TV icon Mary Tyler Moore dead at 80

By Daniel Uria  |  Updated Jan. 25, 2017 at 4:08 PM
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Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Actress Mary Tyler Moore died Wednesday at age 80, her publicist said.

Moore, who starred in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died in a Connecticut hospital, her spokewoman Mara Buxbaum told to The Hollywood Reporter.

"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," Buxbaum 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."

Earlier Wednesday, TMZ reported Moore was in "grave condition" with a number of health problems.

Moore underwent brain surgery in 2011 and had battled Type 1 diabetes since she was diagnosed at age 33, The New York Daily News reported.

In her long career, Moore won six Emmy Awards and was nominated for an Oscar in 1980 for her role in Robert Redford's Ordinary People, which won best picture.

Moore was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1936 as the oldest of three children. Her sister Elizabeth died at age 21 of a drug overdose in 1978 and her brother John died of cancer at age 47 in 1992.

Moore had only one child, her son Richie, with her first husband Dick Meeker. Richie died of an accidental self-inflicted shotgun wound in 1980 at the age of 24.

She was married two more times and is survived by her third husband, cardiologist Robert Levine.

Moore was best known for her television work, which began with a role in an appliance commercial and TV show's such as Richard Diamond, Private Detective in 1957 before landing her breakout role on the The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1961.

She then starred as a single career woman Mary Richards in her eponymous 1970s show The Mary Tyler Moore Show, where she became a role model for many women at the spark of the Women's Movement.

Moore also starred in a handful of films, including Ordinary People, and earlier roles like one alongside Elvis Presley in his final film Change of Habit in 1969.

She remained active in more recent years playing guest roles on television series such as That '70s Show, Lipstick Jungle and Hot in Cleveland.

Off-camera, Moore appeared on Broadway in the play Whose Life Is It Anyway?, which earned her a special Tony Award.

She also wrote two autobiographies, in 1995 and 2009, chronicling her struggles with first alcoholism, then diabetes.

Moore worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to raise funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes and was known as an animal rights activist.

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