Mary Tyler Moore has been living with Type I diabetes for more than 40 years, appointing herself an ambassador for treatment and prevention of the life-threatening disease.
A disease, friends say, is slowly costing the television veteran her vision.
Poorly-managed diabetes has been linked to the heart attacks, strokes, loss of limbs — and yep, blindness. Mary’s old Hollywood comrades told Closer magazine this month that the condition has become increasingly more debilitating as the actress ages.
Closer hit newsstands Thursday with a cover photo of a young Mary emblazoned with the words “The Fight of Her Life.” The magazine spoke with Dick Van Dyke, Betty White and Valerie Harper, entertainment legends in their own right, who each shared the screen with Mary. The stars were candid about the ill state of Mary’s health:
According to Betty White:
“Her eyesight is the big problem is right now … (Mary) is almost beyond the point (of being able to see).”
Dick says he keeps in contact with Mary mostly by phone. He, too, is downtrodden about her condition:
“She hasn’t been too well. She’s really having a battle with it, I’m sorry to say.”
Valerie — who is battling terminal brain cancer — notes that will diabetes is definitely “ravaging” Mary’s body, the acting icon is fighting to stay healthy.
Moore, 77, broke ground in the 1960s playing Laura Petrie, one of TV’s original sexy housewives on the The Dick Van Dyke Show. She found success with her portrayal of Minneapolis career girl Mary Richards on CBS’ The Mary Tyler Moore Show, airing between 1970 and 1977. Richards, a trailblazer at a fictional television station, was one of the small screen’s first examples of a successful, single, working woman.