American TV actress Mary Tyler Moore dies aged 80 | News | DW | 25.01.2017
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American TV actress Mary Tyler Moore dies aged 80

American actress Mary Tyler Moore has died in hospital at the age of 80. She brought a new level of elegance and intelligence to television comedy in the 1960s and 1970s.

Mary Tyler Moore died at Greenwich Hospital in the US on Wednesday as a result of pneumonia, her family confirmed. She had had Type 1 diabetes since her early 30s.

Moore made her name in two landmark television shows. In the 1960s, she co-starred in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" as Laura Petrie, the stylish wife of a comedy writer. The show won 15 Emmy Awards.

In the 1970s, she starred in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" which she produced with her second husband, the CBS executive Grant Tinker, who died on November 28. The opening credits and theme song were indicative of a new approach to women in comedy. Her character never married and worked and lived on her own.

The hat that her character - Mary Richards - threw in the air at the end of the opening credits on the show became something of a symbol for the program's groundbreaking style. In 2002, a statue showing Moore throwing the hat was unveiled in downtown Minneapolis.

The show was one of the most acclaimed television shows in US television history and it received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series three years in a row during the 1970s. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked The Mary Tyler Moore Show No. 6 in its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time.

UK actor Stephen Fry returned to social media to pay his tribute

In the 1980s, Tyler Moore moved on to more serious roles. In 1980 she won a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway as a quadriplegic who wanted to die in "Whose Life Is It, Anyway?”

Her Oscar-nominated role in the 1980 film "Ordinary People" marked the directorial debut of actor Robert Redford.

Personal challenges

Moore also faced challenges in her private life, including problems with alcohol. She entered the Betty Ford Center for treatment in 1984.

In an interview with the New York Times in 1995 she said "I work because I enjoy it. I only enjoy doing things that frighten me a little bit. And I am an actress. I think I am an actress as well as a personality. And I've got to keep the actress in me happy."

She was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild in 2012.

Moore was an outspoken proponent of animal welfare and a vegetarian. She also established funds for arts scholarships. She was married for a third time in 1983 to physician Robert Levine. They lived in Manhattan and on a farm in New York state.

jm/rc (Reuters, AP)