Betty White was the 4th ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ cast member lost in 2021

The year that just ended was a sad year for fans of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” one of the most popular situation comedies of the 1970s.

Starring Betty White, known for her role as Sue Ann Nivens in the series, she died Friday at the age of 99, just 18 days before her 100th birthday.

White’s death made her the fourth member of “MTM” to die in 2021.

BETTY WHITE, TV PLAYER, DEAD AT 99

The other cast members who died during the year were Cloris Leachman, who played Phyllis Lindstrom (January 27); Gavin MacLeod, who played Murray Slaughter (May 29); and Ed Asner, who played Lou Grant (August 29).

Mary Tyler Moore (as Mary Richards) sits at her desk to the left, while Betty White (as Sue Ann Nivens), in the middle, talks to her and Gavin MacLeod (as Murray Slaughter) sits to the right in a scene from "Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the mid-1970s.  Behind them, on the right, are Ted Knight (1923 - 1986) (as Ted Baxter) and Georgia Engel (as Georgette Franklin Baxter).

Mary Tyler Moore (as Mary Richards) sits at her desk to the left, while Betty White (as Sue Ann Nivens), in the middle, speaks to her and Gavin MacLeod (as Murray Slaughter) sits to the right, in a scene from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show “in the mid-1970s. Behind them, on the right, are Ted Knight (1923 – 1986) (as Ted Baxter) and Georgia Engel (as Georgette Franklin Baxter).
(Getty Images)

The show also saw two cast members die in 2019: Georgia Engel, who played Georgette Baxter (April 12) and Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda Morgenstern (August 30).

Series star Mary Tyler Moore, aka Mary Richards, died in 2017, while Ted Knight, aka Ted Baxter, died in 1986.

"Mary Tyler Moore Show" stars hold Emmy Awards for the 1975-76 season.  From left: Edward Asner, Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore and Ted Knight.  Everyone won the Emmys that year for "MTM," except Asner, who won his for a performance in "Rich man, poor man."

“Mary Tyler Moore Show” stars hold Emmy Awards for the 1975-76 season. From left: Edward Asner, Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore and Ted Knight. Everyone won the Emmys that year for “MTM”, except Asner, who won his for a performance in “Rich Man, Poor Man”.
(Getty Images)

Ed Asner and Cloris Leachman are seen in Beverly Hills, California, in an undated photo.

Ed Asner and Cloris Leachman are seen in Beverly Hills, California, in an undated photo.
(Getty Images)

The loss of the series’ best stars means that only a handful of actors who had limited roles in the series are left. They include John Amos (Gordy Howard), who attended the show’s early years and then returned for a performance in 1977; Joyce Bulifant, who occasionally appeared as Murray’s wife Marie; and Lisa Gerritsen, who played Phyllis’ daughter Bess.

John Amos, right, was already known for his role as Gordy Howard, the weatherman on "Mary Tyler Moore Show," when he was cast as James Evans "Maude," also "Good times."

John Amos, right, was already known for his role as Gordy Howard, the weatherman on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” when he was cast as James Evans on “Maude” and then “Good Times.”

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Several other actors also had brief recurring roles as relatives or romantic interests to the characters.

The show ran from 1970 to 1977.

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