Mary Moore was beloved by all, but when her brother suffered a terminal illness, she did something questionable. Her husband was not involved directly in the unethical act, but she says she would do it again.
Part of Moore's childhood was spent in Brooklyn, and even at such a young age, trouble always found her, and she remembers a neighbor molesting her. Her family would later relocate to California, where she began chasing her stardom.
She started gaining fame when she appeared on the '60s "The Dick Van Dyke Show″ then on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the '70s. In both, she portrayed the character of a goody-two-shoes woman.
Mary Tyler Moore | Source: Youtube.com/OWN | Getty Images
Her personal life, however, was anything but perfect. Her family life was riddled with tragedy, and she lived with a lot of grief. Her brother, John, who was seven years her junior, suffered a terminal illness.
He was battling kidney cancer, and one day, he called Moore to say his goodbyes. He had taken hundreds of painkillers to try and end his life, but he fell asleep before the drugs had taken a toll on him. According to AP News, Moore wrote in her autobiography:
"He felt he could do it again."
American actress Mary Tyler Moore, circa 1970.| Source: Getty Images
And so Moore and her husband flew to John's home in California to help him end his pain. She says John swallowed as many pills as was humanly possible, then asked her to mash some more into his ice cream.
She laced the ice cream with the pills and spoon-fed him the portion. She also increased the dosage on his morphine pump, but the attempt at taking his life was futile.
Her husband had not been directly involved, given the questionable disposition of the act, but Moore has no regrets. She spoke to Daily News, saying that she would do it again if only to end her brother's pain.
Mary Tyler Moore in a scene from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', Los Angeles, California, 1970 | Source: Getty Images
John surprisingly survived the ordeal and went on to live for three more months before finally passing on at the age of 47.
She married two more times but did not have any more children.
And yet, the tragedy of her brother's life was just one of the many that marred her family. Her mother, too, was an alcoholic, an entertaining alcoholic, she calls it.
Close-up of smiling actress Mary Tyler Moore who stars in the television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, circa 1975. | Source: Getty Images
She says she begged her mother on numerous occasions to quit drinking, but the pleas fell on deaf ears. And to deal with her mother's selfishness, she too began drinking.
In 1955, she married Richard “Dick” Meeker when she was only 18, and a year later, she had her son, Richie. A few years into her marriage and she and her husband started growing distant.
Actress Mary Tyler Moore poses with her Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild backstage at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
The more she advanced in her career, the more her personal life fell apart. In 1961, she divorced her husband. Consequently, she felt that she'd let her 5-year-old son down. She says:
"When he needed me the most, I was busier and even more self-concerned than I had been when he was an impressionable infant.”
She continued drinking, and her relationship with her son deteriorated until he finally moved to California to live with his dad. While there, he slipped into addiction, and one fateful early morning in 1980, she received a dreaded call.
Mary Tyler Moore, presenter during 4th Annual TV Land Awards - Show at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, United States.| Source: Getty Images
Her son had accidentally shot himself and was dead. Moore could not deal with the pain of her son's death, only two years after her sister Elizabeth Ann had overdosed on alcohol and painkillers.
The tragedies only elevated her alcoholism, and finally, in 1984, she checked into the Betty Ford Center and found sobriety. Her mother would later seek treatment in the same center.
Moore, despite the tragedies that riddled her life, felt she'd lived a terrific and wonderful life and lived on until her passing on in 2017. She married two more times but did not have any more children.
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