As soon as word broke that Mary Tyler Moore had died, local fans flocked to the places that most symbolized her beloved character Mary Richards — the funny, fearless young TV producer who made it after all.
At the IDS Center
Shortly after being seated at the Mary Tyler Moore table in Basil’s Restaurant at the IDS Center on Wednesday afternoon, Mark Marshall and his companions received alerts on their phones that the actress had died.
Marshall was dining with a group of New York-based colleagues from the television industry, who all found the coincidental seating at Moore’s commemorative table uncanny.
“It’s a Minneapolis surreal experience for us,” Alison Tarrant said.
Linda Yaccarino was seated beside a plaque bearing Moore’s image. She recalled being inspired by Moore’s character when she first watched the show in re-runs.
“She was a career woman, she was living on her own, she had her own apartment,” Yaccarino said. “It was like, ‘I want to be her.’ ”
Moore appeared in this spot on the balcony of Basil’s in the opening sequence of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
At the MTM statue
A small but steady stream of visitors made pilgrimages Wednesday afternoon to the Meet Minneapolis visitors center, where the statue of Moore tossing her beret is temporarily located.
Betty Murphy, who is visiting Minneapolis from Detroit, coincidentally finished reading Moore’s autobiography the day before the actress died.
She said she cried when she heard the news about the passing of “this confident icon.”
“Even though you don’t know [celebrities] as people, you feel as though you do,” said Murphy, who laid a small bouquet of yellow roses as the statue’s base.
The statue is housed in the visitors center until construction on Nicollet Mall is completed, when it will be returned to its original spot in front of the former Dayton’s.
“People sought [the statue] out,” said Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis president and CEO. “It was really one of those iconic images that helped define our city as a tourist destination.”
Charlie Kolars of Minneapolis mimicked Moore’s famous move — the beret toss — using a baseball cap he found in the store. As he did so, he riffed on the familiar theme song, singing, “I just might make it after all.” A longtime fan of the show, Kolars said Moore “put Minneapolis on the face of the earth. She defined Minneapolis.”
At Mary’s Minneapolis “home”
At the snow-capped Kenwood area house in Minneapolis where Moore’s character Mary Richards rented the third-floor apartment, lights were visible behind the iconic three-section window, though the home is vacant and for sale.
Amy Susman-Stillman drove to the house at dusk from her home in St. Louis Park. She wanted to post a photo of it to her Facebook page.
“It’s a fitting thing to do,” she said, to commemorate someone she’s been a fan of since discovering the show with her sister at age 10.
Originally from New York, one of the first things she did when she moved here in 1990 was to seek out the house.
“I really appreciated her spunk and spirit as Mary,” she said.
Fans are not an uncommon sight in the neighborhood, said nearby resident Mike Pangrel. Tour buses occasionally drive past, he said.
“That’s always going to be Mary Tyler Moore’s house,” he said, and then corrected himself. “Mary Richards’ house.”
Perhaps the most poignant evidence that fans had stopped to pay their respects: Someone left a single red rose on one of the front steps.