Mary Tyler Moore Biography

Mary Tyler Moore

Claim to Fame: Actress (Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ordinary People) and diabetes advocate
DOB: December 29, 1936
Diabetes Type: 1

Mary Tyler Moore was born in Flatbush, NY on December 29, 1936 to George Tyler Moore and Marjorie Hackett. She was the oldest of three siblings. Her family moved to California when she was eight.

At the age of 17, Moore started with a role as "Happy Hotpoint" on television commercials broadcast during Ozzie and Harriet and at 18, she married Dick Meeker, whom she described as "the boy next door", and was pregnant with her only son, Richie, (which, coincidentally, was also the name of her TV son on The Dick Van Dyke Show) within six weeks. Meeker and Moore divorced in 1961. That same year, after having numerous small roles, Moore took on one of her most popular roles as Laura Petrie, wife of television comedy writer Rob Petrie (played by Dick Van Dyke) on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961 to 1967. Carl Reiner, the show's creator and upon whose life the show is based, told the cast from the outset that it would run no more than five years.

Moore is also best known for her work as the star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977), which she decided to end after seven seasons because the show had developed all the comedic situations possible and Moore wanted to end on a high note. She switched gears later on, going from the lovable character to a cold-hearted mother in the 1980 movie Ordinary People, for which she received an Oscar nomination.

Moore went on to work on several short-lived television series and also appeared in several Broadway plays. She married two more times. She married Grant Tinker in 1962 with whom she formed the television production company MTM Enterprises, which created and produced The Mary Tyler Moore Show as well as Rhoda, Phyllis, The Bob Newhart Show, and others. Moore and Tinker divorced in 1981. In 1983, she married her current husband, Dr. Robert Levine.

Moore is a tireless worker for animal rights and also a supporter of embryonic stem cell research. She is the international chairwoman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"You've got to always plan," she said in a recent USA Today article. "It is a fact of life that if someone invites you out to dinner you have to think, 'What are they going to be doing when they serve you dinner? How quickly are they going to get it on the table from the time I arrive? When should I take my shot? What should I eat of what's available?' "

She says she has learned to carry a loaded syringe in her pocket, and if she eats a little more than expected, she can give herself a quick injection of insulin to level her blood sugar.

Find more entertainers with diabetes

Reviewed by dLife staff 12/13.

Last Modified Date: January 16, 2014

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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