26 Jan 2017

Actress Mary Tyler Moore dies aged 80

9:15 am on 26 January 2017

Actress Mary Tyler Moore has died at the age of 80, according to the star's publicist.

The actress in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the US TV series which ran frm 1970 to 1977.

The actress in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the US TV series which ran frm 1970 to 1977. Photo: AFP / Kobal / The Picture Desk

She was best known for her roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show between 1961 and 1966, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran from 1970 to 1977.

Moore, who won seven Emmy Awards for her television work, died in the company of friends and her husband, Dr S Robert Levine, representative Mara Buxbaum said in a statement.

Moore was also nominated for an Academy Award for the 1981 film Ordinary People, playing a character very different from her TV roles - an icy woman coping with a suicide attempt by her 18-year-old son.

Moore's eponymous show and The Dick Van Dyke Show were both among the most popular sitcoms of their time, with the former ranking seventh and the latter number 20 on TV Guide's 2013 list of best television shows.

Mary Tyler Moore accepting a life achievement award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Los Angeles, in 2012.

Mary Tyler Moore accepting a life achievement award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Los Angeles, in 2012. Photo: AFP

Asked by Reuters in 2012 when she was given the SAG lifetime achievement award how she wanted to be remembered, Moore said: "As a good chum. As somebody who was happy most of the time and took great pride in making people laugh when I was able to pull that off."

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Moore moved to Los Angeles when she was eight years old and started her career in show business as a dancer aged 17.

Her first appearance was in a Hotpoint advert in the 1950s, dressed as an elf.

But her parts grew in size during that decade, before she landed the role of wife Laura Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1961.

Moore won two supporting actress Emmys for The Dick Van Dyke Show and four best-actress Emmys when she moved on to the The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show had a solid cast and great writers and won the Emmy for best comedy in each of its final three seasons. It was the cornerstone of MTM Enterprises, the company Moore and then-husband Grant Tinker used to launch three spin-offs - Lou Grant, Rhoda and Phyllis - as well as other hit shows such as The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere.

"I'm not an innately funny person," she told The New York Times. "I find it an almost overbearing responsibility when I think about having to be funny. I like simply standing next to the funny person. Just being part of what caused the laughter is great fun for me."

Moore also won an Emmy in 1993 for the TV movie Stolen Babies, giving her a total of seven for her career, including one special Emmy in 1974 as actress of the year. She was nominated nine other times.

She was given a special Tony Award for her work in Whose Life Is It Anyway on Broadway.

During her time on The Mary Tyler Moore show, Moore was diagnosed with diabetes, which affected her vision in later years, and in 2011 she had a benign brain tumor removed.

- Reuters / BBC