SAG-AFTRA mourns the loss of SAG Life Achievement Award honoree Mary Tyler Moore, who died today at the age of 80. Moore, best known for her role as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was the 48th Life Achievement recipient and accepted the honor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2012.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris reflected on the impact of her work.
“Mary was a television legend, but more than that, in her most iconic role she was both an agent of change as well as a reflection of our changing society. At a time when independence for women was not the social norm, both the fictional Mary and the real-life Mary set an example, showing that women could take control of their lives and their careers,” Carteris said. “She will be dearly missed.”
Moore started her career in 1955 as a dancer in commercials airing during The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and soon transitioned into acting, landing a role on Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Her career took off when she was cast as Dick Van Dyke’s wife Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Moore also used her star power to raise awareness of type I diabetes. Her personal experience of living with the disease prepared her for the role she filled as the international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Moore was also an advocate for animal rights, supporting the fight to end animal euthanasia.