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That ’70s Show: Why Mary Tyler Moore’s Guest Role Was So Special

That '70s Show: Why Mary Tyler Moore’s Guest Role Was So Special

Mary Tyler Moore was one of several big celebrities from that the ’70s to appear on That ’70s Show but her cameo held a deeper significance.

Mary Tyler Moore was one of the biggest guest stars of That ’70s Show season 8, whose role on the hit TV sitcom had deeper significance for long-time fans of the actress. Mary Tyler Moore played the role of Christine St. George in a three-episode stint set in the sitcom’s final season. Moore injected comedic life into a series that was struggling after the loss of multiple cast members, even if her presence was short-lived; however, her comedic abilities alone are not what made the guest appearance so special.

Moore started her acting career in the mid-’50s. Her first breakout gig was on The Dick Van Dyke Show; she appeared in a total of 168 episodes of the sitcom before starring in her own series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Moore played the role of Mary Richards, a single independent woman driven to grow her career as a news producer. The series ran from 1970 to 1977 and garnered numerous accolades, specifically for Moore’s performance. The series was also groundbreaking in that it focused on an empowered woman in a male-dominated industry.

The actress has enjoyed a prolific career. Moore went on to appear in numerous film and TV series before guest-starring on That ’70s Show in 2006, nearly 50 years after her first major acting gig. Her character on the sitcom, Christine St. George, was the talk show host of the local news program, What’s Up, Wisconsin? Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis) idolized the host, admiring the way she controlled the room and demanded respect from everyone she came in contact with. For that reason, Jackie became determined to work for Christine. In the end, Christine’s personality was much different off-camera, and the news anchor eventually fired Jackie for not being ruthless enough. Moore’s role on the sitcom was actually a full-circle moment for the actress, since it directly connected to her time on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Mary Tyler Moore Was Able To Revisit Her Past With That ’70s Show Role

That '70s Show: Why Mary Tyler Moore’s Guest Role Was So Special

That ’70s Show: Why Mary Tyler Moore’s Guest Role Was So Special

That ’70s Show had a history of featuring notable celebrities from the ’70s. Not only was it a big deal to include Moore among the show’s stellar group of ’70s guest stars, but the role gave the actress a chance to return to her past: the scenes that included Moore’s character were filmed on the same soundstage that was once used for The Mary Tyler Moore Show three decades prior.

It was also no coincidence that in That ’70s Show, Moore played a character that worked on a TV program. Whereas Moore’s iconic character served as an associate producer in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Christine was the local celebrity working as the face of the news program. That ’70s Show gave Moore the chance to play a twisted version of her old self in which she got to play with an egotistical side of show business. That’s not to say there weren’t similarities between Mary and Christine but the latter of which held less concern for those around her. Moore’s time on That ’70s Show ended up being one of her last TV appearances. Mary Tyler Moore passed away in 2017, but her legacy will continue to live on through her decades of trailblazing work.

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