Mary Tyler Moore Dead at 80

1/25/2017 11:38 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

0125-mary-tyler-moore-hat-toss-launchMary Tyler Moore -- the television icon who charmed America with comedic brilliance and charisma on her hugely successful '70s show -- died in a Connecticut hospital ... TMZ has learned.

MTM's longtime rep, Mara Buxbaum, issued a statement to TMZ saying, "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."

"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."

We're told Mary had been on a respirator for more than a week.  She was taken off life support Tuesday night.

Mary -- who battled diabetes and underwent brain surgery in 2011 -- became famous after starring on the "The Dick Van Dyke Show" from 1961 to 1966. She dazzled her way to 7 successful seasons on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1970 to 1977, decimating skeptics who viewed her show as destined to fail.

She earned an Oscar nomination for best actress after crushing it in the 1980 flick "Ordinary People."

The 7 time Emmy winner began her career modeling in a commercial for "Happy Hotpoint" as a tiny elf that danced on appliances.

Mary, who in 1986 was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, starred in well over 10 films and wrote 2 memoirs. She married 3 times ... forming power couple status when she married TV exec Grant Tinker in 1962.

Her only son, Richard, from her first marriage to Richard Meeker, died from an accidental gunshot in 1980.

Mary was 80.

#RIP