Mary Tyler Moore Has Battled Diabetes For 44 Years

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936 in Brooklyn New York. She will be 78 on her next birthday.

Mary Tyler Moore as the Happy Hotpoint Elf at the age of 16 in 1952.

Mary was seen in seven episodes of Richard Diamond, Private Detective, but her face was never seen, so only her voice could be heard on the show.

Mary Tyler Moore appeared on Dick Van Dyke from 1961-1966

She did a lot of free lance acting in various television shows, till she got her big break, when she was cast for the Dick Van Dyke Show playing Laura Petrie the wife of Rob Petrie portrayed by Dick Van Dyke.

Mary was given the role, despite being 11 years younger than Dick Van Dyke.

She won Emmy awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a comedy series, for the 1963-1964 and 1965-1966 seasons.

Diagnosed With Diabetes

Mary Tyler Moore was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 33 in 1969. Her diagnosis came three years after the Dick Van Dyke Show had ended and a year before Mary Tyler Moore Show started.

These are some quotes by Mary about diabetes from Brainy Quotes website:

Diabetes is an all-too-personal time bomb which can go off today, tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now – a time bomb affecting millions like me and the children here today.

I’ve always been independent. I’ve always had courage. But I didn’t always own my diabetes.

I can’t eat pure sugar. I can’t have candy.

When the doctor said I had diabetes, I conjured images of languishing on a chaise longue nibbling chocolates. I have no idea why I thought this.

I need insulin to stay alive. It’s just therapy to keep going. What I can do is make sure that I keep my blood sugar down to a reasonable level. I can exercise, and I can eat properly. And insulin plays a very big part in that.

Mary Tyler Moore played a nun in Change of Habit with Elvis Presley.

When Mary was in between finishing the Dick Van Dyke Show and starting the Mary Tyler Moore Show she appeared in Change of Habit in 1969 with Elvis Presley and Edward Asner, who would appear in the Mary Tyler Moore show next year in 1970.

Mary Tyler Moore seen on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Grant Tinker, who was the husband of Mary Tyler Moore talked CBS into making the Mary Tyler Moore Show into a regular series. It first aired in 1970 and it ran for 168 episodes, which was 10 more episodes than the Dick Van Dyke Show had ran.

Mary’s new show focused on life in the newsroom of a Minneapolis television station. The show had one of the best ensemble cast ever, with Edward Asner, Betty White, Valerie Harper, Gavin McLeod, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel and Cloris Leachman being regulars on the show.

Some trivia from about the show:

The show was originally planned to be about a divorced woman, but because divorce was still a hot subject in 1970, they settled for a broken engagement instead. Also, the network was afraid people would think that Mary had divorced Rob Petrie, her character’s husband on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), losing the audience’s sympathy.

When casting the part of Sue-Anne Nivens, producers were stumped for an actress to take the role. They wanted “someone like Betty White.” Eventually, someone asked “Why not cast Betty White?”

Mary’s house, which appears in the opening credits, is still standing in Minneapolis, Minnesota – the city in which the show takes place.

Following the conclusion of the series, Edward Asner continued to play Lou Grant in a long-running dramatic series of the same name.

Mary would win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series three times for the Mary Tyler Moore Show. She won in 1972-1973, 1973-1974 and 1975-1976 seasons.

Mary Tyler Moore in a scene with Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People.

Mary Tyler Moore appeared in Ordinary People a movie, which was released in 1980. The movie won a Oscar for Best Picture, but Mary was nominated for Best Actress award, but did not win.

Future Project

There is a movie being planned in Mary’s future, but it is not a sure thing at this time. She is rumored along with other famous stars of the past to appear in a movie named Big Finish.

However, it is not to be released till December 11, 2016. Some of the other stars rumored to be appearing in the movie include: Debbie Reynolds 82, Bob Newhart 85, Jerry Lewis 88 and Tim Conway 81. All of the stars will be two years older, if the production is released in 2016. Jonathan Winters was scheduled to be in the movie before he died.

Mary Tyler Moore may have aged over the years but still has that dazzling trademark smile.

Personal Life

Mary Tyler Moore has been married three times. Her first marriage ended early during the run of the Dick Van Dyke Show. She then married television executive Grant Tinker. After 19 years of marriage to Tinker she married Dr. Robert Levine in 1983.

Robert Levine (23 November 1983 – present)
Grant Tinker (1 June 1962 – 11 June 1981) (divorced)
Richard Meeker (25 August 1955 – 1962) (divorced) (1 child)


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

6 thoughts on “Mary Tyler Moore Has Battled Diabetes For 44 Years”

  1. Ms. Moore is also a very philanthropic woman. She has worked tirelessly for diabetes organizations, especially juvenile diabetes, and she purchased and renovated an antebellum home in West Virginia that was once in her family, and then donated it to the local Shepherd University to be a school of study for the Civil War. It was named for her father, George Tyler Moore.

    1. David, Thank you for telling about the generosity of Mary Tyler Moore. My wife has diabetes, so it makes me appreciate even more what Mary Tyler Moore accomplished, while fighting this terrible disease.

    1. Thank you for the photo credit, but it is not my photo. I have found out since starting my blog in 2009, that a photo I post one day may be removed the next day or several years later. I wish a photo wouldn’t even show up in Google images, if it is owned by someone. No telling how many past blogs have missing photos. Best of luck with your blog…..Andrew

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