Mary Tyler Moore, who was famous for portraying Mary Richards on her self-titled sitcom in the early ’70s, has passed away at the age of 80. The cause of her death wasn’t released in the statement to the AP by Moore’s publicist, but it’s well known that Moore had dealt with Type 1 Diabetes for most of her life, becoming a vocal advocate for juvenile diabetes research and awareness.
Moore got her big break as the occasionally manic Laurie Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show (a role that won her an Emmy in 1964). But it was her role as Mary Richards on Mary Tyler Moore that really established her in Hollywood as a comedic and dramatic actress.
Mary Tyler Moore won several Golden Globes during its seven-year run, receiving many more nominations and earning Moore herself a second Globe for Best Actress in 1971 — the first was in 1965 for her work on the aforementioned The Dick Van Dyke Show. In 1981, the Academy took notice of her performance as grieving mother Beth in the Robert Redford-directed drama Ordinary People, earning her a Best Actress nomination. Her award-worthy performances continued for decades, as Moore was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2012.
In the years after The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mary Tyler Moore, Moore branched out, using her television success to explore different avenues and to seek work in both film and television, where she could stretch her acting muscles in dramatic as well as comedic fare. Moore returned to television several times during the ’80s and ’90s, starring in The Mary Tyler Moore Hour, Mary, Annie McGuire and New York News. Most recently, Moore made guest or recurring appearances on series such as That ’70s Show, Lipstick Jungle, and Hot in Cleveland alongside Betty White.
Moore’s publicist, Mara Buxbaum, released this statement about the actor just after her passing:
“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.”
Throughout her life, Mary Tyler Moore was, and remains, a source of inspiration to many women, and thanks to Hulu, a new generation can now enjoy her exploits as Mary Richards and possibly be inspired as well.
R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore — December 29, 1936 – January 25, 2017