UPDATE (1/27) — Actress Betty White decided to finally break her silence about the shocking death of her longtime friend and costar, the legendary Mary Tyler Moore who passed away Jan. 25 at the age of 80.
White, 95, took to Instagram on Jan. 26 to share a heartwarming old photo of herself with Mary, her second husband, Grant Tinker, and Betty’s late husband, Allen Ludden.
“Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker, Allen Ludden and I had some of the best times of my life together. She was special,” the Golden Girls star wrote.
Her unexpected post came as a surprise, as she had reportedly been “too upset” by the loss of her friend to make a public comment before now.
Poor Betty! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Moore’s family and friends, including her husband of 33 years, Dr. Robert Levine.
(1/26) — As Hollywood continues to mourn the loss of iconic actress Mary Tyler Moore, who died on Jan. 25 at the age of 80, stars who have known her for decades have joined in to pay tribute to their friend. Actor Dick van Dyke issued a heartwarming statement via Twitter immediately following the sad news of her passing, and now Carol Burnett is the latest celebrity to add a statement into the mix.
“She will be so missed. She was a pioneer on television and also one of the sweetest, nicest people I ever knew,” Burnett said in a statement. Apparently, Burnett’s The Carol Burnett Show once shared a home with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, both airing during CBS’s Saturday line-up in the 1970s.
Actor Dick van Dyke had this to say:
There are no words. She was THE BEST!— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) January 26, 2017
We always said that we changed each other's lives for the better. I watched… https://t.co/lBbVL7QJ2b
“We always said that we changed each other’s lives for the better,” wrote van Dyke, 91, on social media. The two starred together in The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s, which was America’s first introduction to the then-23-year-old Moore, who captured hearts instantly. The two actors remained dear friends for decades.
Another A-lister who was asked to weigh in about Moore’s passing, Betty White, 94, was unable to provide comment because she’s “too upset,” according to her rep. Poor Betty!
Other stars who have paid tribute include Ed Asner, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Keaton, Bernadette Peters, and more.
Farewell to a legend
The beloved actress passed away on the afternoon of Jan. 25., after being on a respirator for more than a week, reported TMZ. Family members including her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine, were at her side.
Moore’s comedic talents and all-American beauty made her a Hollywood icon. The Emmy Award-winning actress’s star-turn in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a 1970s comedy about the life of a professional single woman, was considered a cultural and feminist milestone.
Moore’s longtime rep, Mara Buxbaum, issued a statement to TMZ saying, “Today, beloved icon, Mary Tyler Moore, passed away at the age of 80 in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine. A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile.”
Though there is no word on the cause of her death, Moore has been open about her long-term battle with both type 1 diabetes and alcoholism. She also reportedly underwent brain surgery in 2011 to remove a benign tumor.
Rest in peace, Mary. You will be SO missed.
NEXT: Remembering Mary Tyler Moore: 10 amazing quotes from her friends and costars.
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"She can do it all: act, sing, dance, and melt the hardest of hearts," he said in 2012.
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"Mary and I have been very close friends for many years," she said in 2012. "It was such fun working with her. Mary has a way, even with one line or one word she can just take a scene. She's such a pro — and her manners are impeccable."
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"Once while renting a house in Malibu, California, I saw her bundled up, walking alone on the beach," he said. "I wanted to introduce myself and walk along with her, but my respect for other people's privacy prevented it. The Mary Tyler Moore Show is the only network show I consistently watch, aside from Sesame Street. She seems at once positive, vivacious, vulnerable, attractive, independent, adventurous and feminine. I would still like to walk with her on the beach."
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"There are very few people who don't bring any negatives with them. In fact, she's about it," he said.
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"She was a very ambitious girl," she said. "She came on, the first day of the set, and said, “I’m going to have my own company, called MTM. And I’m going to have a little pussycat instead of a lion. And I looked at her, and I said, “This is a first show. This is a pilot. We don’t even know whether this is gonna go.” You know. But she was very ambitious. And she accomplished what she wanted to accomplish."
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"The joy of working with Mary was, you knew who the star of the show was," he said. "It was The Mary Tyler Moore Show. So there were no attempts to upstage her, or any of the other things that usually go with actors surrounding the star. It was a harmonious set... It was a wonderful atmosphere. I felt, for the first time, that I was part of a real, meaningful ensemble."
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Dick Van Dyke
“She was just beautiful,” he said. “She had this strange mid-Atlantic accent, kind of like Katherine Hepburn... We had … like a teenage crush on each other. It was fun.”
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"I learned from her by osmosis all the time," he said. "She gesticulated more than I did. She was tremendously generous. She never resorted to backbiting, never a complaint, never an untoward word. She accepted the facts and foibles of everybody and left it to others to straighten out those who needed to fly right. She was inordinately prompt. All of us had tremendous stage experience. She probably had less. But she was a workaholic."
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"Mary will mount to even more scintillating heights and will become one of the first ladies of the American theater."
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"We really became friends. I love Mary and I loved her from the beginning," said actress Valerie Harper, who met Moore at an audition and later played Rhoda on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."