The great actress, comedian, producer, businesswoman and activist Mary Tyler Moore has died at age 80. Moore, who changed TV and American culture (back in the 1970s when the two were virtually the same), affected many lives and famously “turned the world on with her smile” (as the Mary Tyler Moore show theme song had it). Besides becoming a sturdy, quiet voice for feminism, Moore worked as an advocate for animals, once saying she hoped to be remembered as someone who made “a difference in the lives of animals.”
Moore was also a major advocate for those suffering from diabetes, as she did most of her life. Late in her career, long after her Oscar nomination for her unforgettable portrayal of a devastated mother in Ordinary People, Moore wrote Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes.– a memoir with diabetes at its center, inspired by a 19-year-old diabetes sufferer who wanted “a friend she could talk to about it.” In her moving introduction the book, Moore shares just how much consideration she gave nearly every decision she made, even how she answered the phone. Here is Moore’s thought process simply about answering the call from her publisher:
“May I speak with Mary Tyler Moore?” a male voice asked.
And in a most proper tone (Dad would be proud) I answered, “This is she.” (It sometimes takes guts to be correct with our language. I now opt for the compromise of “Speaking.”)