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Classic TV Moms: Laura Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66)

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Sally Ann: The Reluctant Chosen (ITV 9 Dec 1979, with Mark Wynter)

Before Mary Tyler Moore moved to the big city and made it on her own show and production company after all, she made a name for herself as the ultimate sexy-wholesome TV mom on clever Carl Reiner-created series The Dick Van Dyke Show.

As the dutiful wife of comedy writer Rob Petrie (Van Dyke), Laura was in charge of son Ritchie (Larry Mathews) and the family’s New Rochelle home back in the era when the Ozzie and Harriet ethos still ruled prime time. Yeah, Laura lent her wifely support, encouraging Rob to stand up for himself at the office and helping son Ritchie learn the small lessons of life.

Classic TV Moms - Laurie Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show

But lithe former hoofer Laura (and real-life former hoofer Mary) also did her bit for the sexual revolution, managing to make her beatnick-black stirrup stretch pants simmer–thereby creating a decade-long fad among housewives.

Laura’s the kind of attractive mom anyone would want–anyone who could afford the massive therapy bills later in life, that is.

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