Mary Tyler Moore’s husband, Dr. Robert Levine, has revealed how they met, and that he had no idea she was a star.
MTM revolutionized the role of the modern American woman with her performances on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
But to Dr. Levine, as he told TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager, his Mary was “someone who had (an) enormous heart, great grace… extraordinarily generous and kind.”
Levine, a cardiologist, met Moore in 1982 when her mother was sick with severe bronchitis. The family’s regular doctor was unavailable and Levine was on call, so they saw him instead.
“When I was about to leave, I said what you would expect a doctor to say, ‘Mary, if you have concerns or any further questions, just give me a call,’” he recalled. “And she turns to me and says, ‘Is acute loneliness a good enough reason to call?’”
“And I said, ‘I can’t think of a better reason to be calling at 3 a.m. And so in fact, a couple of days later, at 3 a.m., she called me,” Dr. Levine said, adding that he was “absolutely” shocked.
“In that first moment, I recognized it was different and certainly our first date… it was so easy,” he said. “Because I didn’t really know Mary as a star, so there wasn’t (a) fan-star thing going on.”
Moore, on the other hand, was a big fan of Levine’s work. “I had seen him on TV,” she said. “I thought he was very handsome.”
The couple was married in 1983 and they remained together until Moore’s death in 2017.
Levine said that he was “very lucky” to have met Moore. “She was the love of my life,” he said. “I will never forget her.”
In a new documentary, “Being Mary Tyler Moore,” fans will get to see never-before-seen pictures and archival footage found in Moore’s own basement that shows more of the woman behind the smile.
“I suggested we call the film, ‘Being Mary Tyler Moore,’” Dr. Levine, who serves as an executive producer, said. “The thing about it was, being Mary, because everything Mary did, she was authentic. She was being herself.”
Mary Tyler Moore’s life and legacy is now being portrayed in a documentary, and @JennaBushHager spoke about the icon to the man who knew her best; husband Dr. Robert Levine. pic.twitter.com/nSQEKS7kwf
— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) May 24, 2023