US television icon Mary Tyler Moore dead at 80

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Legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore, who delighted a generation of Americans with her energetic comic performances and broke barriers with her iconic portrayal of a single career woman, died Wednesday after years of ill health. She was 80.

Moore’s eponymous sitcom — set in Minneapolis — ran for seven seasons in the 1970s and was named by Time Magazine as one of 17 shows that “changed television.”

She died in hospital in Connecticut, according to media reports, after battling diabetes for years and undergoing brain surgery in 2011.

“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,” her longtime representative Mara Buxbaum told AFP in a statement.

“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.”

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was radical in its time — featuring a single woman, living on her own, and chasing her dream as a television reporter.

It also spawned numerous spin-offs for its popular supporting cast of quirky, slightly neurotic characters, launching Moore’s behind-the-scenes career.

As top executives of MTM Enterprises, Moore and then-husband Grant Tinker created and produced “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoffs, and were also responsible for hit shows including “Hill Street Blues,” “St. Elsewhere” and “Remington Steele.”

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