Greenwich, CT – Mary Tyler Moore, the star of the eponymous “Mary Tyler Moore Show”, has died today at age 80. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was set in Minneapolis, where Tyler Moore portrayed Mary Richards, who worked as an associate news director at the fictitious WJM-TV newsroom and lived in an apartment in the Kenwood section of Minneapolis.
Tyler Moore died at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, her family confirmed. She was battling pneumonia and died of cardiopulmonary arrest. Tyler Moore also had diabetes, a disease that she had since her early 30’s.
Mary Tyler Moore rose to fame in the 1960’s comedy, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” as Laura Petrie, a beautiful suburban housewife to comedy show writer Rob Petrie, played by Dick Van Dyke. The show ran from 1961 to 1966 and she earned two Emmys for her role.
As “Mary Richards” in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, she became an icon and a role model, blazing a trail as a modern day career woman in the WJM-TV newsroom. As part of the wildly successful CBS Saturday night comedy line-up, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” introduced America to the Twin Cities along with a brilliant cast of supporting characters like News Director Lou Grant (Ed Asner), anchorman Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), news writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin McLeod), neighbors Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) and Rhoda Morganstern (Valerie Harper) and man-hungry Happy Homemaker SueAnn Nivens (Betty White). The character-driven humor of the show was what made the show a success.
In the opening credits of the show, Mary Tyler Moore famously threw her hat up in the air in front of Donaldson’s department store in downtown Minneapolis and was shown strolling around Lake of the Isles.
The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” served as a springboard to other popular spinoff shows “Lou Grant,” “Phyllis,” and “Rhoda.”
Tyler Moore won four Emmy awards for the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” which ran from 1970 to 1977 on CBS. The show was produced by Tyler Moore and her second husband, CBS executive Grant Tinker, who recently passed away on November 28, 2016.
Born in Brooklyn, New York on December 29, 1936, Tyler Moore’s family moved to California when she was 8. According to biographers, both of Tyler Moore’s parents were alcoholics. While still a child, Moore lived with an aunt and only saw her parents occasionally. She started her television career acting in commercials, appearing as “Happy Hotpoint” at the age of 17 during episodes of the television show “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”.
Tyler Moore had one child, Richard Meeker, Jr., from her first marriage to salesman Richard Meeker. Her son tragically died in 1980 from a handgun accident.
In art imitating life, Tyler Moore received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a chilly mother who is dealing with the accidental death of a son in the 1980 Robert Redford film, “Ordinary People.”
A statue of the actress stands at the Visitor’s Center on S. 5th Street and Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.