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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 10:01 GMT
Actress Moore quits Broadway play
Mary Tyler Moore
Moore is said to be "devastated and completely debilitated"
Actress Mary Tyler Moore has withdrawn from Neil Simon's latest play just two weeks before opening night.

The former sitcom star was due to open in an off-Broadway production of Rose's Dilemma at the Manhattan Theatre Club, New York on 18 December.

But she missed two performances on Wednesday and has since been replaced by her understudy, Patricia Hodges.

In a statement in Friday's New York Times, Moore's spokeswoman said she felt "pushed out" of the production.

In Rose's Dilemma, Moore was to have played a hard-up woman who hires a ghost writer to complete her dead lover's unfinished last novel. Previews were scheduled to begin on December 12.

"We are disappointed that the Neil Simon-Mary Tyler Moore collaboration did not work out," said Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove of the Manhattan Theatre Club.

In the Times statement, the actress was said to be "devastated and completely debilitated professionally and personally".

"Mary has been working tirelessly for months but feels pushed out of this production," said Moore's spokeswoman Mara Buxbaum.

Artistic differences

Rose's Dilemma is not the first MTC production this year to lose an actress. In November Jasmine Guy withdrew from The Violet Hour during an intermission of a preview performance.

Another actress, Laura Benanti, left the show during rehearsals, a departure the MTC attributed to "artistic differences".

Several high-profile Broadway productions have been forced to close their doors early this year because of poor reviews or slow ticket sales.

They include Ellen Burstyn's one-woman show Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All, Bobbi Boland starring Farrah Fawcett, and Jackie Mason's stand-up comedy show Laughing Room Only.

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