TV icon Mary Tyler Moore died on Wednesday after being hospitalized in Connecticut, her rep confirmed to The Huffington Post. She was 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. 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,” her rep Mara Buxbaum told The Huffington Post in a statement.
Moore, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936 and grew up in Los Angeles, rose to international fame starring on the 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She later starred on the beloved 1970s sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which is one of the first shows to feature a never-married, working woman as its central character. Moore played single, 30-year-old TV news producer Mary Richards.
The show, which featured Moore’s character asking for equal pay to her male co-worker and going on the pill, became a paradigm of the women’s liberation movement and is credited with inspiring women to break the mold confining them as wives and homemakers.
“First and foremost Mary was a businesswoman and she ran her series beautifully,” friend and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” director Alan Rafkin recalled in his autobiography. “She was the boss, and although you weren’t always wedded to doing things exactly her way, you never forgot for a second that she was in charge.”
After the show, Moore continued her acting career and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of a mother grieving the loss of her son in 1980’s “Ordinary People.” She most recently appeared in “Hot In Cleveland,” alongside her “Mary Tyler Moore Show” co-star Valerie Harper in 2013.
Moore, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 33 and suffered near blindness resulting from the disease in recent years, has also been a longtime advocate for researching cures for diabetes and served as the international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She published a memoir on the subject, Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes, in 2009.
She was preceded in death by her son, Richard, in 1980 and is survived by her husband, Robert Levine...