Mary Tyler Moore Reacts to SAG Life Achievement Honor

“I thought I was getting the Miss Congeniality Award,” says the star.

SAG is bestowing its highest honor — the Life Achievement Award — on Mary Tyler Moore for the actress’s three-decade-plus career across television, film and the stage, her production work through MTM Enterprises and her philanthropic efforts.

And while Moore has amassed a long list of dramatic credits, the most notable of which is arguably her Oscar-nominated turn as Timothy Hutton’s mother in Ordinary People, she is beloved for her comedic work in classic television series The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

And it’s clear that she has not lost her comedic timing. Asked is she was surprised that SAG chose her, Moore replied: “I was surprised. At first I didn’t understand what they were saying to me and I thought I was getting the Miss Congeniality Award.”

Moore will be the 48th recipient of SAG’s Life Achievement Award.

“And I think I still have much more lifetime to come,” she said. “So I’m not going to say that this is the top of it. Though it’s very nice.”

The ceremony will air live on TNT and TBS Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. ET.

Asked if the award is particularly meaningful because it comes from her acting peers, Moore quipped: “It means a lot because it’s from any professional group that understands acting and communication. So I’d be happy if this came from a really fine plumber’s union.”