Pioneering actress Mary Tyler Moore, who performed on Broadway and won the highest awards for her work on both the big and small screens, has died at the age of 80. Her doctor said in a statement that the Brooklyn, N.Y., native — who began her career as a singing pixie in appliance commercials as a teen in 1955 — was surrounded by friends and loved ones when she passed.
Moore had a storied career, earning her a net worth of $60 million at the time of her death, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Take a look at Moore’s long Hollywood history and how she joins the ranks of beloved past celebrities like Carrie Fisher.
Revolutionizing Television for a Changing Nation
The visionary, industry-changing actress received an Academy Award nomination for her role in “Ordinary People,” but she will always be remembered for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
In the groundbreaking program, Moore portrayed single career woman Mary Richards. The show, which premiered in 1970, emerged at the same time as the modern women’s rights movement and served as inspiration for generations of women. According to ABC News, however, Moore herself never identified as a feminist.
Moore got her feet wet in show business with commercials, reportedly earning just $6,000 for starring in 39 ads over a five-day period, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She became a star four years earlier when she was cast as Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in 1966. Her character added youth and sex appeal to the traditional portrayal of the standard television wife and mother.
The role earned Moore her first two Emmys. She won three Emmys for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” before winning her sixth and final Emmy in 1993 for a miniseries called “Stolen Babies.”
In total, the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” won a record-setting 29 Emmy Awards over its seven-year run. The record stood until “Frasier” won 30 in 2003. The show was so successful that it spawned three spinoffs: the sitcoms “Rhoda” and “Phyllis,” and the drama “Lou Grant.”
In 2000, Moore returned to her sitcom roots — and delighted fans — with the two-hour ABC movie “Mary and Rhoda.”
Personal Life and Advocacy
Born in 1936, Mary Tyler Moore had her only child, a son, with her first husband before landing “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Her son died in a tragic accident in 1980. Her second husband, Grant Tinker, was the head of NBC and the creator of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” She married her third and surviving husband, Robert Levine, in 1983.
Moore, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 31 years old, was a vocal and active advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and she was also a longtime animal rights activist.
Fearless, charming and iconic, Moore forever changed the industry she dominated during her prime, garnering legions of adoring fans — and tens of millions of dollars — along the way.