TV icon Mary Tyler Moore died on Wednesday after being hospitalized in Connecticut, her rep confirmed to The Huffington Post. She was 80.
“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,” her rep Mara Buxbaum told The Huffington Post in a statement.
Moore, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936 and grew up in Los Angeles, rose to international fame starring on the 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She later starred on the beloved 1970s sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which is considered to be the first show with a never-married, working woman as its central character. Moore played single, 30-year-old TV news producer Mary Richards
The show, which featured Moore’s character asking for equal pay to her male co-worker and going on the pill, became a paradigm of the women’s liberation movement and is credited with inspiring women to break the mold confining them as wives and homemakers.
“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.
When asked in a 2002 CNN interview if her character on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was a feminist, Moore didn’t hesitate.
“She wasn’t aggressive about it, but she surely was,” she said. “The writers never forgot that. They had her in situations where she had to deal with it
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