Yesterday news broke that the charming TV star, Mary Tyler Moore, died at the age of 80. The actress suffered from cardiopulmonary arrest after a week of being hooked up to a respirator.
Costar and long-time friend, Dick Van Dyke, paid tribute to Moore soon after hearing of her passing. He praised the Oscar-nominated actress for her comedic wit and unprecedented talent.
Us Weekly reports,
“She was 23 years old, gorgeous of course, and had a kind of mid-Atlantic accent,” he recalled of first meeting the star. “She sounded a little bit like Katharine Hepburn. My first question was, ‘Can this girl do comedy?’ After that I said, ‘She’s a little young for me.’ I got to be on hand and watch her grow into the talent she became. She was just the best.”
The 91-year-old TV legend went on to praise Moore’s “comic timing,” telling THR that “Mary picked it up so fast” while working alongside veteran stars Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie. “She had us all laughing after a couple of episodes. She just grabbed onto the character and literally turned us into an improv group, it was so well-oiled,” he shared. “That show was the best five years of my life.”
“She had moved to upstate New York and was already beginning to succumb to the diabetes, so outside of talking to her and her husband Robert, I didn’t see her unless it was an occasion like the SAG Awards. That night, she had trouble seeing, so they had to bring her onstage in the dark. For me, it was a payoff moment,” he explained. “A culmination. Outside of her family, I don’t think there was anyone more proud of her than I was. Just to watch her grow was such a thrill for me. She left an imprint on television comedy.”
“There are no words. She was THE BEST! We always said that we changed each other’s lives for the better.”
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And if you’re in the mood to catch up on Moore’s work in television, be sure to tune in when Sundance TV airs the final season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show:
Sundance TV will air all 24 episodes of the final season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in tribute to the show’s star who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 80.
The marathon will air on Jan. 28 starting at 6:00 a.m. ET/5:00 a.m. C.
CLICK HERE to see the full list of all 24 episodes from the final season and more.