Years after starring alongside Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show, actor Dick Van Dyke admitted that he had a crush on the show’s leading lady during its amazing TV run.
In his memoir, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, Dick Van Dyke wrote about first being attracted to Mary Tyler Moore. He noted that he immediately fell in love with the actress.
“What wasn’t to love?” Dick Van Dyke asked. “I adored her from the moment we were introduced. I think both of us had each other at hello. But I still had a couple of problems.”
Dick Van Dyke noted that one of the key issues was that he felt Tyler Moore was too young to play his wife on the show in the first place. “She was twelve years younger than I was, though as time went by, no one ever noticed or mentioned that fact. Even I forgot about it.”
The other issue that the long-time actor had was Mary Tyler Moore wasn’t that funny when away from the cameras. “She was stiff, proper, polite,” Van Dyke wrote about first meeting the actress. “She didn’t seem to have much of a funny bone. I saw a little Katherine Hepburn in her, but much Lucille Ball.”
However, Van Dyke also admitted that his initial reaction to Tyler Moore wasn’t accredit. “Within a few days of reading and working together — really in no time at all — Mary got it. With Carl, Rosie, and Morey in the room, she had the best teachers. These people knew comedy like nobody else.”
Van Dyke and Tyler Moore starred on the hit show as couple Robert Simpson Petrie and Laura Petrie. The series ran for five years from 1961 to 1966.
Dick Van Dyke Says Mary Tyler Moore Was ‘The Best There Ever Was’
While speaking to CBS This Morning in 2017, Dick Van Dyke spoke about Mary Tyler Moore, who had recently passed away. “She had kind of a mid-Atlantic accent,” Van Dyke explained about his initial reaction to Tyler Moore. “Kind of a Katherine Hepburn. And I thought, ‘Gosh, she’s beautiful, but do you think she can do comedy?’”
Mary Tyler Moore quickly proved Van Dyke wrong, and he described her as “the best” there ever was. “It’s amazing how quickly she picked it up,” Van Dyke continued. “[She] had such good timing. In no time, she had us laughing.”
Van Dyke went on to add that the chemistry between him and Mary was “serendipity” to him. “We became an improv group. We could almost reach each other’s mind.”
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