While many knew Mary Tyler Moore from her self-titled show, Dr. Robert Levine had no idea he was going out with a celebrity when they first started dating. Moore was able to break barriers that were placed on women through her career and was a comedian who was loved by all.
Dr. Levine spoke with TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager where he described the Mary he was married to for over 30 years before her death in 2017.
“Someone who had (an) enormous heart, great grace… extraordinarily generous and kind,” Dr. Levine said, characterizing his late wife who passed away from cardiopulmonary arrest complicated by pneumonia at the age of 80.
Dr. Levine was Moore’s third husband, but Moore stated that Levine was the true love of her life according to the TODAY article.
The couple got married in 1983 after having a chance-encounter. Moore’s mother was sick and Dr. Levine was the on-call doctor that night. The doctor revealed that medical school was what got in the way of him watching “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”
“[It] really wasn’t what I was doing, watching TV on Saturday nights,” the doctor said before adding that his ignorance of Moore’s stardom allowed their first date to be ‘easy’.
Six years after her death Dr. Levine is still carrying out his late wife’s legacy by continuing to work towards finding a cure complications for those impacted by diabetes. Moore was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her early 30s, and continued to struggle with health issues through her life including a battle with alcoholism.
Dr. Levine pointed out how Moore never shied as she continued to fight against her struggles in life. He said, “I wanted to reflect on what Mary’s life was, remind people of her importance and her impact, and encourage them to be a Mary too. To stand up for what you believe and to always present the world with a smile, but to not be shy from the battle.”