprah.
Oprah, herself, tweeted about the big moment upon hearing that Moore had passed. “I still can’t believe Mary Tyler Moore touched my face. Will love her 4 ever,” Oprah wrote.
The TV host has called Moore an inspiration and “one of the greatest ever,” so she was shocked when Moore phoned into The Oprah Winfrey Show back in 1993, and completely overwhelmed when the big event happened: Moore showed up, unannounced, to a 1997 taping.
When Moore appeared, Oprah cried and kept looking at the actress in disbelief. “Let me just say, you have no idea what you’ve meant to me,” she told her idol. “You were the light. Every Saturday night (I’d watch you) while I was conditioning my hair … I wanted to work in Minneapolis with you.”
After Moore exited, Oprah said to her audience, “I need to calm down. Can I have a Kleenex to get the river that’s running under my armpits? Oh, boy!”
Oprah’s not the only one recalling that meeting today on Twitter.
Years after the experience, Oprah said, “It was one of the most happiest and delirious out-of-body moments I’ve ever had.”
Here are eight things you should know about Mary Tyler Moore, an icon for female actors throughout her life.
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