Betty White's Tribute To Mary Tyler Moore Shows Just How Much Her Co-Stars Loved Her — PHOTO
Following Mary Tyler Moore's death on Wednesday, Jan. 25, much of Hollywood has taken to social media to honor the late TV icon. In a tweet posted on Thursday, Betty White mourned Moore with a short but touching note. "Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker, Allen Ludden and I had some of the best times of my life together. She was special," White wrote, alongside an old photo of the duo accompanied by their former spouses. (Ludden died in 1981; Tinker, who was married to Moore until '81, died last November).
The women had been longtime friends, having acted together on The Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1973 to 1977. White joined the series midway through its seven-season run, nabbing two Emmys for her turn as Sue Ann Nivens, aka the Happy Homemaker. Fittingly, the legendary actors reunited for Moore’s final role: an appearance on White’s TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. Fellow MTM alums Cloris Leachman, Georgia Engel, and Valerie Harper also joined them.
White's words add to an outpouring of heartfelt tributes from Moore's former co-stars. Leachman, who portrayed the overbearing landlord Phyllis Lindstrom, remembered Moore's kind spirit in a statement to Bustle. "The picture that we all have of her, that’s how she was — sweet, kind, so tender, so delicate. She was America’s sweetheart," Leachman said. "Valerie [Harper] and I always had to rehearse and rehearse, to work things through but Mary was always ready to go, thoroughly prepared."
Gavin MacLeod, who played her MTM BFF Murray Slaughter, spoke to People. He used a lyric from the show's theme song as a metaphor for the years they spent together. "A line from our theme song was ‘Love is all around,’ and that’s what it was for five days a week for seven years straight on the Mary Tyler Moore set,” he said.
On Twitter, Ed Asner, Moore's on-screen boss, hailed her as a "great lady," writing that he'll never be able to repay her for the blessings that she gave him. (His Twitter profile picture, by the way, is a photo of the two together on set). Asner also released the following statement to Bustle: "I lost a great friend, teacher, a great benefactor all of whom l loved."
Meanwhile, Harper tweeted Moore would "always be [her] co-pilot," and Dick Van Dyke — with whom Moore starred on The Dick Van Dyke Show — was rendered nearly speechless.
If the company Moore kept is any indication of her character, she was clearly a very special lady, and is already deeply missed.