1960’s and 70’s television icon Mary Tyler Moore was hospitalized Wednesday morning after suffering several health complications. She later died in the company of friends and family, including her husband of more than 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine.
She rose to fame for her role on The Dick Van Dyke Show in which she she played a former dancer-turned-wife and homemaker.
However, Moore will forever be remembered as one of the most noteworthy influencers during the women’s liberation movement in the 70’s due to her starring role in the beloved sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for which she earned 3 Emmy Awards. The show was the first to feature a never-married, working woman as the main character. Moore played Mary Richards, a single, 30-year-old TV producer, who asked her boss for equal pay and went on the pill.
Even Oprah Winfrey has credited Moore with having more influence on her and her career than anyone else.
While Moore’s character earned respect, so did she in real life:
“First and foremost Mary was a businesswoman and she ran her series beautifully,” friend and The Mary Tyler Moore Show director Alan Rafkin recalled in his autobiography. “She was the boss, and although you weren’t always wedded to doing things exactly her way, you never forgot for a second that she was in charge.”
Moore later earned an Oscar for her role in Ordinary People, and also became an advocate for animal rights as well as diabetes type 1, which she was diagnosed with at age 33.
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