Friends, fans and fellow celebrities shared their grief with the world when Mary Tyler Moore died at the age of 80. Now, one week later, the person closest to the iconic actress has broken his silence about the loss.
Moore's husband of more than 33 years, Robert Levine, opened up in a moving statement to People.
"I can’t believe she is gone," the 65-year-old wrote. "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."
Levine, a cardiologist who met Moore in 1982, after making a house call for her mother, was by the beloved star's side when she died on Jan. 25.
"Mary was fearless, determined, and willfull," he recalled. "If she felt strongly about something, or that there was truth to be told, she would do it, no matter the consequences."
But that was just one part of the woman he loved. According to Levine, Moore countered her strong convictions with a softer side as well.
"She was kind, genuine, approachable, honest, and humble," he added. "And she had that smile. Oh, to see her smile that smile, just once more."
Levine was Moore's third husband. They wed in 1983, two years after her divorce from TV executive Grant Tinker and three years after the death of her only child, 24-year-old son Richie.
In his statement, Levine said his sorrow over the loss of his wife was "tempered" by others who've shared their memories of Moore since her death.
"As long as we all remember her, talk about her, share our stories about her, and what she meant to us, her light will never go out," he explained.
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