One week after her death, Mary Tyler Moore’s husband Robert Levine is sharing memories from their 33 years together and, well, let’s just say there’s certainly not a dry eye in this house.
For this week’s People cover story, Levine spoke with the mag about his late wife’s legacy both in the public eye and within their tiny, close-knit family. (Moore’s only child, her son Richard, died in 1980 at the age of 24 via an accidental gunshot wound. She married Levine three years later.)
“I can’t believe she is gone,” he began. “Mary was my life, my light, my love. The emptiness I feel without her with me is without bottom. She was a force of nature who fiercely defended her autonomy even as her health was failing. Mary was fearless, determined, and willful. If she felt strongly about something, or that there was truth to be told, she would do it, no matter the consequences.”
Levine met Moore when her mother fell ill with severe bronchitis back in ’82. When her regular doctor was unavailable, Levine — and fate — stepped in, with the two lovebirds making a dinner date a few days later.
Moore famously battled multiple health issues of her own, including Type I diabetes, which she was diagnosed with way back in the ’60s. She had surgery to remove a benign brain tumor in 2011, and as recently as 2014, friends reported that she had heart and kidney problems and was nearly blind.
Still, Levine stood by her side, with Moore telling Entertainment Tonight in 2013 that her husband “has always been very good at getting me out of myself when I get down and depressed and all of that.”
From what Levine just told People, it truly sounds like helping Moore through rough times was a labor of love.
“She was kind, genuine, approachable, honest, and humble,” he began.
All our best to Levine and the rest of Moore’s inner circle as they heal from their unfathomable loss.