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Hazel Frederick
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    (July 29, 1908-November 29, 1999)
    Born in Hennipen County, Minnesota
    Minneapolis resident, housewife
    Featured at the end of The Mary Tyler Moore Show opening theme, wearing a green coat with fur collar and matching scarf (originally filmed in 1969)
    Perplexed reaction to Mary Richards' iconic 'hat toss' at the intersection on 7th Street was immortalized in the freeze-frame of the credits
    Later moved to Maranatha Care Center at Brooklyn Center (Minneapolis), around 1995, where she stayed until her death
    Her identity remained a mystery until 1996.
    She looked like bailiff Florence Kleiner on Night Court the way frame froze on her.
    Her puzzled expression was widely misinterpreted to be a scowl by viewers of the show.
    She apparently wandered onto the filming area by sheer accident (she was shopping at the Nicollet Mall on her day off).
    The image was toyed with in the early days of the internet and Photoshop, sort of an early prototype to 'the meme' (e.g. done out in an Andy Warhol tint, captions reading 'damn hippies' or 'what the ___,' etc.)
    She would appear in every iteration of the show's theme song over its seven year run.
    She was an example of 'photo-bombing' long before it was cool.
    She didn't even know she was featured in the show's opening until a neighbor alerted her family. She finally saw for herself on the third episode.
    Her identity as 'the onlooker' remained a local secret until her granddaughter heard a radio interview of Moore mentioning how she 'always wondered who that woman was,' prompting her to call in to tell her.
    When Mary Tyler Moore did a book signing at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, in 1996, she invited Frederick to the event and brought her onto the stage, introducing her to the audience as 'my co-star' ('of the titles,' she added).
    Mary Tyler Moore later recalled to Diane Sawyer during a 2002 interview: 'Dear Hazel Frederick... she told me later, because I did meet her, she had no idea what was going on, never saw a camera. She just thought there was a lunatic about to lose her life!'
    She never complained about not receiving any royalties for her small cameo in the credits, her family saying that the notoriety she received was 'worth a million bucks.'
    Her cynical expression directed at the ebullient and carefree Mary inadvertently set the stage for how the character became known as 'too wonderful to be true' (it 'grounded her in reality' in a way).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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