Hollywood doesn't have very many successful love stories. For every Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, there's a couple you thought would be together forever who shocks the world with a public breakup. But one of the sweetest couples that we really think will be together for the long haul is Ted Danson and his wife Mary Steenburgen. Both actors had totally given up on love when they first came together, which is probably key...they weren't looking for it when it fell in their laps.
Both were high profile actors at the time they met. Danson, an Arizona native, had made a name for himself starring in films like Three Men and a Baby, Three Men and a Little Lady, and had starred as Sam Malone on the popular sitcom Cheers. Steenburgen was also a well-known name for her roles in Parenthood and Back to the Future Part III. But the couple didn't get together until starring as husband and wife in the 1994 film Pontiac Moon. The co-stars had no idea what was in store for them on set.
"I announced to all my friends -- not dramatically, but very seriously -- that I was done with relationships," Steenburgen told Closer. At the time, her decade-long marriage with actor Malcolm McDowell had ended a few years prior, making her a single mother to their two children, Charlie and Lily. Danson had not only been divorced from first wife Randy Gosch and second wife Casey Coates but had an incredibly public and difficult breakup from Whoopi Goldberg. But their feelings would change after going out to film a canoe scene on the set of Pontiac Moon.
"We paddled in sync," Danson reflected. "We went out as friends and by the time we came back, we were in love...Ironic how life works in those moments," he says. "Once you throw up your arms and surrender, a lot of times things come your way."
Danson and Steenburgen married on Martha's Vineyard on October 7, 1995, and have been deeply in love ever since. Their wedding was attended by numerous high profile guests including Steenburgen's Arkansas pals, Bill and Hillary Clinton. In fact, Danson continues to share sweet sentiments about how much he loves his wife.
"I'm madly in love with Mary Steenburgen. She's a remarkable human being so I'm just incredibly blessed," the actor told Us Weekly. "It feels like heaven on Earth. If I were to die, I can say, I know what it's like to be loved and to love."
He also showers his wife with loving adoration every day they spend together in their Los Angeles home which quite honestly has us swooning.
"He does tell me every single day of my life I'm beautiful, and I do know a lot of women live without that," Steenburgen told People. "And it does matter, someone just telling you that."
But it wasn't an easy road for Danson to find happily ever after with his current love. The Emmy Award winner's divorce from Coates was very messy. She had endured a stroke following the birth of their first child, Kate, that had left her partially paralyzed. But after adopting a second child together, Alexis, it was clear they just weren't the same people anymore and the relationship wasn't working. The marriage finally ended when Danson had an affair with Goldberg on the set of Made in America. After his public divorce, his breakup with Goldberg was even more cringe-worthy after he showed up to a Friars Club roast in blackface in an attempt to joke about their interracial romance. It led to the end of their relationship and friendship. He crossed paths with Steenburgen the following year.
"If I corrected my mistakes -- which are cringers -- would I take them away if it were to alter anything about where I am now? No," he says. "Life is messy. The older I get, the more I realize it's OK to be imperfect. Because you can still grow and make changes in your life. It's not like you're finished at 70 or 75."
"It's almost intimidating spending time with Ted and Mary because of how solid and loving and connected they are," Kristen Bell, Danson's costar from the comedy series The Good Place, told AARP. "Honestly, it's beautiful how they obsess over each other."