Mary Tyler Moore Dies: American TV Legend Was 80

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Mary Tyler Moore has passed away at the age of 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," her publicist Mara Buxbaum said Wednesday.

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“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,” Buxbaum said in a statement

The actress had battled diabetes since the age of 33, and was an advocate for the disease.

TMZ reports the actress may have been on a respirator for nearly a week before finally passing, but the cause of death is unknown at this time.

Moore got her start on television in 1952, nearly a decade before she became America's sweetheart on the Dick Van Dyke Show.

Moore shined as Laura Petrie against Van Dyke, both characters smart and funny, both neurotic and always ablaze with excitement.

She starred on the series from 1961 to 1966. Her success was only just beginning.

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Moore took the country by storm when became Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, which aired from 1970-77.

Moore and her second husband, Grant Tinker, formed the successful MTM Enterprises (which was later sold to a British company), pitched the show and had an instant hit.

Richard was a hopeful journalist in a newsroom full of characters who still stand to this day, and the relationship between Richards and her boss, Lou Grant, remains as one of the most colorful and delightful on television.

Moore had a genuine rapport with everyone and the audience could feel it. 

It's no surprise her own trailblazing series about a single woman in the workplace, fumbling through relationships while making lasting friendships spawned so many spinoffs.

They included Rhoda, starring Valerie Harper; Phyllis, starring Chloris Leachman; and Lou Grant, starring Edward Asner.

But none of those series have the staying power that has been afforded to Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards.

Moore and MTM created a new woman on television. A single gal who could have a successful, single life with both a career and a personal life, and a serie

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, a series that still plays daily across America and can be found on networks like Decades and MeTV.

This loss feels all the more palpable because Moore has always been right beside us, her smile lighting up the world.

Multiple Emmy Award winning Moore continued in both film and television until 2013, when she last appeared in TV Lands' Hot in Cleveland. 

How will  you best remember Mary Tyler Moore?

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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