One of America’s Sweethearts has passed away. A legend in film and television, Mary Tyler Moore passed away on Wednesday at the age of 80.
Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York the oldest of three children. Moving to Los Angeles at the age of eight, Moore had always wanted to become a professional dancer and got her start playing “Happy Hotpoint”, the dancing elf for Hotpoint Appliances shown during commercials for Ozzie and Harriet in the 1950’s.
In 1961, Moore got her first big break when she played the wife of the titular actor Dick Van Dyke on his television series for five seasons. She even had a scene to sing and dance on the show. She become so well-known that she even earned her first Emmy award for her role on the show. Little did she know this would be the beginning of something major.
In 1970, Moore was given her own show and it became one of the most groundbreaking and popular shows on television. She played Mary Richards, a thirty-something single woman who gets a job for a news broadcasting station with the series taking a look at her life both at work and at home. The Mary Tyler Moore show would result in three spinoff series: Lou Grant, Rhoda, and Phyllis. The show would win a whopping 29 Emmy awards during its run until 1977.
While primarily known for her work in television, Moore would also be involved with the stage and films. She made her film debut in 1961’s X-15 and even appeared as a nun in Change of Habit opposite Elvis Presley. However, in 1980, she earned a nomination for a Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards for her role in Ordinary People. She would sporadically be involved in films, both small screen and big screen.
Moore is survived by her third husband Robert Levine. She was preceded in death by her only child, Richard Meeker Jr., who passed away in 1980.
As a final tribute to Moore, here is the classic introduction to her self-titled television series with clips from various episodes, courtesy of YouTube user Taylor
Rest in Peace, Mary Tyler Moore