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Mary Tyler Moore, best known for her work on classic TV sitcoms The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died. She was 80 years old.
“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,” her spokesperson Mara 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.”
A cause of death was not immediately provided.
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Moore first rose to prominence as Laura Petrie, wife to Dick Van Dyke’s Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, a role that earned her two Emmy Awards. She went on to star on a series of her own, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, where she played Mary Richards, the associate producer of a network news show. The hugely influential 1970s sitcom was the first to focus on an independent career woman, making it an important step for female representation and the feminist movement. The series earned a total of 29 Emmys over its seven-season run, including three for Moore.
Following The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s cancellation in 1977, Moore continued to act on television and in film. She received acclaim for her work in 1980’s Ordinary People, a movie that allowed Moore to play a markedly different character from the genial, affectionate ones audiences had come to expect from her. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Moore was nominated for Best Actress.
Moore was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 33. She was the international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. As a result of her diabetes, Moore’s health had been declining over the past few years, according to reports. In October 2015, her former TV husband Van Dyke told Larry King that diabetes had “taken a toll” on Moore. “She’s not well at all,” he said at the time.
In recent years, Moore had made infrequent TV and film appearances, including a recurring guest spots on That ’70s Show and Hot in Cleveland, alongside her Mary Tyler Moore co-star Betty White. In 2012, she was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild. In her acceptance speech, Moore said: “After having the privilege of working in this business among the most creative and talented people imaginable, I too, am happy, after all.”
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