‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’: Moore Used a Cheeky Line to Pick Up Final Husband Robert Levine

by Charles Craighill

Even four years after the death of Mary Tyler Moore, we can learn a couple of things from her final marriage. First of all, women don’t have to feel weird about asking men out. Also, pick up lines do work… sometimes.

While I can’t guarantee that you won’t receive a slap to the face if you slide the lady at the bar an “are you from Tennessee” line, I can tell you that Mary Tyler Moore found success with a cheeky line. After a long battle with type one diabetes and a couple of unsuccessful marriages, Moore found someone who would make her happy for the rest of her life. Here is their “how we met” story that seems like it belongs in a movie.

Her Early Troubles with Love

Mary Tyler Moore did not find a lot of luck in the department of love and marriage in her younger life. Her first marriage to Richard Meeker lasted six years before fizzling as her career took off. Despite giving birth to a son together, they broke it off in 1961. They reunited after their son shot himself accidentally in 1980, however that did not last either.

In 1962, Mary Tyler Moore married Grant Tinkler, a television executive. This marriage produced a positive business relationship and the production of “the Mary Tyler Moore Show,” however, it too was not meant to last. After her long battle with Type 1 Diabetes caused issues as well as growing distance, the couple filed for divorce after 19 years of marriage in 1981.

The Love Story of Mary Tyler Moore and Dr. Robert Levine

Finally, Mary Tyler Moore would find the man who she could spend the rest of her life with. Their love story looks as if it were written by a Hollywood screen writer as even the dialogue would put anyone in tears. Here is how it all went down.

In 1982, Moore’s mother was sick with bronchitis. Her regular doctor was not around, so Moore called Dr. Levine. Levine came around a time or two to help out Mary’s mother, however, he noticed some chemistry happening between himself and the famous television actress. The next time he called, Moore hit him with a pick-up line he couldn’t refuse.

“After I’d seen her mom the second time,” Levine reported to People Magazine back in 1984. “I said to Mary, ‘If there’s an emergency just get in touch with me.’ And Mary said, ‘Does acute loneliness count?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ ”

Mary Tyler Moor went on her first date with Robert Levine just days after that call, and the rest is history. She fell for him immediately and they started seeing each other every weekend. The next year on the Eve of Thanksgiving, Mary Tyler Moore married Dr. Robert Levine. The couple stayed together until the day of her death four years ago last week.