Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative and Variety Partner for Award and ‘Be a Mary’ Campaign

The Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative has partnered with Variety to establish an annual award named in honor of the legendary actor that will recognize groundbreaking achievements in storytelling.

The Mary Tyler Moore Visionary Award will honor the life and legacy of pioneering star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Ordinary People” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” who was also a tireless advocate for diabetes research and a philanthropist. In tandem with the award, the Vision Initiative will launch the promotional campaign “Be a Mary,” emphasizing the generosity, kindness, compassion, resilience and risk-taking that defined Moore’s life.

More from Variety

“Mary Tyler Moore is a groundbreaking icon who demonstrated that there was another way for women to live through her portrayal of Mary Richards in ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ said Dea Lawrence, Variety‘s chief operating and marketing officer. “We are thrilled to support the Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative as Mary was such a visionary to generations of women.”

The award will be presented June 6 as part of Variety’s daylong TV Fest event in Los Angeles.

Moore revolutionized how single, professional women were portrayed in popular culture through her CBS comedy series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which ran from 1970 to 1977. As co-founder of MTM Enterprises, she was a force at the production company that was behind “Mary Tyler Moore,” as well as such indelible series as “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Hill Street Blues,” “St. Elsewhere,” “WKRP in Cincinnati” and others.

Diagnosed with diabetes at age 33, Moore suffered life-altering vision loss and near blindness from diabetic retinal disease. For more than 30 years, she helped raise billions of dollars for research to find cures for diabetes and its complications in her role as international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Her hope was that future generations would not suffer as she had from vision loss and other diabetes complications, according to Dr. S. Robert Levine, who was married to Moore for 33 years until her death in 2017 at the age of 80.

“I watched as diabetes stole her joy and independence as a result of vision loss from diabetic retinal disease,” Levine said. “Despite her suffering, she believed the best way to heal ourselves was to do what we could to help others. The Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative carries forward her legacy of diabetes research advocacy and leadership and Variety’s Mary Tyler Moore Visionary Award recognizes a new generation of transformational leaders in the entertainment industry.”

Moore won seven Emmy Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of a grieving mother in the 1980 film “Ordinary People.” She also won numerous Golden Globe and People’s Choice Awards and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame and the TV Comedy Hall of Fame. She received a special Tony Award in 1980 for her lead role in the play “Whose Life is it Anyway?” Moore also wrote about her life and struggle with diabetes in two memoirs, 1995’s “After All” and 2009’s “Growing Up Again: Life, Loves and Oh Yeah, Diabetes.”

Moore’s story was recounted in the 2023 HBO documentary “Being Mary Tyler Moore,” which won a Critic’s Choice documentary award and was nominated for Emmy and Producers Guild awards.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.