Mary Tyler Moore wore a brunette wig for the first season of her classic 1970s television sitcom. "In those days Mary wanted to distance herself from what she had done before," says Herbie J Pilato, founder of the Classic Television Preservation Society. "She wanted to leave'The Dick Van Dyke Show' behind her." Moore had spent five seasons as homemaker Laura Petrie before "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted in 1970. Her self-titled sitcom about a newly single woman who moves to Minneapolis and lands a job as a TV news producer ran for seven seasons on CBS. It featured a now iconic cast: Ed Asner (newsroom boss Lou Grant), Gavin MacLeod (writer Murray Slaughter), Ted Knight (anchorman Ted Baxter), Valerie Harper (neighbor and best friend, Rhoda Morgenstern), Cloris Leachman (landlady Phyllis Lindstrom) and Betty White ("Happy Homemaker" Sue Ann Nivens).
I first caught a peek of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1994, twenty-four years after it first aired and seventeen since it was cancelled. Nick at Nite, that mainstay of nineteen-nineties family-friendly throwback programming, was re-introducing the youth to Mary Tyler Moore through a week-long "Marython." My parents, sick of policing me as I watched snippets of "90210" riddled with casual sex and hints of violence, decided that any show produced during their youth was a safe bet and left me alone to sink into Mary Richards's life in Minneapolis. My father would occasionally stroll by the TV: "God, I had such a crush on her on'Dick Van Dyke.' " On "The Dick Van Dyke Show," Tyler Moore had played Laura Petrie, a comely and bemused housewife who had left her career as a dancer behind for suburban life. She was witty yet tolerant, solid but accommodating.
Mary Tyler Moore died Wednesday at the age of 80 years old, according to her longtime representative Mara Buxbaum. Actress Mary Tyler Moore is in "grave condition," TMZ wrote in an exclusive report Wednesday. The star's family rushed to the hospital to say goodbye to the 80-year-old. Moore was "critical" and "suffering from a number of health problems," the publication added. While Moore's current state was "grim," her specific ailment was unknown.
Hollywood entertainers reacted to sitcom sweetheart Mary Tyler Moore's death. Moore, who gained fame playing winsome television producer Mary Richards on the popular 1970s television series "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and broke new ground as an independent career-woman in a leading role, died on Wednesday. Know that I love you and believe in your strength. Thank you #MTM for always being brave and helping to pave the way!! #MaryTylerMoore #RIP
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. Iconic actress and producer Mary Tyler Moore has died of pneumonia at age 80. Beloved for groundbreaking roles on the Dick Van Dyke Show and her own Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as acting against type in Ordinary People makes her one of the most beloved actors of the 20th century. See more cartoons: 'To Me, She Is Royalty': Carrie Fisher 1956 - 2016