48th Life Achievement Recipient, 2011

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore, Screen Actors Guild's 48th Life Achievement Award Recipient.

Nominated and voted on by the Guild's National Honors and Tributes Committee, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award is bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession.

Award Acceptance Speech:

DICK VAN DYKE: Ladies and gentlemen, Mary Tyler Moore!
[applause] [standing ovation]

MARY TYLER MOORE: Thank you, thank you so much. In 1955, I was 18 years old, determined to make my father proud and prove to the Sisters at Immaculate Heart High School that I would, indeed, amount to something. So I sought out the Screen Actors Guild in hopes of becoming a member. But there was a small problem. It seems there were six other Mary Moore’s on the SAG pages. Word came back: “Want to work in ‘the business’? Change you name, sweetheart.”

Change my name? Oh, come on, no, I’m Mary,  Mary Moore. Everybody is going to know my name. I can’t change my name. Besides, what would my father say? I mean, it’s his name, too. Not Mary. [laughter] Come on, no. Moore. George Tyler Moore, that was my father’s name. But, then it hit me: Tyler was my middle name, too. I was Mary Tyler Moore. I spoke it out loud. “Mary Tyler Moore.” It sounded right. So I wrote it out on the form. And it looked right. It was right.

SAG was happy. My father was happy. And tonight, after having the privilege of working in this business among the most creative and talented people imaginable, I too, am happy, after all. Thank you.

[applause] [cheers] [standing ovation]