Mary Tyler Moore, the legendary actress who popularized the idea of a modern, working woman on television, has died at 80. She was with friends and her husband when she died, a publicist said.
“A great lady I loved and owe so much to has left us,” said Ed Asner, her “Mary Tyler Moore” show co-star, in a tweet. “I will miss her. I will never be able to repay her for the blessings that she gave me.”
He changed his Twitter profile photo to a nice image of the two of them in character, as Mary Richards and Lou Grant.
Newsman Dan Rather also weighed in on Twitter: “I’m deep in regret about the passing of Mary Tyler Moore. What an actress. What a woman. What a person. Always gracious, filled with good humor.”
A seven-time Emmy winner also nominated for an Oscar, her career lasted for decades and included roles in recent series such as “That 70s Show” and “Hot in Cleveland.” Her role as the determined Richards, a producer at a Minneapolis television news station, remained her most iconic.
Mary Richards “certainly was never a character that I had to develop when we were doing the show,” Moore said in a 1995 interview with The Associated Press. “Everything I did was by the seat of the pants. I reacted to every written situation the way I would have in real life.”
She likened being linked with that role to “growing up with a mother who is a very famous actress. There are all kinds of wonderful perks that go with it, and then there are little resentments, too.
“My life is inextricably intertwined with Mary Richards’, and probably always will be,” she said.
Moore immediately trended as longtime fans, including celebrities, inspired by her headstrong character shared their tributes:
Moore gained fame in the 1960s as the frazzled wife Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” A seven-time Emmy winner also nominated for an Oscar, her career lasted for decades and included roles in recent series such as “That 70s Show” and “Hot in Cleveland.”
Moore, 80, was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes decades ago and more recently underwent surgery for a brain tumor.
Moore has served as JDRF International Chairman and gave an impassioned speech at the opening of the Children’s Congress gathering in 2011.
“I think of each of you as a hero for speaking out, for representing millions of others, and for becoming partners with JDRF, with me, and with everyone who has been fighting to find a cure,” she said then. “I am so proud to join all the Children’s Congress families as part of the vanguard that is speeding the cure.”