Mary Tyler Moore has died at age 80. According to TMZ, she’d been moved to a Connecticut hospital. Everyone loves Mary, this column especially. Condolences to her family.
The beloved MTM hasn’t really been seen in five years, since she won her SAG Life Achievement Award. She’s suffered from diabetes and a bunch of illnesses. Mary turned 80 last month. Her last TV appearance was an “MTM” reunion on “Hot in Cleveland” in 2013 in which she didn’t say much, but glowed listening to her old friends.
She’s lived quietly in Connecticut with her husband, Dr. Robert Levine, since moving out of Manhattan and giving up her farm in Millbrook, New York. Her ex husband, Grant Tinker, who produced her famous TV show and ruled her TV empire in the 70s and 80s, passed away last year as well.
Despite her perky presence on the screen, Mary had a lot of tragedy in her life. Her only child, Richie, died in 1980 after playing with a sawed off shotgun. Two years earlier, Mary’s sister committed suicide in 1978 at age 21.
Of course, Mary’s career includes mostly great moments– her own show, “The Dick van Dyke Show,” plus an Oscar nomination for “Ordinary People.” She appeared on Broadway seven times in the 1980s, garnering several nominations. In 1980, she won a special award from the Tonys. Earlier in her career she was in the never-opened first Broadway production of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
During the 80s and 90s Mary and Robert lived in New York, on Fifth Avenue, in a grand and spacious apartment that became famous for falcons that landed on the precipices. The apartment was big enough that it had a dining room table that could seat 20, Mary told me, when I was over there one day for an interview. She said she wasn’t sure she knew 20 people whom she could invite! I’ll never forget that.
She was the classiest lady, Mary Tyler Moore. We were lucky to know her.