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It's been 51 years since audiences first fell in love with Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

The admiration continued Sunday, when the 75-year-old actress was honored by the Screen Actors Guild with a lifetime achievement award, presented by her TV husband, Dick Van Dyke.

During her speech, Moore revealed how using her middle name professionally changed the course of her career. "I spoke it out loud. It sounded right," Moore told the star-studded audience. "I wrote it out on the form, and it looked right. And it was right."

Van Dyke, 86, spoke fondly of the actress, saying: "I know everyone loves her, but I mean, I'm serious about it. I saw her first."

Moore -- who had a benign tumor on the lining tissue of her skull removed in May 2011 -- was also recognized for raising awareness and funds for diabetes research.

Previous Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement recipients include Betty White, James Earl Jones, Julie Andrews, Clint Eastwod and Robert Redford.