Robert Levine, the doctor husband of beloved television icon Mary Tyler Moore, was at her side when Moore passed away.
Moore, 80, died on January 25 at a Connecticut hospital surrounded by family and friends.
Levine was Moore’s third and current husband, but theirs was a long-lasting union, despite a large age gap (Moore was older) and some reports of troubles.
According to ABC News, her publicist released a statement after Moore died that said:
Today, beloved icon, Mary Tyler Moore, passed away at the age of 80 in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine. A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile.
“Moore’s death was caused by cardiopulmonary arrest after she had contracted pneumonia,” ET reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Moore Was Married to Levine For Decades
Although he wasn’t her first husband, Moore’s marriage to Levine was an enduring one. According to ABC News, Moore and Levine married in 1983. He sometimes goes by the name S. Robert Levine.
The New York Times story on their wedding reported it was held at the Pierre Hotel in New York and officiated by a rabbi.
Valerie Harper, Moore’s co-star in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, told People Magazine when the couple married that “he makes her feel cherished.”
Levine is Jewish and Moore was Roman Catholic, but Harper pronounced that both families were happy about the union, the magazine reported.
The couple met when Moore’s mother became ill with bronchitis in 1982, and Levine, a doctor, was the physician on call who responded, according to People Magazine. Fox News confirmed that Levine met Moore when the doctor was treating the icon’s mother.
Levine told Moore to get in touch with him if an emergency arose, and she responded, “Does acute loneliness count?” he recalled to the magazine.
Moore left an estate reportedly worth $60 million. Read more about her net worth here:
2. Moore’s Husband Is a Cardiologist & the Couple Had a Country Home Together
In 1991, Moore gave an interview to Architectural Digest, in which she talked about the New York country home that she and Levine, a cardiologist, had bought together.
“We began by being sensible. What we were looking for was an apartment in Manhattan with a terrace. And that became an impossible quest, we were just never able to find anything that was right—the right size, the right neighborhood, and that would accept dogs. …And here we are. There’s not even a movie house in this town,” she told the magazine.
When they married, People Magazine described Moore’s husband as “a Loyola-educated cardiologist at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital.”
At the time of their marriage, the New York Times described Levine as “a senior fellow in the division of cardiology of Mt. Sinai Medical Center” and said that it was Levine’s first marriage. The Times reported that he had “received his medical degree from the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago.”
On Facebook, Sam Levine, Levine’s nephew, wrote:
Long before I knew who Mary Tyler Moore was, Mary was ‘Auntie Mary’ to me :) I grew up visiting my Uncle Robert and her at their majestic country house. Mornings spent riding horses and smelling a fresh, divine air I didn’t know existed; afternoons swimming in their pool and day-dreaming happy thoughts sprawled out on the grass; and nights cozily watching some of the year’s best movies in their intimate study…You’ll be missed Auntie Mary. You were a gift to the world and a gift to me.
The couple also worked together on juvenile diabetes advocacy, as Moore had lived with diabetes since she was 33.
3. There Was a 15 Year Age Difference Between Moore & Levine
When they married, Moore was 45-years-old and Levine was 30, according to a People Magazine profile from the time. The New York Times placed Levine’s age as 29 at the time of the marriage.
People Magazine reported that some believed that Moore had dated the younger Levine initially to get back at her second husband, Grant Tinker, as their divorce had left her devastated. However, the marriage to Levine proved a lasting one.
According to The New York Times, Levine’s father, at the time of the marriage, was “national director of domestic affairs for the American Jewish Committee in Manhattan. The bridegroom’s mother, Marion Levine, is executive director of the North Shore Child Guidance Centers in Nassau County.”
However, the marriage wasn’t without some reports of trouble. In 2014, the couple was the subject of a National Enquirer expose reporting on 911 calls from their $12 million Greenwich, Connecticut home.
Moore told the National Ledger that the marriage to Levine was affected by her dependence on alcohol use.
“We would have inane arguments over dinner about things I couldn’t remember the next day. Alcoholism brings to the fore hostilities and resentment — you can’t have a marriage like that,” she said to the National Ledger of their first year of marriage, but, at Levine’s suggestion, she checked into rehab and joined AA.
Moore told ET, “My husband has always been very good at getting me out of myself when I get down and depressed and all of that — never seriously. So, I am basically a very happy person.”
4. Moore Was Married Three Times
Levine was Moore’s third husband. She was most famously married to Tinker, the chairman of NBC and an award-winning producer. That marriage lasted 18 years.
Moore’s marriage to Tinker was a tumultuous one. The couple was married from 1962 to 1981; Tinker died in 2016 at age 90, and Moore told Daily Variety, “Grant was a brilliant, driven executive who uniquely understood that the secret to great TV content was freedom for its creators and performing artists.”
They created a production company together that was responsible for a series of iconic television shows, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to The Bob Newhart Show, CNN reported.
However, the marriage disintegrated, and, CNN reported, Moore “said problems with alcohol helped to contribute to the demise of her marriage to Tinker.”
5. Moore Had One Child Who Died Tragically
Moore only had one child, and he preceded her in death, dying at age 24 in an accidental shooting while handling a shotgun.
Moore’s son, Richard Meeker Jr., was the offspring of her first marriage in 1955 to Richard Carleton Meeker, CNN reported.
Moore married her first husband when she was only 18. She had her son that year too.
In her book, she wrote of her first marriage, “And since he had a job (cranberry sauce sales manager) and his own apartment (as I said, next door), I accepted the invitation to get married on the condition that we move at least four blocks away from my parents.”
Moore told the National Ledger of her son, “Unfortunately, there were terrible rumors that Richie killed himself, but it was an accident. He was a gun collector, was cleaning guns, and one of them went off and shot him in the head.” Moore soon played a grieving mother in the film, Ordinary People.
Moore and Tinker were divorced a year after her son’s tragic death, according to CNN.