Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29th, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York.
At age 17, Moore aspired to be a dancer. She started her career as Happy Hotpoint, a tiny elf dancing on Hotpoint appliances in TV commercials during the 1950s series Ozzie and Harriet. Moore's first regular television role was as a mysterious and glamorous telephone receptionist on Richard Diamond, Private Detective. She then appeared in several television shows, including Bourbon Street Beat, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside Six and Wanted: Dead or Alive.
Moore made her film debut in 1961's X-15. She subsequently appeared in a string of 1960s films including 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie with Julie Andrews, 1968's What's So Bad About Feeling Good? with George Peppard, and 1969's Change of Habit with Elvis Presley.
But her big break came in 1961 when she landed the role of Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. She won her first two Emmys and her first Golden Globe on the show.
Mary parlayed her fame into her own sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Her later work included the 1980 film Ordinary People, for which she received an Oscar nomination, the mid-'80s sitcom Mary, a recurring role on the Ellen DeGeneres sitcom Ellen and a 2004 Dick Van Dyke Show reunion. Her last on-screen work was a guest shot on the sitcom Hot in Cleveland in 2013.
She died Wednesday surrounded by close friends and her husband of 33 years Dr. Robert Levine.