(Reuters) - Mary Tyler Moore created two beloved characters on American television - Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and Mary Richards on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Here are some facts about Moore:
* In her book “After All,” Moore said she tried to help her cancer-stricken brother John commit suicide by feeding him drug-laced ice cream. The attempt failed but John died of his disease three months later in 1992.
* Moore’s family suffered greatly from substance abuse. She grew up with an alcoholic mother and in 1984 ended up in rehab at the Betty Ford Center, where her mother also would be treated years later. Moore said her marriage to television executive Grant Tinker was marred by drinking. Her sister died of a drug overdose.
* Moore was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the 1970s and discussed it in her book “Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes.” She became international chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and testified before Congress to promote stem-cell research as a way of curing it. She also worked for animal rights.
* Moore met Dr. Robert Levine, a cardiologist who became her third husband, in 1983, when he was treating her mother.
* Moore was the love interest for Elvis Presley in his final movie, “Change of Habit.” She portrayed a nun in training who was torn between her faith and feelings for Presley’s character, who was a doctor at a ghetto clinic and unaware that she was a nun. The movie, released in 1969, also featured Ed Asner, who would later be Moore’s co-star on “The Mary Tyler Moore show.”
* TV Land, the cable network specializing in re-runs of classic TV shows, commissioned a bronze statue in Minneapolis of Mary Richards tossing her beret in the air, just as the character does in the opening of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Leslie Adler
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