The legendary television star Mary Tyler Moore has passed away today at the age of 80.
“Today, beloved icon, Mary Tyler Moore, passed away at the age of 80 in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine,” Moore’s representative said in a statement. “A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile.”
TMZ reported that Moore was in “grave condition” at a Connecticut hospital on Wednesday, and family and friends rushed to her bedside to say their last goodbyes. Moore struggled with diabetes for most of her life and underwent brain surgery in 2011 to remove a benign tumor. Her health had reportedly deteriorated further in recent years.
A comedic talent, Moore first gained major fame for her role as consummate housewife Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but she is perhaps best remembered for her acclaimed namesake series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which first hit television sets in 1970. She starred as Mary Richards, a wisecracking single gal who moves to Minneapolis and works as a news producer. She produced the series with her ex-husband Grant Tinker via their production company MTM Enterprises.
The landmark show was one of the first television programs to portray a woman as self-reliant and thriving, as opposed to simply a wife. The show ran for seven seasons, picked up three Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series, and was ultimately considered a critical success. Moore also starred in several films, including Thoroughly Modern Millie and 1980’s Ordinary People, for which she earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 29, 1936. She was married three times, to Richard Meeker from 1955 to 1961, TV executive Grant Tinker from 1962 to 1981, and to Dr. Robert Levine in 1983. Moore had one son from her first marriage, Richard, who died in 1980 from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. The actress is survived by her husband, Levine.
Watch Allison Williams confess her undying love for Mary Tyler Moore: