Who is Richard Carleton Meeker? Everything You Need to Know About Mary Tyler Moore’s Ex-Husband- Wiki Biography

Some stories from Hollywood’s past are still shrouded in mystery, hidden beneath the glitter and glamor of show business. One such story is the life of Richard Carleton Meeker, whose name might not be as well-known as that of his ex-wife, the renowned actress Mary Tyler Moore. But hidden away in the quiet paths of their shared past is a story full of tragedy, depth, and a bond that goes beyond the everyday.

Richard Carleton Meeker, born on March 7, 1927, in Los Angeles, California, emerged from humble beginnings to become more than just a footnote in the story of Hollywood’s golden era. However, it is his association with Mary Tyler Moore, celebrated for her memorable roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, that casts a compelling spotlight on his life.

As we delve into the details of Meeker’s journey, we unravel a tapestry woven with love, loss, and the indomitable spirit that defines the human experience. Join us on a captivating exploration of the enigmatic life of Richard Carleton Meeker, a man whose story unfolds beyond the glimmering lights of Hollywood’s facade.

Richard Carleton Meeker’s Wiki

Birth DateMarch 7, 1927
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States
ParentsCarleton Ludlow Meeker and Lillian Ross
OccupationCranberry Sauce Sales Manager
Marriage to Mary Tyler MooreAugust 25, 1955, in California, USA (Divorced in 1962)
ChildrenRichard Carleton Meeker Jr. (Born July 3, 1956)
Death DateJuly 8, 2013
Death PlaceSacramento, California, United States
RemarriageJeanette Stein Meeker

Early Life and Career

On March 7, 1927, Richard Carleton Meeker was born in the prospering Californian town of Los Angeles. He came from an ordinary background; his parents were Carleton Ludlow Meeker and Lillian Ross. However, nobody realized that this modest birth would pave the way for a life enmeshed in Hollywood glitz and glamour.

Meeker’s journey took an unexpected turn when he ventured into the realm of sales, eventually finding himself as a cranberry sauce sales manager. His trajectory, while not as publicized as some in the entertainment industry, bore witness to a man with a knack for navigating the intricacies of business, all while silently making his mark on the world.

Marriage to Mary Tyler Moore at the Age of 28

Richard Carleton Meeker

The fateful intertwining of destinies occurred when Richard Carleton Meeker, at 28, exchanged vows with the burgeoning starlet Mary Tyler Moore. Their union, marked by youthfulness and shared dreams, began on August 25, 1955, in California, United States. Mary, just 18 at the time, embarked on the journey of matrimony, escaping the cocoon of her parent’s home for the adventure of ‘wisdom’ and motherhood.

What set their union apart was the fate of geography. Richard and Mary were not just bound by marriage; they were once next-door neighbors, the threads of their lives interwoven through proximity and shared moments. From the ordinary confines of neighboring residences arose a love story that would captivate hearts and stand the test of time.

A new chapter unfolded in their lives with the birth of their son, Richard Carleton Meeker Jr., on July 3, 1956, in Los Angeles, California. The arrival of a child added layers of joy and responsibility, reshaping the contours of their relationship and setting the stage for the complexities that would later define their family saga. Little did they know that this familial bliss would be tinged with heartbreak in the future.

Tragedy Strikes: The Loss of Richard Meeker Jr.

Richard Carleton Meeker

The Meeker family narrative, initially painted with the hues of joy, took a poignant turn with the birth of Richard Carleton Meeker Jr. on July 3, 1956, in the bustling city of Los Angeles, California. As Mary Tyler Moore continued to carve her path in the entertainment industry, young Richard Jr. became a centerpiece of their lives, a testament to the fragile balance between fame and family.

Amidst the glitz of Hollywood, Mary Tyler Moore’s career soared to new heights, propelled by her roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. However, the pursuit of stardom came at a cost—a cost felt deeply within the walls of the Meeker household.

Tragedy befell the Meeker family when, on October 14, 1980, Richard Meeker Jr. lost his life at the tender age of 24. A student at the University of Southern California and an employee at CBS, Richard Jr.’s promising life was cut short by an accidental gunshot wound—an event officially ruled as such but leaving an indelible scar on the hearts of those who loved him.

Mary Tyler Moore’s Reflections on Motherhood and the Tragedy

Richard Carleton Meeker

In the aftermath of this heart-wrenching loss, Mary Tyler Moore, known for her grace in the public eye, opened a window into her soul. In retrospection, she expressed a profound yearning for more time with her son, acknowledging that her dedication to her career had, at times, eclipsed the precious moments she wished she had shared with Richard Jr. The complexities of motherhood and the choices made during those formative years became a poignant theme in Moore’s reflections.

The loss of Richard Meeker Jr. cast a long and profound shadow over the Meeker family. The happiness they once knew evolved into a grief that words could scarcely encapsulate. Mary Tyler Moore, alongside Richard Carleton Meeker Sr., found themselves navigating the uncharted waters of grief, attempting to reconcile the pain of losing a child with the memories of the joy they once shared.

Post-Divorce and Remarriage

The once-promising union of Richard Carleton Meeker and Mary Tyler Moore met the inevitable crossroads of separation, leading to their divorce in 1962. Though their marriage spanned seven years, the complexities of life and the demands of their pursuits prompted the dissolution of their partnership. Mary Tyler Moore, at the onset of her career ascent with The Dick Van Dyke Show, found herself steering into a different chapter, one where personal and professional realms diverged.

Following the dissolution of his marriage to a rising star, Richard Carleton Meeker embarked on a journey beyond the spotlight of Hollywood. While details of his post-divorce life may not have dominated the headlines, his resilience and capacity to navigate life’s transitions became apparent. The man who once stood alongside an iconic actress redefined his narrative, finding purpose beyond the echoes of a past chapter.

Remarriage to Jeanette Stein Meeker

Richard Carleton Meeker

In the wake of change, Richard Carleton Meeker’s life took a turn with a second chance at love. He entered into a new chapter by marrying Jeanette Stein Meeker. The details of their union and the shared experiences that wove the fabric of their life together remain a testament to the strength of the human spirit. As Meeker embraced a fresh start, his remarriage reflected a commitment to a future shaped by new connections and shared journeys.

Legacy and Later Years

While Richard Carleton Meeker’s name may not have resonated as loudly as his former spouse, Mary Tyler Moore, his life was not devoid of contributions and achievements. Beyond the glitz of Hollywood, Meeker left his mark, particularly in his role as a cranberry sauce sales manager. His ability to navigate the business world hinted at a man with a diverse skill set, contributing in ways that extended beyond the entertainment industry’s spotlight.

Meeker was not a household name in the entertainment industry, but his connection to Mary Tyler Moore positioned him within the Hollywood landscape. The proximity to one of the industry’s brightest stars showcased an unassuming figure who played a supporting role in the backdrop of the glamour and fame surrounding Moore’s career.

The private information of Richard Carleton Meeker, concealed from the public’s prying eyes, likely held a wealth of personal anecdotes and wisdom garnered from a life lived in the shadows of celebrity. Whether it be the challenges of marriage to an emerging star or the courage displayed in the face of life’s upheavals, Meeker’s reflections would provide a unique lens into a life that intersected with the dazzling world of Hollywood.

Legacy After His Passing in 2013

Richard Carleton Meeker departed on July 8, 2013, leaving a legacy that resonated with those who knew him intimately. His passing marked the end of a chapter that saw him navigate the complexities of love, loss, and remarriage. Despite not being a well-known person in the traditional sense, he left a legacy that permeated Hollywood history, familial ties, and personal relationships.

Mary Tyler Moore’s Later Life

Richard Carleton Meeker

In the wake of her divorce from Richard Carleton Meeker in 1962, Mary Tyler Moore embarked on a journey marked by love, growth, and the complexities accompanying fame. Her subsequent marriages unfolded like chapters in a captivating novel. Following her divorce, she wed Grant Tinker, a CBS executive, in 1963.

This marriage, too, had its conclusion in 1981. Not deterred by the challenges of love, she found her final partner in Dr. Robert Levine, entering into matrimony in 1983. The union with Dr. Levine endured until her eventual passing in 2017.

The years following her divorce saw Mary Tyler Moore ascend to new heights in her career. Her roles in television and film continued to captivate audiences, solidifying her status as an icon. The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show showcased her versatility and charisma, contributing to a paradigm shift in the portrayal of women on screen.

Beyond the glitz of Hollywood, Moore evolved into an advocate for animal rights, vegetarianism, and diabetes prevention. Her personal growth paralleled her professional success, creating a legacy transcending the screen.

Reflections on Her Life and Marriages in Her Own Words

Mary Tyler Moore offered readers a glimpse into the rainbow of her life, connected with the triumphs and tribulations that defined her journey. “After All,” published in 1995, delved into her experiences, acknowledging the complexities of recovering from alcoholism.

“Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes” (2009) focused on her life with type 1 diabetes, shedding light on her challenges. Her words were a testament to durability, vulnerability, and an unwavering commitment to authenticity.

Her Eventual Death in 2017 and Burial Details

The final chapter in Mary Tyler Moore’s extraordinary life unfolded on January 25, 2017, as she succumbed to cardiopulmonary arrest complicated by pneumonia at the age of 80. Her passing occurred at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut, after being placed on a ventilator in the preceding week.

In a private ceremony, she found her resting place in Oak Lawn Cemetery in Fairfield, Connecticut. The loss reverberated through the hearts of those who admired her, marking the end of an era and the legacy of a woman who left an indelible imprint on the world through her roles and advocacy.


As the story of Richard Carleton Meeker, the once-silent man living in the shadows of Hollywood, comes to an end, a gripping tale of love, grief, and strength is revealed. Meeker, born on March 7, 1927, shared a journey with renowned actress Mary Tyler Moore, providing a nuanced look at life behind the spotlight.

From his roots as a cranberry sauce sales manager to his pivotal role in Mary Tyler Moore‘s life, Meeker’s journey reveals a man whose impact stretched beyond the confines of fame. The birth of their son, the tragedy that befell the Meeker family, and the subsequent remarriage to Jeanette Stein Meeker form the intricate threads of his narrative. His legacy, though subtle, resonates in the personal and professional spheres he navigated.

The life of Richard Carleton Meeker, though not as publicly celebrated, is a captivating story waiting to be explored further. Beyond the anecdotes and headlines lies a man who navigated the complexities of love, loss, and remarriage within the backdrop of Hollywood’s glittering allure.

We invite readers to delve into the lesser-known chapters of Meeker’s life, uncovering the layers contributing to the broader varieties of Hollywood history. In this invitation lies the promise of discovery—a journey into the enigmatic life of a man whose story, though quieter, is no less intriguing.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show S01E01 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. How old was Richie Meeker when he died?

Ans: He was 24 years old.

Q. Did Mary Tyler Moore have any biological children?

Ans: On July 3, 1956, Moore and her first husband, Richard Meeker, welcomed their only child, Richard Carleton “Richie” Meeker Jr.

Beyond Richard Carleton Meeker Under Wiki Listing

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