Legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away on Wednesday in Connecticut at the age of 80. A representative for the storied performer, Mara Buxbaum, released a statement.
“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. 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.”
Moore was a New Yorker at heart, born in Brooklyn in 1936, but raised in Los Angeles. She was best known for roles on 60s sitcom, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and later, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” The latter was an iconic role, groundbreaking, as it was among the first shows centered around a single, 30-something working woman who had never been married.
Moore portrayed news producer Mary Richards, a role that made her a worldwide name. Subjects that had never been talked about, sometimes considered taboo, like equal pay and the pill, were tackled on the show. Women began to see themselves as more than homemakers and wives, but independent individuals who could pursue their dreams outside of raising families.
Moore was also a ground-breaker away from the TV stage. She co-founded the production company, MTM Enterprises, with ex-husband Grant Tinker, enjoying incredible success.
Success in film was to follow, with a Best Actress nomination for her moving turn as a grieving mother in Ordinary People (1980), directed by Robert Redford. Moore lost her own son and only child, Richard Meeker, in 1980 to an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Moore endured other struggles in her personal life, beating alcohol addiction, and dealing with type 1 diabetes for the better part of her life. She worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, tirelessly seeking out cures for the disease.
Moore is survived by husband of 33 years, Robert Levine.
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