Dick Van Dyke has paid tribute to his former TV wife and dear friend Mary Tyler Moore, who died Wednesday at 80.
"The chemistry that happened between us was just serendipity," he told CBS This Morning. "I had a chance to watch her grow from 23 to who she became on that show. She was the best."
The 91-year-old actor added: “We thought we were the best dance team since Astaire and Rogers and best comedy team since Laurel and Hardy.”
He told CBS This Morning he spoke to her husband Dr. Robert Levine just days before her death and said the cardiologist had “been dreading that moment.”
After her passing, he tweeted a classic clip of him singing and dancing with her on The Dick Van Dyke Show back in 1964.
There are no words. She was THE BEST!— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) January 26, 2017
We always said that we changed each other's lives for the better. I watched... https://t.co/lBbVL7QJ2b
Oprah Winfrey also paid tribute to the 80-year-old icon, who she considered a role model.
She tweeted out a photo of Moore’s surprise appearance on her show in 1997.
Even now looking at this picture I want to cry. I still can't believe Mary Tyler Moore touched my face. Will love her 4 ever. pic.twitter.com/6u4ELq27vN— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 25, 2017
Ed Asner, who starred with the seven-time Emmy winner on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, tweeted: “I will miss her. I will never be able to repay her for the blessings that she gave me.”
Carl Reiner, the creator, producer, and writer of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and the man who is credited for giving her a shot, told Inside Edition: "The first time I saw her in the office I lit up."
He said her health was going down a downward spiral for years, saying: "she was in hospice for almost two years."
Reiner said the last time he saw his friend was three years ago and she was going blind due to a long battle with diabetes.
"I walked up to her and she couldn't see him, but once she heard my voice she knew who I was," he recalled.
Larry King, a longtime friend, told Inside Edition: “She was an extraordinary human being and you saw everything in that smile.”
On Wednesday’s Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to Moore saying: “She was one of the coolest, one of the classiest, one of the funniest people ever. Thank you for making us all laugh.”
According to reports, Moore died of cardiac arrest. She had reportedly been on a respirator in Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, where she had been admitted for treatment of pneumonia.
Her health had reportedly been declining for years. Moore was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 33.
She got her start in 1956 by singing and dancing in a commercial for kitchen appliances.
Her big break came just a few years later in 1961, when she played Laura Petri on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
She became a true TV legend with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran for seven years in the 1970s. Her title song became an empowering theme for women everywhere.
Moore received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2012 and spoke about her early years in acting, saying that studio heads wanted to change her name.
Her very last TV appearances came in 2013 when she reunited with her former Mary Tyler Moore Show cast members for an episode of TV Land's Hot in Cleveland.