Mary Tyler Moore's longtime friend, Broadway producer Dasha Epstein, revealed in an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com that she and the actress "bonded" in 1980 when they both were struck almost simultaneously by the sudden and tragic loss of their loved ones.
Epstein, 80, was producing Whose Life Is It Anyway?, in which Mary played a quadriplegic, battling to be allowed to die.
Four months after the show opened, Epstein's husband, multimillionaire real estate mogul Henry Epstein, died at age 59 from a heart attack.
Just two months later, Moore's beloved 24-year-old son, Richard Meeker, committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
"My husband died and her son had just died and it brought us together," said Dasha, adding that although she kept in touch with Moore "and knew she was ill," she had not realized the severity of her decline over the past few years.
As RadarOnline.com reported, Moore's final days alive were fraught with a host of serious medical issues.
"Oh my God, she suffered so much these last few years," Dick Van Dyke Show costar and close friend Rose Marie, 93, revealed in an exclusive interview.
"She had a tumor and she had diabetes. She was going blind and she couldn't hear very well, either."
The iconic actress, who also suffered from Alzheimer's, as well as heart and kidney issues, passed away in Connecticut on Jan. 25.
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