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).
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.
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.
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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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