Cast member Betty White, known for her role as Sue Ann Nivens on the series, died Friday at age 99, just 18 days before her 100th birthday.
White’s death made her the fourth member of the “MTM” cast to pass away in 2021.
The other cast members who died during the year were Cloris Leachman, who played Phyllis Lindstrom (Jan. 27); Gavin MacLeod, who played Murray Slaughter (May 29); and Ed Asner, who played Lou Grant (Aug. 29).
The show also saw two cast members die in 2019: Georgia Engel, who played Georgette Baxter (April 12) and Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda Morgenstern (Aug.30).
Series star Mary Tyler Moore, aka Mary Richards, died in 2017, while Ted Knight, aka Ted Baxter, died in 1986.
The loss of the show’s top stars means that only a handful of actors who had limited roles on the series remain. They include John Amos (Gordy Howard), who took part in the show’s early years, then returned for an appearance in 1977; Joyce Bulifant, who occasionally appeared as Murray’s wife Marie; and Lisa Gerritsen, who played Phyllis’ daughter Bess.
Several other actors also had brief repeated roles as relatives or romantic interests of the characters.
The show ran from 1970 to 1977.