Mary Tyler Moore, the legendary television comedienne, has died. She was 80 years old.
Moore's death was confirmed on Wednesday (January 25) by her longtime representative in a tweet from senior MSNBC producer Jesse Rodriguez. The iconic actress had long battled type 1 diabetes, and according to TMZ, her condition had deteriorated in recent months.
Moore is perhaps best known for her role as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. For seven seasons, viewers watched as Mary — single, over 30, underpaid, plucky, and ambitious — made a life in Minneapolis, rising in the television ranks from secretary to full-fledged news producer. She was a genuine role model for women in the workforce in the 1970s, a transitional time for the women's movement.
The comedienne's pioneering career has long inspired women in television and comedy. Oprah Winfrey once famously cried when Moore, whom she called her role model, surprised her on her show. Tina Fey called The Mary Tyler Moore Show her most "sacred" night of television growing up. In fact, you can see threads of Mary Richards — her resilience and anxiety — in Fey's own television heroines Liz Lemon and Kimmy Schmidt.
Moore was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1966, during the final season of the wildly popular The Dick Van Dyke Show. Moore starred opposite Van Dyke as former dancer turned Westchester housewife Laura Petrie. In 1981, Moore earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress after her performance in the 1980 family drama Ordinary People.
She also penned two memoirs. Her first, After All, released in 1995, detailed her past struggle with alcoholism, while her second, Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes, released in 2009, focused on living with type 1 diabetes.