Sometimes falling in love with another actor is a recipe for success. After all, who would better understand the tough hours and rigorous schedule better than someone doing the same thing? This definitely proved to be the case for Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney who have now been married for over 30 years.
Love at First Sight
Gerald Lee McRaney grew up in Mississippi, even attending the University of Mississippi. He spent time working in the oil fields of Louisiana before moving out to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He kicked things off with the film Night of Bloody Horror followed by roles on the television series Night Gallery, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Rockford Files, Gunsmoke, and The Incredible Hulk, before eventually landing a lead role on Simon & Simon. It was actually on the set of that series where McRaney first met his future wife, Delta Burke.
Actress Delta Burke had also appeared on a slew of TV shows at the time like Filthy Rich, The Love Boat, and Who's the Boss? She had also just begun the second season of the CBS series Designing Women when she appeared on Simon & Simon.
"He asked me to marry him on the second date, so we were pretty committed!" Burke told PEOPLE.
"I wasn't going to let her get away," admitted McRaney. "I already had competition. There were people asking her out on dates, and I was going to move in right away."
Two Actors in Love
McRaney had previously been married to Beverly Root and Pat Moran but it seemed he had finally met his match with Burke. He completely ignored the advice of friends who told him he shouldn't get involved with an actress.
"Why not? They're the only people who understand this insanity. And she does. If I'm on location, and I don't call her until 2 o'clock in the morning, no big deal. She knows. And the same thing out here. If I come in in a foul mood because I've had a problem with the script or the director or this, 'Okay, I'll listen to you. Just don't take it out on me, and I'll listen to you.'"
The couple tied the knot in 1989 and has been together ever since. McRaney even helped his wife while she was dealing with a frustrating weight gain and battle with Type 2 Diabetes during the last season of Designing Women.
"He's been great," Burke told Eating Well. "It didn't matter to him how fat I got. He reminds me what I should be doing or shouldn't be eating. He likes to give me my shots and says it makes him feel like he's taking care of me."
McRaney went on to appear in The NeverEnding Story, Major Dad, Promised Land, HBO's Deadwood, House of Cards, Longmire, Jericho, The A-Team, Touched by an Angel, Diagnosis: Murder, Undercovers, JAG, Heart of the Country, Mike & Molly, One Tree Hill, Red Tails, Hansel and Gretel, Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors, Ike: Countdown to D-Day, and more. But recently, he received acclaim for his role as Dr. Nathan Katowski on the NBC drama series, This Is Us. Burke admitted that it was so exciting for her to support her husband when he was honored with an Emmy Award in 2017.
"This has been huge for me," she said. "I have wanted him to be nominated for so many years, I cannot tell you. I think that he's richly deserved it, and that they've noticed him and acknowledged him this year makes me want to cry."
Editors Note: This article was originally published on May 3, 2021.
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