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The Daily Dish

Oprah Winfrey Explains the Story Behind Her Mary Tyler Moore Surprise and *That* "Ugly Cry"

The media mogul and other celebs gave emotional tributes to the late TV icon.

By Laura Rosenfeld

The world lost another legend Wednesday with the passing of Mary Tyler Moore — and fans have been honoring the TV icon's legacy by remembering their favorite moments of her most beloved work, The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Soon after the news of Mary's passing, fans couldn't help but remember another famous moment from her career, when she surprised fellow TV legend Oprah Winfrey on her talk show in 1997. Oprah remembered the moment on Twitter writing, "Even now looking at this picture I want to cry," she tweeted. "I still can't believe Mary Tyler Moore touched my face. Will love her 4 ever."

And cry Oprah did during that moment on her talk show, immediately bursting into tears when Mary joined her onstage. "It's the time I coined the 'ugly cry,' and I went into double, triple overtime ugly cry," Oprah told ET of the moment. "After that I said, 'Never again!' I called all my producers together — and that was in 1997 — I said, 'Never again will I be surprised on the show, and if I'm ever surprised on the show, it will cost whoever produced that show their job.' Because I could not speak, hear or think!"

Oprah got choked up while speaking about meeting the late actress, according to ET. "What I'm grateful for is that, in my lifetime, I was able to share with her what her presence in television had meant to me as a young, growing, aspiring reporter," she said. "It's the first time that I can recall a public figure in recent years passing — and we've lost so many people recently — where I actually sat down and shed tears about it."

The media mogul also revealed the immense impact that Mary and her TV show had on her own career ambitions. "Mary Tyler Moore first gave me the idea that you can own your own show and produce it. She was the one," she told ET. "So, when I say that she had a powerful influence on me, it wasn't just being that iconic figure that was women in the workforce, doing the same job I was doing, working in news as a journalist, in a newsroom, and who was single and really OK with it. Every episode wasn't about trying to find a man, it was about trying to find your way in life."

Jimmy Fallon also got emotional while paying tribute to Mary on The Tonight Show. "Me and my family, we would have dinners and watch The Mary Tyler Moore Show, so I almost feel like she was part of my family too when you love someone that much," he said. "She was one of the coolest, one of the classiest, one of the funniest people ever. Thank you for making us all laugh."

Of course, Mary's former co-stars Ed Asner and Dick Van Dyke were also heartbroken by the news of her passing.

Many of Mary's other famous admirers also took to social media to share their memories of the actress.

Mary Tyler Moore turned the world on with her smile. She will be missed. RIP #rolemodel

A photo posted by Carole Radziwill (@caroleradziwill) on

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