The Daughters of Mary Richards: TV's strong, spunky leading ladies


Image Credit: Moore: Everett Collection; LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY: Everett Collection; WKRP IN CINCINNATI:Everett Collection; CHEERS:Everett Collection; MURPHY BROWN:Everett Collection; SIMPSONS: Fox; SEINFELD: Everett Collection; FRIENDS:Andrew Eccles/NBC; ALLY MCBEAL:Everett Collection; SEX AND THE CITY: HBO; GILMORE GIRLS: Lance Staedler/The CW WEEDS: Mark Seliger/Showtime; UGLY BETTY: Andrew Eccles/ABC 30 ROCK: Art Streiber/NBC MAD MEN: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC; PARKS AND RECREATION: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC THE MIDDLE:Craig Sjodin/ABC; NEW GIRL:Autumn de Wilde/Fox

Mary Tyler Moore, who was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award last night, was already a television veteran when she introduced Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970. For six years, she’d starred as Laura Petrie, one half of the popular Kennedy-esque couple on The Dick Van Dyke Show. But Mary Richards, her sweet, silly, and optimistic single gal, struck an immediate nerve with audiences. More than 40 years later, there’s no denying that she did make it after all, as television is dotted with Richards’ creative progeny. Some are married, some are drug-dealing moms, some are animated kids. But all have her spirit. Click below for just some of the female characters who have shared DNA with television’s most graceful heroine. 

Graphic credit: Jef Castro

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