Mary Tyler Moore, Trailblazer with Impeccable Comic Timing, Dies at 80


The New York Times reports that Mary Tyler Moore died today at 80 at Connecticut’s Greenwich Hospital. The actress/comedian’s representative released this statement:

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.

According to NYT, Moore died of “cardiopulmonary arrest from contracted pneumonia.” The actress had also battled (and was open and active, as noted in the above statement, about advocating for research for) diabetes for the last 47 years.

Mary Tyler Moore was known for her pioneering work as the — gasp — pants-wearing Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, after which she got her eponymous series. She’d go on to win four Emmys for The Mary Tyler Moore Show alone, ultimately amounting to a collection of seven of the trophies. It’s a nearly record-setting number that still doesn’t begin to do justice to the joy she brought audiences, or to her importance in showing Hollywood — by virtue of her impeccable timing, warmth, and hilarity — the inanity of the notion that femininity and comedy were mutually exclusive.

On The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she played a character named Mary Richards, a woman who moves to Minneapolis after a breakup and becomes a news producer; unsurprisingly, this show, one of the first in the genre to focus on a single working woman, was one of Tina Fey’s key inspirations for 30 Rock. Cheers to you, Mary — you made it after all.