Mary Tyler Moore, best known for her portrayal of Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died on Wednesday. The six-time Emmy award winning actress was battling a number of health issues and was hospitalized in Connecticut a day earlier. However, she died at the age of 80, surrounded by family and friends. Tyler Moore shot to fame in sixties as a housewife named Laura in The Dick Van Dyke Show. However, it was her portrayal of Mary Richards that gave her a reputation of a feminist icon.
Tyler Moore’s Mary Richards was one of the first modern women characters to hit the television. Richards was an unmarried, woman news producer on the show. Not only was Richards single, but she was also not looking out for a husband. The character lived life on her own terms. She was an independent career woman, states an article in News.com.au.
Mary Tyler Moore changed the world for all women. I send my love to her family.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 25, 2017
She turned the world on with her smile. RIP, Mary Tyler Moore. You were a role model in so many ways.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 25, 2017
I got to work with MTM on miniseries Lincoln in the 80's. Such a pro. She turned the world on with a smile… #MaryTylerMoore
— Thomas Gibson (@ImThomasGibson) January 25, 2017
In addition Tyler Moore, through The Mary Tyler Moore Show tackled issues such as gender pay gap, premarital sex and homosexuality. An article in ABC News states that the show ran for seven seasons and earned 29 Emmy Awards. Her other show, The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1960s too showed Tyler Moore as an unconventional housewife.
For instance, when actresses portrayed stay-at-home women in dresses and aprons, Tyler Moore’s Laura wore pants and sported Jacqueline Kennedy’s hair style. From TV, Tyler Moore made a successful transition to films and received an Oscar nomination in 1980. However, while the actress was breaking ground professionally, her health started deteriorating. According to a TMZ report, the actress had long been fighting Type 1 diabetes. She had also undergone a brain surgery in 2011. She was battling alcoholism and had heart and kidney problems.
Mary Tyler Moore no more
The actress was admitted to hospital on Tuesday and was reportedly in grave condition. She died surrounded by her husband Robert Levine and her friends. Her representative issued a statement following Tyler Moores’ death, states an article in Sydney Morning Herald. “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,” said the 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,” it added.
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