Mary Tyler Moore, the pioneering television actress who emerged as a face of the women’s liberation movement, passed away Wednesday. She was 80 years old.
TMZ reports that Moore had been suffering from a number of health issues, including Type 1 diabetes. Last week, she was taken to a Connecticut hospital and placed on a respirator. Her publicist confirmed her death on Wednesday.
Moore first achieved fame in the early 1960’s playing the wife of Dick Van Dyke on the Dick Van Dyke Show. She was subsequently given her own sitcom wherein she played a single working woman named Mary Richards. Airing in the 1970’s,The Mary Tyler Moore Show proved a touchstone for the women’s liberation movement; Moore’s character lived by herself, went on dates, and spoke candidly about risqué topics such as sex. Over the course of its seven-season run, the show won a record-setting 29 Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes. Even today, many consider it to be one of television’s all-time great programs.
In the years following The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Moore starred in several other TV projects, including a 1978 music-variety program which featured David Letterman and Michael Keaton as guest stars. She also had cameo roles in Ellen DeGeneres’ 90’s TV sitcom as well as That ’70s Show and Hot in Cleveland.
Moore will also be remembered for her Academy Award-nominated performance in the 1980 coming-of-age drama Ordinary People. Other film credits include 1969’s Change of Habit starring opposite Elvis Presley, 1986’s Just Between Friends, and 1996’s Flirting with Disaster.
Watch the opening and closing sequence to The Mary Tyler Moore Show: