Jack Fisk
AP Photo/Vince Bucci

Sissy Spacek + Jack Fisk: Inside Their 46-Year Love Story

Sissy Spacek has led an incredible career in Hollywood since the early '70s. Outside of her six Oscar nominations (including her win for Coal Miner's Daughter), she's also had an incredibly happy marriage with production designer Jack Fisk for 47 years. The inspiring couple met at the very beginning of Spacek's career.

Jack Fisk


In 1973, Spacek was starring in her first leading film role as Holly Sargis in Terrence Malick's Badlands. Jack Fisk was an art director for the film. Spacek told NPR that they fell in love on set and pretty much everyone knew except for Malick, who was a little preoccupied making his directorial debut. Their first date was a bit unconventional but definitely made an impression.

"He asked me to take the boat home...back to the hotel, or the motel where the whole crew was staying," she said. "And he had built this wonderful treehouse out among the cottonwoods, and it was just the most magical place. And I thought, oh, this is a great idea. No one has ever asked me to take a boat anywhere. 

So the whole crew left, knowing that we were going to take this boat trip about 10 miles back to the motel. And then a huge storm came, lightning and thunder and torrential rains, and the boat sank about 100 yards down the river, and the crew members were really nervous, because the storm was so big. They sent out search parties for us, and, of course, we were so much in love we were dodging the headlights."

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After the film wrapped, the couple tied the knot in 1974 in a private ceremony in a California chapel. The two wore blue jeans and had their dog with them as their witness. 

In 1983, Spacek told People she had no idea they would be in it for the long-run. 

"We never expected a lifelong relationship," she said. "In fact, we even opened a bank account and put $30 in it, because that's how much it cost to get divorced."

Jack Fisk

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Spacek's career was booming in the late '70s and early '80s with hits like Carrie, Raggedy Man and Violets Are Blue (the latter two were directed by Fisk). But the couple made the decision to raise their two daughters Madison and Schuyler Fisk, away from the craziness of Los Angeles and Hollywood, and moved out to a horse farm in Virginia.  

Throughout their careers, they have always connected over their love for film. Spacek even told Huffington Post that they frequently worked together in their early careers.

"Well, first we met working together, and throughout the 1970s we just did almost every film together — from Badlands to Carrie," she said. "If I wasn't working, I helped him out, and if he wasn't working, he helped me with my research for a role. We really supported one another and we really understood the business. It was what brought us together."

While Spacek continued to shine onscreen with her seriously impressive filmography (just her award nominations have their own IMDB page), Fisk's career behind the scenes exploded. He continued designing Terrence Malick's films including Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life and The New World. He even received Academy Award nominations for Best Production for his work on There Will Be Blood and The Revenant. He has worked with many prominent directors over the years including Brian De Palma, Paul Thomas Anderson and Alejandro González Iñárritu. He also worked with his brother-in-law David Lynch on The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive.

This story previously ran on June 17, 2020.

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