In our ongoing series #WomenThatDid ENTITY profiles inspirational and famous women in history whose impact on our world can still be felt today. If you have a suggestion for a historical powerhouse you would like to see featured tweet us with the hashtag #WomenThatDid.
Beloved TV icon Mary Tyler Moore, the six-time Emmy-winning actress, has died at the age of 80.
The star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which was widely considered the first modern woman’s sitcom, she passed away in the company of friends and her third husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine.
Her longtime publicist, Mara Buxbaum, called her, “A fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile.”
Also a feminist icon, here is why Moore is one of ENTITY’s #WomenThatDid.
Name: Mary Tyler Moore
Lifetime: December 29, 1936 – January 25, 2017
What she’s known for: In “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” she played Mary Richards, a single woman working as a news producer. The popular series, featuring a memorable opening sequence where she tossed her cap into the air, ran from 1970 until 1977. It gave birth to multiple spinoffs for its characters Lou Grant (Ed Asner), Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) and Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman). Moore had previously found fame in six seasons of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
On the big screen, she earned a best actress Oscar nomination for playing an emotionally cold mother in 1980’s “Ordinary People.”
Her production company , MTM Enterprises was behind a string of hit TV shows including “Hill Street Blues, “St. Elsewhere” and “The Bob Newhart Show.”
READ MORE: #WomenThatDid: Carrie Fisher
Why we love her: An actress, entrepreneur and activist, she was a role model for women in Hollywood. Moore did a lot of work for charitable causes, most prominently using her fame to help raise funds and awareness for diabetes, which she suffered from since being diagnosed at the age of 33. The characters she played made women think differently about the world and their place in it.
Fun fact: Among those women was Michelle Obama who was hugely influenced by “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” when she started watching it aged 10.
“She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time,” Michelle Obama told Variety. “She wasn’t married. She wasn’t looking to get married. At no point did the series end in a happy ending with her finding a husband — which seemed to be the course you had to take as a woman. But she sort of bucked that. She worked in a newsroom, she had a tough boss, and she stood up to him. She had close friends, never bemoaning the fact that she was a single. She was very proud and comfortable in that role. When I saw that I sort of started thinking, ‘You know what? Marriage is an option. Having a family is an option. And going to school and getting your education and building your career is another really viable option that can lead to happiness and fulfillment.'”
READ MORE: #WomenThatDid: Zsa Zsa Gabor
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