FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The entire nation mourned when actress Mary Tyler Moore died on Jan. 25 at age 80. And her local fans were able to pay their last respects when Moore, a longtime Greenwich resident, was buried in Fairfield.
A steady stream of fans made a pilgrimage to Oak Lawn Cemetery on Jan. 30 to pay their respects to the iconic actress and producer who was laid to rest there the day before.
“I grew up watching Mary Tyler Moore,” said Liz Zarrilli of Fairfield. “She’s my idol. I loved her effervesce, her vitality, the path that she led for women in this world.”
Moore died in Greenwich Hospital after a long battle with several health problems.
Several fans stood vigil outside the cemetery during private services at the grave, which was covered with a profusion of red roses and other flowers. A resting angel statue marked the site, as did a small letter M, reminiscent of the wooden M hung on the wall of Moore’s TV apartment on “The Mary Tyler Moore” show.
One by one, fans parked near the gravesite, pausing in reflection and taking cellphone photos.
Some said they respected Moore’s trailblazing way in Hollywood.
Most famous from her starring roles in two beloved sitcoms, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" from 1961 to 1966 and long-running "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1970 to 1977. She earned 15 Emmy nominations and won seven times.
Her movies included "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Ordinary People," in which she played against her usual sunny type, garnering an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
In 1980, she was the winner of a Special Tony Award for “Whose Life Is It Anyway?”
Moore, who lived in Greenwich at the time of her death, was also a successful producer and advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The actress was diagnosed with diabetes at age 33.
One local man, who declined to give his name, stood in quiet reflection for several minutes at the gravesite before snapping a few photos and returning to his car.
“I just wanted to see the grave of somebody who really was a great person,” he said. “She was a fabulous star, and I just wanted to pay my respects.”
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