mary tyler moore robert levine

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Mary Tyler Moore's husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine, is speaking out on the death of his wife of 33 years in a new interview

Levine describes the 'emptiness' he feels now that Moore and her famous smile are gone

CNN  — 

Mary Tyler Moore’s husband of 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine, can’t imagine life without “that smile.”

“I can’t believe she is gone,” Levine told People magazine. “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.”

He went on: “Mary was fearless, determined and willfull. If she felt strongly about something, or that there was truth to be told, she would do it, no matter the consequences.”

Moore and Levine met in 1982 and were married the following November. Moore had been married to producer Richard Meeker from 1955 to 1961 and to the former NBC executive Grant Tinker from 1962 to 1981.

Related: How ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ made a difference

Levine remembered Moore as “kind, genuine, approachable, honest, and humble. And she had that smile. Oh, to see her smile that smile, just once more.”

“My sadness is only tempered by the remarkable outpouring of good wishes, tributes, and personal ‘Mary stories’ told, with heart, by those touched by her grace,” he said. “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.”

The TV icon was buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in Fairfield, Connecticut, on Sunday.