The life of Actress and Activist Mary Taylor Moore

Actress and human and animal activist Mary Taylor Moore passed away on January 25, 2017, at the age of eighty, from complications of pneumonia. Best known for her show, The Mary Tyler Moore show as well as her appearance in films like Thoroughly Modern Millie, the actress leaves behind her husband, Dr. Darin Levine, as well as family and many sad fans.

Mary Taylor Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 29, 1936, the eldest child of Marjorie and George Tyler Moore. At eight years old, Moore and her family moved to California where Los Feliz became her home.

Moore initially wanted to pursue dance and first appeared on television was at the age of seventeen as a dancing elf during a commercial for Hotpoint appliances. At age 18, Moore married Richard Carleton Meeker, who’d she’d later divorce. After losing her job due to pregnancy- her son, Richard Jr was born on July 3, 1956- Moore auditioned for her first acting role on Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

Moore continued her acting career appearing in various smaller roles until she was cast for the Dick Van Dyke show in 1961. This was also the year when Moore remarried, this time to Grant Tucker, a CBS executive, with whom she formed a television production company known as MTM Enterprises, which gave birth to the Marry Tyler Moore Show based on the life of a single working woman- a concept that was still new at the time. The show ran from 1970- 1977 and became a staple in the repertoire of American television. In 1977, the show received an Emmy award for Outstanding comedy.

Despite the personal tragedy, Moore continued to pursue acting- both on screen and on Broadway. During the 1980’s Moore appeared in a variety of television shows, in addition to starring in the Broadway hit Whose Life Is It Anyway by James Naughton. In 1980, Moore also lost Richard Jr due to an accidental gunshot wound. In 1981 Moore divorced Tinker and would later marry Dr. Robert Levine, with whom she would spend the rest of her life.

In addition to acting, Moore was known for her with in charity and political voice, particularly on the topics of animal rights activism and Diabetes. The actress herself was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 33. The actress suffered from health problems later in life, though she continued to pursue her career appearing on television in a variety of productions including That 70’s Show and Ellen.

In 2011, Moore had an elective surgery to remove a brain tumor, as she continued to battle diabetes- which took a toll on her eye sight. On January 27, 2017 Moore succumbed to cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to pneumonia.

Mary Tyler Moore’s representative best described the actress as “a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile.” She will continue to inspire future generations for years to come.