Actress Bernadette Peters' (search) hubby — an investment whiz whom she first met in a chance encounter worthy of Broadway — was killed in a horrific chopper crash in the Mediterranean, it was revealed Tuesday.

Michael Wittenberg (search), a 45-year-old financier and real-estate developer, had been surveying resort properties in Montenegro on Monday when the helicopter's rotor blade apparently struck a high-voltage power line, officials said.

Three other people also died in the accident.

Wittenberg and Peters — the flame-haired star of such hit revival plays as "Gypsy" and "Annie Get Your Gun" — had been married for nine years.

Peters, 57, liked to recount the tale of how the pair first met outside her Manhattan apartment building — and she was immediately smitten by the handsome, dark-haired businessman.

"I was dressed up ... waiting for a date who was late. Michael was on his way to a charity event and was in a tuxedo," she told Philadelphia's City Paper in 2000.

"So he walked up to me, a stranger, and said, 'Are you ready to go?' How's that for a sense of confidence and a sense of humor?"

The pair were wed at the Dutchess County farm of close pal and fellow animal lover Mary Tyler Moore in 1996.

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