Mike Connors (Mannix) And Mary Tyler Moore Will Be Long Remembered
This has been a rough week for those who recall with fondness the television shows and stars of our youth. It was not until I was in 5th grade that a television was bought for our family home. I may not have had the years prior to that shaped by images from the set but it did not take me long before I warmed to certain characters and themes.
Two of those who stood out died this week.
Mary Tyler Moore was a part of Saturday nights on CBS that made for a solid two-hour block of programming which was consistently well written and acted. With Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett being the other shows, it was always a weekly tradition to have everything done by 8 at night (CST) for the shows to start.
There was perhaps no other television show (then or now) which had such sharp-witted and well-fleshed out characters. That is hard to do in a sitcom but the result with award after award, in addition to the laughter from living rooms around the nation, proved the power of the cast.
Moore was a modern type of woman on television. At the time I never thought she was anything other than how things should be in society. The stories following her death underscored how ground breaking the show was for this nation.
Meanwhile Mike Connors starred in Mannix during the week on CBS. His tough pursuit of catching the criminal as a private detective was always done in a convertible. As a boy–well how cool was that. I loved his style that came across the airwaves.
Along with CBS’ Cannon and Medical Center—as a teenager I had a crush on Chad Everett who played Dr. Joe Gannon–there was always something good to be found on nighttime television.
It is sad to say goodbye to these stars of our youth not only for what they meant to us, but in so doing recognize how far away from those years we are, too.