From The Death of Her Only Son to Her Divorces: The Pain Behind Mary Tyler Moore's Famous Smile
The actress passed away Wednesday at 80.
Mary Tyler Moore may have been America’s sweetheart while gracing America's TV screens, but as she turned the world on with her smile, she had a life filled with turmoil.
The actress’ only son, Richard, died of a gunshot wound to the head in 1980 when he was just 24. His death was ruled an accident, but many speculated it was suicide.
"I can't believe it was a suicide either," she told the Today show in 1995 while speaking about her son's death.
The same year her son passed away, she starred in Ordinary People, as a frosty mother with a distant relationship with her son.
It was art imitating life and drawing on parallels to her difficult relationship with her son, Richard. The performance earned the actress her only Academy Award nomination.
"I demanded a lot of Richie," she admitted in a 1980 People magazine profile. "I was responsible for a lot of alienation."
In 1995 Inside Edition spoke to her first husband and Richard's father, Dick Meeker.
“I loved that kid so much," the distraught father said. "We had so much together."
They wed when she was just 19 and desperate to leave her alcoholic parents.
In her 1995 autobiography, After All, the actress called Dick Meeker her “salvation” for helping her get out of her parents’ home.
But it wasn't meant to be, as the couple divorced in 1961 after six years.
“She just one day said the marriage is over,” Meeker recalled.
Meeker added: "I can remember the times we had together that were good times and hope whatever after life, our spirits will be together."
The Dick Van Dyke Show star was married two more times. In 1962, she wed TV executive Grant Tinker, they divorced in 1981. A year later, she married cardiologist Dr. Robert Levine, who was with her until the very end.
Moore, a seven-time Emmy winner, passed away Wednesday inside a Connecticut hospital while surrounded by family. She was 80.
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