*TV legend Mary Tyler Moore, best known for starring in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died at a Connecticut hospital at the age of 80.
Her longtime rep Mara Buxbaum issued the following statement to TMZ:
“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.”
“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.”
TMZ reported earlier that the Emmy and Tony award winning actress was hospitalized in grave condition and that family members were rushing to her bedside. A Type 1 diabetic, Moore had long suffered a variety of health problems, and in May 2011 underwent elective surgery to remove a benign tumor of the lining tissue of the brain.In 2014, Moore’s friends told The Washington Post that she had lost most of her vision due to her diabetes.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936 and raised in Los Angeles, Moore shot to stardom as part of the 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She later starred on the beloved 1970s sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which is one of the first shows to feature a never-married, working woman as its central character. Moore played single, 30-year-old TV news producer Mary Richards.
Some of the groundbreaking episodes featured Richards asking for equal pay to her male co-worker and going on the pill.
“I think Mary Tyler Moore has probably had more influence on my career than any other single person or force,” Oprah Winfrey said in a recent PBS documentary celebrating the actress.