Entertainment

Ed Harris + Amy Madigan: Inside Their 37-Year Love Story

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Actor Ed Harris and his wife Amy Madigan have both had incredibly successful careers in Hollywood over the past four decades. The couple has also been happily married for 37 years. 

The daughter of prominent journalist John Madigan, Amy Madigan was raised in Chicago, Illinois. She moved to Los Angeles after attending college at Marquette University. She used her talents as a singer to support herself performing around town in clubs until she was able to make it as an actress, studying with the famed acting coach Lee Strasberg. She first set eyes on her future husband when he was performing on stage in Sam Shepard's play Cowboy Mouth in 1980. Madigan was immediately taken with the actor, who had moved to LA after attending Columbia University in New York.

Amy Madigan
ASSOCIATED PRESS

"It was like something you see in a movie or hear in a song," she told Life Magazine in 1985. "I just thought--'Well, there he is.' It was obvious to me that I'd see him again."

And she was right. The following year they officially met on the set of a play they starred in together. Harris complimented her socks (quite the pick-up line) and eventually, they were dating. Two years later, they tied the knot while they were starring together in the 1983 film Places in the Heart. They were married in Waxahachie, Texas by a Justice of the Peace. Both of their careers were thriving just like their love lives. Two years after their marriage, the couple starred together again in Alamo Bay. Harris told the Chicago Tribune that the couple loved performing together, finding it brought them closer together.

''The acting thing is so intimate and personal,'' Harris said, ''that if we're not working together, it's real hard to share what we're doing. I mean we both know what we're doing, but you can't really talk about your day very well. When you're working together, though, there's so much that is shared, so much unspoken thought and emotion that goes into the work, that it really draws you closer.''

Amy Madigan
ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Harris's career continued to skyrocket through the '80s. After starring as John Glenn in The Right Stuff, Harris became an incredibly sought after actor in Hollywood -- Stepmom, A Beautiful Mind, The Firm, Apollo 13, the list goes on and on. He's been nominated for four Academy Awards and most recently has starred in the HBO series, Westworld, for three seasons. Harris told the LA Times that he never gets sick of working with his wife, who he's starred in nine films with over the years, an addition to multiple stage productions. 

"No, I love it.  We were together 24/7 when we were in New York...We really enjoy being with each other especially when we're working together. I mean we were much more intimate during that time than we are at home in a way because at home you're doing your thing, and in New York we were really just in each other's pocket in a really cool way."

Madigan's career has also flourished over the past four decades. The year after her wedding she earned a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for Twice in a Lifetime. She went on to star opposite Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, opposite John Candy in Uncle Buck, and opposite Timothy Hutton in The Dark Half. She even reunited on screen with her husband in Pollock, Gone Baby Gone, and The Rock. She has also had a lengthy television career. Madigan starred in the HBO series, Carnivàle, about the United States Dust Bowl and Great Depression, and made appearances on primetime shows like Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Living Proof and Saving Grace. TV film Roe vs. Wade earned Madigan an Emmy Award Nomination and Golden Globe Award and miniseries And Then There Was One earned her a CableAce Award.

Outside of starring in films like Winter Passing, Riders of the Purple Sage, Grey Lady, The Prince of Pennsylvania and The Last Full Measure, Madigan appeared on Broadway in 1992 in A Streetcar Named Desire and on the West End in Buried Child. 

Amy Madigan
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Throughout all of their successes, Harris and Madigan prioritized their family. They welcomed one daughter, Lily Dolores Harris, in 1993. Harris told The Guardian that the day Lily was born was the happiest day of his life. He also describes his wife as the great love of his life. Here's to many more years of happiness to one of our favorite Hollywood couples!

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Ed Harris + Amy Madigan: Inside Their 37-Year Love Story