Patty Hanson
Image via Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Charles Esten Has Been Married To College Sweetheart Patty Hanson For Nearly 30 Years

Was there anyone who didn't love watching Charles Esten play Deacon Claybourne on the TV show Nashville? Even though his life was a mess and we didn't know what would happen between him and Rayna, Esten was truly captivating and an incredible musician that we want to regularly hear belt out old school country music at the historic Bluebird Cafe. In real life, he couldn't be more different from his onscreen persona (outside of his singing skills of course). The actor has been happily married to his wife Patty Hanson since 1991. That's right, nearly 30 years of marriage! Technically it's Patty Hanson Puskar (Esten took his middle name for his professional stage name). 

The couple met back when they were both attending the College of William & Mary. Patty had come all the way from Italy, part of a military family, and had initially wanted to attend Duke. Luckily, she wasn't accepted in time and she ended up on campus with Esten. At first, there were no sparks between the two because Patty was already in a relationship and Esten was busy performing around town with his band, N'est Pas. But junior year, after her breakup, Patty went to see N'est Pas play and the rest is history. Esten even sang "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits directly to her in the audience according to Bustle

Decades later, the couple has three children together — Taylor, Chase, and Addie. Esten and his wife are also incredibly involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society after Addie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was just two and a half years old. Luckily now, she is very healthy. 

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"As you can imagine, that sort of devastated us, and scared us to death. But the first thing we heard was that there was hope — and there were things that could be done," Esten told Cowboys & Indians. "And sure enough, 13 years later, she is extremely healthy."

When Esten first booked the ABC show Nashville, the family split time between Los Angeles and Music City, but they now Tennessee home. They are also regularly involved with various leukemia fundraisers after their experience with Addie including the Light the Night Walk

We don't know much about Patty's professional life, but she does have a credit for being Kevin Costner's assistant on the set of his film Tin Cup. You can tell the couple is still completely in love when you see them together on red carpets and it's so sweet to see. Esten has brought his wife to the CMT Music Awards, ACM Awards, and even his debut performing at the Grand Ole Opry.

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