Mary Tyler Moore Cheated on 2nd Husband with a Married Man - Inside Her Extramarital Affair
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" star, who was struck by the tragic death of her only child in 1980, cheated on her second husband with a married man. Here is everything about her romance and affair.
Mary Tyler Moore, born in 1936 into a Catholic family, was a very talented youngster. At age eight, she began singing and dancing and later established herself as a performer in commercials before hitting the film industry.
She landed several roles in hit shows, including "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Tab Hunter Show," and "Surfside 6." She also earned a tremendous amount of recognition through awards and love from fans.
Actress Mary Tyler Moore in rehearsal for The Dick Van Dyke Show on December 2, 1963[left]. Actress Mary Tyler Moore arrives with her husband Grant Tinker at The 25th Primetime Emmy Awards on May 20, 1973 [right] | Photo: Getty Images
As far as her personal life was concerned, Moore was unlucky with romance until much later — after two failed marriages, an affair with a married man, the news of her dead son, a battle with alcoholism, and diabetes.
Moore died in 2017 at 80, and by then, she was a happy wife with a perfect husband by her side. The onscreen goddess is remembered for her excellent works on TV and candid revelations of her life through her book.
American actress Mary Tyler Moore, circa 1970.| Photo: Getty Images
MOORE'S FIRST PUBLIC ROMANCE
Moore's first time as a married woman was at age 18, to Richard Meeker. The union lasted six years, and the couple had a child named Richie.
However, she admitted to not being the perfect parent, as her career overrode her love for being a present mother. Her career affected her relationship with Richie, who struggled to accept his mother until he became older.
Mary Tyler Moore in a scene from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', Los Angeles, California, 1970 | Photo: Getty Images
Their relationship was categorized by the young man often seeking his mother's help after entanglements caused by a life of drug abuse and indebtedness. Moore did not appreciate the dynamic, but she often rescued her son when needed.
Sadly, Richie passed away in 1980, following a mishap. He shot himself with a gun in Fresno, California, leaving Moore with a pang of overwhelming guilt for her son's choices, even though his death was ruled an accident.
Close-up of smiling actress Mary Tyler Moore who stars in the television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, circa 1975. | Photo: Getty Images
LIFE WITH HER SECOND HUSBAND
After Moore's first marriage ended, she found a charming young man, Grant Tinker. Tinker was an expert in production and worked with NBC.
Moore and Tinker were married for more than a decade, from 1962 to 1981. Although the couple did not have children in their union, Tinker already had four kids from his first marriage before meeting Moore.
Having his children did not affect the way he treated his second wife's son, Richie. On the contrary, they were inseparable and bonded just fine. Richie's stepfather loved him and tried to show him a perfect example by being a better person.
Actress Mary Tyler Moore poses with her Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild backstage at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images
The couple seemingly enjoyed parenting at the beginning and their union. They shared similar ideals and work ethics and even teamed up on various projects.
No doubt, they were one of Hollywood's golden couples. They established a company known as MGM Enterprise, which overran several hit shows, including those starring the couple.
Their organization produced "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," which made Moore very popular. They also produced spinoffs, "The Bob Newhart Show," "Hill Street Blues," and "St. Elsewhere."
Mary Tyler Moore, presenter during 4th Annual TV Land Awards - Show at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, United States.| Photo: Getty Images
But while they were the cynosure of all eyes due to their professionalism and teamwork, they did not have a perfect marriage. The twosome had different priorities.
The former couple seldom stepped out for dinner dates, red carpet events, or parties. Their social life was not intriguing, as they mainly focused on working or enjoying the comfort of their home's pool.
Soon enough, their relationship became strained, and Grant would subtly display pangs of anger towards his wife before excusing himself from a room. Finally, things began to deteriorate, and the duo engaged in arguments which led to Tinker proposing a separation.
Dick Van Dyke, US actor, and Mary Tyler Moore, US actress, in a wedding dress, with a piece of icing from a wedding cake on her finger, in a publicity portrait issued for the US television special, 'Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman', USA, 1969. | Photo: Getty Images
He told Moore that they had poisoned their marriage. Naturally, this made the onscreen star very upset. She sobbed and pounded her fists on the floor on the same day before agreeing that Tinker was right.
A few hours after her tantrums, the mother of one joined her soon-to-be ex-husband at their home bar and asked him to move out of the house in two days. She also requested that he hold her in bed.
The next day, the one-time golden couple went about their business, heading to the studio as usual after agreeing to separate a few hours prior. The separation went as planned but only lasted for about six weeks.
Mary Tyler Moore speak onstage during The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards broadcast on TNT/TBS at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images
Despite the growing distance, they seemed to miss each other so much that Tinker asked for a truce, and his wife accepted. They moved back in together with the hope of making things work but surprisingly, things did not get any better.
The silence worsened, and Moore turned to alcohol rather than address the issues at hand. It was not until 1979 that they decided to talk about their unpleasant marriage.
They sought self-counseling and reassured each other they would both make a change. However, the couple's efforts still did little to repair the already failing marriage.
Actors Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore speak onstage during The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards broadcast on TNT/TBS at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Eventually, they booked an appointment with an expert. However, the duo did not make it back for their second session. Tinker was not comfortable sharing his problems with a stranger, a perspective Moore did not object to.
MOORE'S AFFAIR WITH A MARRIED MAN
A failed attempt at repairing her second marriage following the cancelation of their therapy date created the perfect portal for Moore to engage in an extramarital affair.
She refused to identify the man but revealed that he was married, and they had met on the set of "Ordinary People." The actress added that the agreement was to have as much fun during the shooting period.
Promotional portrait of American actors Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke reprise their roles as Laura and Rob Petrie on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited,' Los Angeles, California, March 10, 2004. | Photo: Getty Images
The affair was supposed to expire as soon as they left the set, and they were to return to their everyday lives. But, according to excerpts from her memoir "After All:"
"In our lucid moments, we reminded ourselves that this was the heartfelt yet temporary phenomenon of location shooting. He had a longtime commitment and wasn't interested in changing that life."
Her accomplice's reality was not a bother. Moore accepted that her marriage was over, and she needed to feel loved as a gorgeous woman; however, the exotic feeling aroused by this "Ordinary People'' co-star made her mad for more.
Mary Tyler Moore poses backstage at the 2006 TV Land Awards at the Barker Hangar | Photo: Getty Images
Although she felt remorseful knowing that her desires were a mortal sin according to her Catholic beliefs, that did not get in the way. Upon her return from filming, she realized that her husband had met another woman.
MOORE FOUND LOVE AGAIN
After two failed marriages, a successful career, and an affair, Moore wanted more from life. In her publication, she never hid her desire to have a man by her side. In 1983, two years after her union was dissolved, the actress married again.
Mary Tyler Moore attends the Farm Sanctuary Gala 2004 at The Plaza Hotel on May 22, 2004 | Photo: Getty Images
Her third husband was Dr. Robert Levine, who treated her mother. Moore found him charming, and they became very close. They soon started hanging out, despite a 15 year age gap between them.
They were together for more than three decades, weathered the storm of Moore's past tragedies, and health issues alongside other complexities in marriage. It was not until 2017, when death snatched Moore from Levine's grip, that they separated.
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