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

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.

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.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.