Click on the MARY book cover to order your copy for only $19.95 on Amazon

Saturday, September 19, 2020

"You've Got Spunk!"

So says Lou Grant, as played by the great Ed Asner, upon first meeting Mary Richards, portrayed by the one and only Mary Tyler Moore, in "Love Is All Around," the pilot episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

That episode, the title of which was taken from the show's beloved theme song, composed and performed by Sonny Curtis, premiered 50 years ago tonight, on September 19th, 1970.


But what many do not know or remember is that The Mary Tyler Moore Show did not debut on a Saturday night, but a Tuesday. And the show was titled simply Mary Tyler Moore for this first episode. With its premiere, Mary not only began to "turn the world on with her smile" – another famous phrase from the opening theme – but to boost the Women's Liberation Movement in the process.


That wasn't part of the show's initial intention, but that's exactly what happened. Countless women were inspired to become independent and career-oriented, specifically in journalism, because of the strength shown by the character of Mary Richards. Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric, in particular, have said that they were motivated by Mary Richards.


It's also interesting to note that, when The Mary Tyler Moore Show was formulating, Mary Richards had been envisioned as a divorcĂ©e who moved to Minneapolis to start a new life. But that backstory was changed to having recently broken up with a fiancĂ© instead. Why? Objections were made by studio and network executives, and a few test audiences, who felt Mary Tyler Moore should not play a divorced woman.


Many felt the audience would assume Mary had divorced Dick Van Dyke's Rob Petrie, the TV spouse she played opposite as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. But either way, Mary still had "spunk," and The Mary Tyler Moore Show went on to soar in the ratings during it seven-year run. It hasn't been off the air since.


Read about it all, and Moore's extensive life and career before, during and after The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, an in-depth biography of the beloved actress by Herbie J Pilato, published by Jacobs/Brown Press.


In celebration of tonight’s 50-year anniversary, the hardback of MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY is on sale now for only $19.95

Click the link below, and order your copy today!


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

“MARY” Tyler Moore Biography by Herbie J Pilato Now Only $19.95 on Amazon!

Fifty years ago, the iconic Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered on CBS television. Marking the occasion, the hardback edition of MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, an in-depth biography by Herbie J Pilato, and published by Jacobs Brown Press, is now available on for only $19.95

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was and remains a remarkable TV series that starred a remarkable person,” says Pilato. “It debuted at the onset of the Women’s Liberation movement, and went on to change the face of television comedy.  And my book, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, celebrates and explores  her life and career inclusive and beyond both of her legendary TV sitcoms, including The Dick Van Dyke Show.”


MARY is the latest work by Pilato, the host of Then Again with Herbie J Pilato, the hit classic TV talk show now streaming on Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime UK, and who is also the author of several books about pop-culture, and classic television and its stars, including Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery.

MARY not only chronicles Moore’s personal and professional challenges and triumphs before, during, and after her two historic TV shows, which encompasses her other television appearances, feature films, and stage plays spanning the six decades of her career.


“When you’re in the public eye of any arena,” Pilato says, “… entertainment, politics, whatever, there is a tremendous responsibility to do and say the right thing. And Mary rose to the occasion, even in her darkest hours.”



In MARY, Pilato reveals the actress behind the bright smile and into more than a few dark corners of her life. But, says the author, Moore, who died on January 25th 2017, "was as honest as she could be in public and in private. She did the best she could in communicating her truest thoughts. She had integrity, and she had flaws — several of them – but she combined those opposing aspects of herself and became a consummate performer, while advocating for various humanitarian and social causes in the process. And she was the first to admit her imperfections, which only added to her appeal and charm.”


A gifted actress, dancer, singer, and unwavering philanthropist, Moore was an especially dedicated advocate for animals, and those stricken with diabetes (from which she also suffered). For years, she was spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, while carefully navigating her career. “I made every effort to explore every facet of her up-and-down life and career in MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY,” says Pilato.


MARY takes us through the actress’s struggles with alcoholism and diabetes; childhood sexual abuse; the emotional and psychological abuse she suffered from her parents; her lack of self-esteem; her obsession with plastic surgery and animal advocacy; her troubled relationships with her first husband, Richard Meeker; the tragic deaths of her son, her brother, and her sister; her complex relationships with second husband and business partner, TV executive Grant Tinker, co-stars Rose Marie (from The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Valerie Harper (from The Mary Tyler Moore Show); and playwright Neil Simon; as well as her professional failures on Broadway, the big screen, and television (including the much-maligned Mary and Rhoda TV-movie of 2000).

MARY also addresses Moore’s devoted relationship to her third and last husband Dr. Robert Levine, who was 15 years her junior. “Mary adored him,” Pilato says, “…and he adored her. They were devoted to one another and, in the end, Mary finally found true, long-lasting love.”


MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY features all-new commentary culled from exclusive interviews with several of Moore’s co-stars over the years, including Mary Tyler Moore Show actors Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod, and Joyce Bulifant; as well as Larry Mathews (little Ritchie Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show), Carol Channing (Moore’s co-star from the 1967 movie Thoroughly Modern Millie), and other insiders, like Matthew Asner (son of Ed Asner), who grew up on the set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and went on to co-produce and co-direct the DVD release and its included documentary of that series. Rare recollections are also provided by renowned television journalist Betty Rollin, who overcame breast cancer (and who Moore portrayed in the ground-breaking 1978 TV-biopic, First You Cry, based on Rollin’s best-selling memoir of the same name); and many of the writer/producers who worked with Moore on numerous of her television, feature film, stage and personal appearances over the years.


The critics have only praise for MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY

Says Stephanie Nolasco of Fox News:  “MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY...explores both her triumphs and struggles on the screen and behind closed doors.” 

Peter King, of CBS News Radio, adds: “Herbie J Pilato is a true ‘keeper of the flame’ for classic TV. In MARY, he’s given us an extensive, humanizing look at one of the medium’s biggest icons; the good, the bad and sometimes, ugly. But it’s real. He’s spoken to all the right people...and I’m betting there’s a lot here that will surprise even the most devoted fans.”

“No doubt she was a complicated person,” says Pilato of Moore. “And she certainly was no Mary Richards, the sweet-as-American-pie character Moore played on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Even she admitted that. But she was true to herself – and loyal to her devoted fans, no matter how bad a day she had, and she had many bad days.”

But, as anyone knows who recalls the theme song to her legendary sitcom, Mary Tyler Moore was someone who could indeed “turn the world on with her smile.”


To order your beautifully-bound, fully-illustrated, hardcover edition of MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY by Herbie J Pilato, just click on the link below.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

There Is No Magic Election. There Is No Magic Vaccine. But There Is Hope And Kindness.

There is no magic election.  There is no magic vaccine.  There is no magic pill to take that will solve all of our problems or the world's problems.  

But there is hope.  There's always hope.

One of my favorite movies is a little film from 1998 called Hope Floats, and starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr.  It's not Dr. Shivago, and it doesn't pretend to be.  But it's a sweet little cinematic adventure about the simple treasures of life, understanding, family, friendship and finding true love however that may be defined.

And one of my favorite quotes is from Confucius, who said, "Lose expectation; gain everything."

Crazy true, right?

Sure it is.

How many times have any of tried to attain something that wasn't necessarily unattainable?  

And yet not attaining a certain goal may have more to do with utilizing the wrong approach.

It's all about the approach in life, in work, in practicality, in action or with inaction.

The truth of the matter is this:

We live in a broken world, and it can't be fixed with a magical politician who is going to give everyone of every political party exactly what they want.

The world is an eclectic place of different religions, different thinking, different perspectives, different people with different ideas, many of which are opposing.

That's the way things are.

And while there may be a certain order to things amidst the perceivable chaos, one one thing is for sure:  the peace of mind, heart, soul, and country that we seek does not rest outside of ourselves with a magical political candidate, or a house of worship that we can enter that will somehow solve all of our personal and universal issues and challenges.

There is no such thing.  We are not that evolved.

But again, there is hope.  There is always hope.

And that's what we have to cling to.

Because no matter who we vote in any office, or whatever vaccine we choose or think that will heal or strengthen or protect ourselves against any calamity of any nature, there will always be another calamity that will come along.

But there will always be another bus that will come along if we happen to periodically miss the boat.

That's the kind of hope we have to cling on to in this broken world.

Because at the core of this broken the core of who we are rests the indomitable human spirit.

The human condition may at times tell us what's wrong with this world.

But the human spirit guides us always to what's right.

And it's always right to be good and kind; to choose goodness and kindness.

In this way, we can never go wrong, no matter how broken we or this world  may be.

Courtesy pretty much somehow fixes everything that even the most prolific politician or pill may only promise to fix.

So, if there is any kind of magic in this world it begins with kindness.

Or as it's been put another in song for years, "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me."