Mary Tyler Moore passed away Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at the age of 80. Often referred to as “America’s Sweetheart,” Tyler Moore’s life was nothing short of extraordinary; she starred in both hot movies and television shows, and championed a number of causes. Her life was also extraordinary in a tragic way as well, and is a perfect example of addiction being family disease—affecting multiple generations.
Mary Tyler Moore was born on Dec. 29, 1936, the daughter of two alcoholics, according to The New York Times. Her sister, Elizabeth Moore, died of a drug and alcohol overdose in 1978. Mary Tyler Moore would struggle with addiction as well over the years, and was treated for alcoholism at the Betty Ford Center in 1984. She would open up about her addiction in her memoir and during interviews.
In 2005, Larry King asked her how she beat alcoholism, to which she responded, “I just made up my mind to stop:”
KING: No AA?
MOORE: Well, I went to the Betty Ford Center and got a lot of education there and a lot of spirit and determination. Somebody said something — it’s a
cliché, you’ve heard it a 100 times, but they say if you want to get all the air out of a glass, what do you do? There’s no way to do it but fill it with something else. And that something else is joy of living, reading, being creative, know you’re doing the right thing. And that got me to thinking.
KING: Why didn’t the joy of success work?
MOORE: I don’t know.
KING: One doesn’t know, does he?
MOORE: No. And, you know, with alcoholism, you tend to drink because you’re angry, or you drink because you’re sad now, or you drink because you are just so happy you want to celebrate.
There is not just one way to recover from the debilitating disease of addiction. Tyler Moore’s may not be the course another takes, but her story is inspirational to say the least. She came from a line of alcoholics and found a way to not let the disease be her end. The champion of women’s rights and the treatment of diabetes, she died at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut of cardiopulmonary arrest.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. Our skilled team can show you how to live life without alcohol or any other mind-altering substances.