Today the always optimistic good time National Enquirer ran with a weird slideshow basically implying that the original cast of Mary Tyler Moore is not just getting up there in age—they’re therefore almost DEAD!
Additionally, that tweet and headline implies that not only are they almost DEAD, they’re all DYING TOGETHER on one unified deathbed, connected most likely by a human centipede-style breathing tube that intermingles their oxygen intake and carbon dioxide outtake because the cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one united, never divided!
(Also, obviously, the subtext is that women getting older and not going in for the p-surg to look like an uncanny-valley version of themselves at 55 must mean there is something wrong with them. Like they might be DYING! WE ALL GOTTA DO THE P-SURG OR ELSE EVERYONE WE’LL THINK WE’RE DYING! Death and taxes, baby!)
Which is not to say some cast members aren’t ailing, though the idea isn’t “SHOCKING!” the way the Enquirer seems to want it to be (mostly looks-based). Though it’s new information and therefore of dubious origin, a source tells the Enquirer that at 79, Mary Tyler Moore currently suffers from dementia and that “the end is near,” accompanied by a 2013 photo of Moore at LAX wearing no make-up. In October, lifelong friend and colleague Dick van Dyke told Larry King that her diabetes had taken a turn for the worse, and that “she’s not even communicating now.”
Here is Oprah losing her goddamn mind over MTM:
It also says that Valerie Harper, also accompanied by a 2013 photograph and no make-up, is dying as well; Harper was, in fact, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2013, but as recently as August 2015 was posting jovial Facebook updates about the state of her health:
I am happy to report I am not, nor have I been, in a coma.
But I must confess that the highlight of this ordeal came when I was escorted by two handsome young men and a pilot, in a medivac helicopter, as the full moon lit the sky. Talk about movie magic!!!
Here’s a clip from the Katie show, also 2013, when the entire cast of The Mary Tyler Moore show reunited to shoot an episode of Betty White’s vehicle Hot in Cleveland.
Oh yes, Betty White is dying according to the National Enquirer, but just, like, not as fast. At 94, she’s just finished Hot in Cleveland and still hosts Off Their Rockers and Smartest Animals in America, although the rag cites “Hollywood Insiders” as “always worry[ing] about Betty being able to manage another day under the hot camera lights,” even though she’s basically like, uh, yeah, give me another job, bro.
Okay and finally, Cloris Leachman “can’t outrace time,” an insane thing to say, because she’s using a wheelchair at the age of 92. And then:
An insider worried: “You have to wonder if her last days are, sadly, here.”
Ironically, I have to wonder if MY last days are, sadly, here every single day, because the existential quandary of being both alive and sentient is that we all know we could die at any moment. Every single day is Russian Roulette for every single one of us, the main difference being how many people will demonstratively tweet about you after you are gone. Until then, let’s let everyone live, no?
Here’s a funeral episode of The Mary Tyler Moore show, in which Chuckles the Clown unexpectedly kicks the bucket, and Mary laughs uncontrollably through the sermon.
Contact the author at email@example.com.