PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --Back in 1991, the Pennsylvania Ballet was facing financial trouble. The Company was broke.
The cast and crew were working for free. The Company was just weeks from closing down.
A new Artistic Director was brought in to change the ballet's outlook.
A "Save-the-Ballet" $1-million fundraising campaign was started to help keep the Company in business.
That's when a famous face came to Philadelphia to support the cause - Mary Tyler Moore.
The renowned TV star, who passed away Wednesday at age 80, was a very close friend of Jacques and Carrie D'Amboise - whose son Christopher had recently taken over as the new Artistic Director.
"Mary Tyler Moore championed Pennsylvania Ballet during our "Save-the- Ballet" campaign that kept the company in existence during a financial crisis," Pennsylvania Ballet told Action News in a statement.
Moore made a public pitch for funds before a performance of "Bravo! Balanchine" at the Shubert Theatre, now known as the Merriam Theater.
"When [Christopher] told me that the ballet dancers, the musicians, the people in the ticket office, the ushers had agreed to work for no salary, I was so moved by that. I come from a real tough, hard city that doesn't make those kinds of concessions, and I was mightily impressed," Moore said at the time.
Moore was born in Brooklyn in 1936. When she was around 8 years old, her family moved to California.
She took dance lessons as a child and launched her career by appearing in TV commercials as a teenager.
The fundraising efforts were a success. The Pennsylvania Ballet continued to dance on.
According to the Company's website:
"In March 1991, the community responded and a volunteer group composed of dancers, musicians, theater staff, and others started a grassroots campaign called "Save The Ballet". By the end of the month, the campaign had raised over a million dollars in donations."
"Pennsylvania Ballet will always be indebted to Ms. Moore for her support in the 1990s. She was a pioneering entertainer, who in her own words remained a dancer at heart, and we are saddened by her passing," the Pennsylvania Ballet said.