Mary Tyler Moore Was "Never Close" With "Dick Van Dyke" Co-Star, Daughter Says
Rose Marie was reportedly "jealous" of the rising star.
The Dick Van Dyke Show showed viewers both sides of main character Rob Petrie's (Dick Van Dyke) life: his work as a comedy writer and his domestic bliss with wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) and son Ritchie (Larry Mathews). However, one of the sitcom's other stars initially believed that there was going to be more focus on the workplace comedy of it all, which reportedly led to some tension with Moore.
Rose Marie played Sally Rogers, one of Rob's fellow comedy writers, throughout The Dick Van Dyke Show's run. And according to the actor herself, as well as her daughter Georgiana Guy Rodrigues, Marie and Moore were not friends, despite being co-stars for five years. Marie's daughter also shared in a recent interview that her late mother was "jealous" of Moore. Read on to learn why the classic TV castmates were "never close."
Marie said they "never hit it off."
The vision for The Dick Van Dyke Show reportedly changed when the sitcom was being developed. Marie admitted before she died that she was initially upset that the importance put on Rob and Laura's marriage meant that she wouldn't have as big of a role as she thought.
"As far as Mary was concerned, she was the last one added. Mary and I never hit it off quite well," Marie told Vulture in November 2017. She died in December of that year at age 94, while Moore had passed away in January 2017 at 80.
"We worked together, but we were never quite close enough," Marie continued. "I understood I was supposed to co-star, which I did. [Series creator] Carl [Reiner] said to me later that they planned to focus more on the thing with Mary and Dick and the family. And I said, 'But if I am the co-star, how can that be?' But Carl helped me understand everything."
Her daughter said that she was "jealous" of Moore.
Rodrigues told Fox News Digital in August 2023, while promoting Rose Marie Sings: The Complete Mercury Recordings & More, "Mary was up and coming. There was a little bit of conflict between my mother and Mary on the show. Originally, my mother was told that the show was about the writers. And then as the show progressed, it started to go more toward the home life with Dick and Mary." She added, "They never became close."
Rodrigues also said that her mother became jealous of Moore, who the sitcom turned into a star.
"Mary was… not really that outgoing as far as [being] personable with everybody because she was new," Rodrigues said. "She was starting. She was learning. And my mother later admitted… she said, 'I probably was a little bit jealous because she got a lot of attention and everything.' As the show progressed, it became more about Dick and Mary [being] away from the office."
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Marie said Moore was dead set on becoming famous.
Marie noted in interviews that Moore was focused on her up-and-coming career at the time.
"Mary Tyler Moore was brand new and very pretty," Marie said in her own interview with Fox News. "She had a good figure. And everybody went crazy for her. She was very feminine, very charming. I was always with the boys. I was never in that position. I hung out with Carl [Reiner] and Dick [Van Dyke]. Mary was very, very busy becoming a star. Even the first day we were at rehearsal. She said, 'I'm going to have my own show.' I would say, 'Why don't you wait until we do this one first?; But Mary, she was very much a go-getter. She learned an awful lot from all of us. And we all helped her."
On the 2009 PBS special Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, Marie also talked about Moore's ambition. "She came on, the first day of the set, and said, 'I'm going to have my own company, called MTM. And I'm going to have a little pussycat instead of a lion [like the MGM logo]. And I looked at her, and I said, 'This is a first show. This is a pilot. We don't even know whether this is gonna go' … But she was very ambitious. And she accomplished what she wanted to accomplish."
Moore did go on to start MTM Productions—complete with the cat logo—and she famously starred on her own show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for seven years.
She had a stronger relationship with another co-star.
While Marie and Moore didn't have much of a personal relationship, Marie was good friends Van Dyke, who was also lifelong friends with Moore.
"Dick was one of the easiest people in the world to get along with," Rodrigues told Fox News Digital. "He was never a problem—never. You could go, 'Dick, go over there and stand on your hands.' … Off he'd go… We became close with Dick. I became very close with Dick's daughter."
Marie reflected on working with her Dick Van Dyke Show co-stars in her Vulture interview and said that they got along famously. "Working five days with that group of people on The Dick Van Dyke Show was one of the greatest things in my career," she said. "It's a cliché that everyone says, we were like a family, but it's true. We loved each other, we helped each other. Every time we went to a place, everyone went together and stuck together. We were really very close."