Mary and gang plan one more last show

  • By Michael Cidoni Lennox Associated Press
  • Monday, April 8, 2013 10:20pm
  • Life

LOS ANGELES — It turns out “The Last Show” wasn’t the last, after all.

Just around the corner from the intersection of Mary Tyler Moore Avenue and Newhart Street at CBS Studio Center, Mary Tyler Moore and some of her former colleagues gathered last week to discuss their first sitcom appearance together since “The Last Show,” the title of the 1977 series finale of the groundbreaking “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Moore, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Georgia Engel and the ailing Valerie Harper were taping an episode of White’s hit TV Land comedy, “Hot in Cleveland.”

On “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Harper played the free-spirited best friend Rhoda Morgenstern opposite Moore’s prim Mary Richards.

Harper, 73, wondered if the group had come together again because of her recent diagnosis with terminal brain cancer.

“Do you guys think this was part of my condition?” Harper asked.

“Oh, yes. I do,” replied co-star Leachman, who portrayed Mary and Rhoda’s snooty apartment-building manager, Phyllis Lindstrom. “They had the idea and they wrote this amazing script,” Leachman said. “We’re just almost in tears, we’re so thrilled.”

Harper recently told the “Today” show that in January she was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer and told she had three months to live.

But, on this day, Harper was robust. “I’m kind of symptomless for this particular condition, so we’re just going to see,” she said.

Harper said this reunion has been more about laughter than tears, in spite of her diagnosis. “And the tears come up, but they’re part of the laughter,” she said.

This group has reunited before, in 2007 to present at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and for a 2008 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” But this is the ensemble’s first acting job together in some 36 years. Coincidentally, it’s taking place on the same studio lot their Emmy-winning series was filmed between 1970 and 1977.

The actresses won’t be playing their “Mary Tyler Moore Show” characters on the “Hot in Cleveland” episode, which is scheduled to air Sept. 4. The storyline has Elka (White) and Mamie Sue (frequent guest star Engel) reuniting with their long-lost bowling teammates: Diane (Moore), Peg (Leachman) and Angie (Harper). While the characters names are different, each will provide a nod to the roles the actresses played on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

More in Life

From Jasper to Banff: A Canadian adventure in an RV

Jennifer Bardsley plans to take her family on two-week roadtrip through Canada in a tent trailer.

Skippers share sea stories at Marysville speaker series

The Bellingham couple will talk about charter cruises on the historic wooden vessel they rebuilt.

Anxiety, or chronic worry, is a growing problem

Paul Schoenfeld shares four approaches to help keep your anxiety from getting out of control.

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Find many of our region’s winter birds in the Skagit Valley

If you love birding, also check out these bird-related festivals, lectures and other events.

What’s new this year for travelers in England, Ireland

The nations are improving tourism infrastructures and adding exhibits to well-known sights.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

Megyn Kelly trashes Jane Fonda’s ‘poor-me routine’

Kelly defended her decision to ask Fonda about her history with plastic surgery last September.

Don Imus announces date of his radio show’s final episode

His contract was to end in December, but the syndicator of his show filed for bankruptcy last year.

Most Read