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Time To Toss Your Tam

At Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, there is a new addition: an 8-foot-tall statue of Mary Tyler Moore.

The bronze statue depicts a classic moment in television, the opening sequence of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," where Mary Richards, wearing a tam, takes it off and hurls it skyward. The show was based (but not filmed, except for those opening scenes) in Minneapolis, and there are many in the Twin Cities who retain a strong attachment to the actress and the series.

Her "apartment building" (actually a single-family home) is on many official tours of Minneapolis, and visitors often seek out the exact spot of Mary's tam toss. It is not uncommon at all to find people at Nicollet Mall launching caps and tams themselves. City officials readily admit that the show helped put Minneapolis on the map (so to speak).

While on the surface it may seem a bit silly to install a statue honoring a fictional TV character smack in the middle of a busy downtown corridor, Minnesotans are actually pretty excited about it, as is Mary Tyler Moore herself.

This is TV Land's second public statue. The first was unveiled in August 2000 depicting Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden in "The Honeymooners." His bust stands outside the bus terminal of the New York City Port Authority.

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" itself has long ranked as one of the all-time favorite series, both of fans and television critics. Mary Tyler Moore has won seven Emmy awards herself.

The actress not only unveiled the statue. Afterwards, she led the crowd in a giant tam toss -- 3,000 tams were distributed for the purpose.

For more about "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," visit TV Land airs "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" every day at 10:00 a.m. ET/PT and 4:00 a.m. ET/PT.

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