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Mary Tyler Moore, TV Legend, Dead at 80

Mary Tyler Moore, TV Legend, Dead at 80
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Mary Tyler Moore has died at the age of 80.

Her rep said in a statement to "Extra" on Wednesday, "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."

Moore, who battled diabetes and became an outspoken supporter of causes related to the disease, had been struggling with other health problems, including undergoing elective surgery in 2012 to remove a benign tumor of the tissue lining her brain.

Earlier in the day, TMZ reported that Moore was in grave condition at a hospital in Connecticut, writing that her family had rushed to her bedside to say good-bye. After more than a week on a respirator, she was taken off life support on Tuesday night.

The six-time Emmy winner made her first big splash on series television in 1959 on "Richard Diamond, Private Detective," on which she played the alluring Sam. Moore made a huge impression with only her legs and the sound of her voice — her face was never shown.

She went on to play perky Laura Petrie on the TV classic “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-1966), holding her own with comedy veterans Van Dyke, Carl Reiner, Morey Amsterdan and Rose Marie.

In 1969, Moore and her then-husband Grant Tinker (who died in 2016) formed MTM Enterprises, a production studio. In 1970, they debuted her series “Mary Tyler Moore.” The show ran for seven seasons, establishing Moore’s TV news producer Mary Richards as a feminist icon. The ensemble comedy, also featuring TV favorites Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Ed Asner, Ted Knight and Georgia Engel, went on to become one of television's most acclaimed series of all time, winning 29 Emmys in its run.

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Along with dozens of other TV appearances, Moore appeared in a number of feature films, including “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (1969), “Six Weeks” (1982) and “Flirting with Disaster” (1996). For her performance as an ice-cold mother in director Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People” (1980), she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress.

Moore had been staying under the radar in recent years. Her last public appearance was in summer 2012, the same year she accepted the Screen Actor’s Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. Her final acting gig was a nostalgic appearance on TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland” in September 2013, which reunited Moore with the other “Mary Tyler Moore” women.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine, whom she married in 1983. Her only child, Richard Meeker, died of an accidental shotgun wound in 1980.

Though Betty White's rep told THR she was "very upset" and would not be able to give an interview, many of her other co-stars opened up on the loss of Moore.

Her longtime "Mary Tyler Moore" co-star Cloris Leachman said in a statement to "Extra" Wednesday, "My heart goes out to her husband, Robert — he was never more than a touch away from her. The picture that we all have of her, that’s how she was — sweet, kind, so tender, so delicate. She was America’s sweetheart. Valerie and I always had to rehearse and rehearse, to work things through but Mary was always ready to go, thoroughly prepared. The last time I saw her was our 'Hot In Cleveland' reunion. I had a feeling I wouldn’t see her again. If I could see her one last time I’d hold her in my arms and say, 'We love you.'"

"Mary Tyler Moore” actor Gavin MacLeod shared with "Extra" today, "A line from our theme song was 'Love is all around', and that’s what it was for 5 days a week for seven years straight on the 'Mary Tyler Moore' set.

"It was all because of Mary! She was professional; she was extremely creative with a terrific sense of humor and a gifted actress. She set a pace for all of us to follow. So I consider those seven years working with this very special person as a gift from God. It goes with out saying what a wonderful loving and caring person she was to everyone who worked on the show. Mary was America’s sweetheart and she was mine also. I was the luckiest guy in the world just sitting next to her and looking at her beautiful face… and legs!

"One of my favorite shows was when Murray turned 40 years old and woke up thinking he was in love with Mary… but 'Chuckles Bites the Dust' remains one of the classic comedy episodes of all time.

"Today, sadness is all around for all of us and I will miss Mary… deeply."

Co-star Georgia Engel told Us Weekly: "She was my beloved friend, I loved her very much. She helped launch my career. She will be missed greatly."

Moore's "Ordinary People" director Robert Redford told THR, "Mary's energy, spirit and talent created a new bright spot in the television landscape and she will be very much missed. The courage she displayed in taking on a role darker than anything she had ever done was brave and enormously powerful."

Her "Ordinary People" co-star Donald Sutherland said in a statement, "Mary was and is and now always will be, perfect. She was the perfect actor to work with, the performance she gave was perfect, painfully perfect, and the friendship she offered was perfect. I am in her thrall."

In a statement to "Entertainment Weekly," Julie Andrews remembered her "very dear friend" from their time working on "Thoroughly Modern Millie," saying, "We bonded instantly on the film, and laughed our way through the production. Ever since that time, we never referred to each other again as Julie and Mary. Whenever we bumped into each other, people must have thought us nuts... screaming across some shopping aisle in a supermarket or yelling to each other down the corridors of CBS… ’Millie! Miss Dorothy!'”

“She was a joy to work with, her talent was monumental. She was brave, kind, generous and an activist for many causes,” Andrews continued. “I will miss my ‘Miss Dorothy’ so much, but I’m comforted to know that the joy she brought us all will be everpresent in her many films and television shows.”

After news broke of her death, stars took to social media to share their condolences and memories of the beloved actress.

Oh how I loved, loved, loved her. RIP MTM And thank you, for every single perfect moment. X,SJ

A video posted by SJP (@sarahjessicaparker) on

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