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What to know about Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen's marriage

The couple has been married for nearly 30 years, with a love that is as solid as ever.
/ Source: TODAY

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen are one of Hollywood’s most enduring couples. She’s an Academy Award winner for best supporting actress for “Melvin and Howard” who has starred in other hits like “Elf,” “Philadelphia,” “The Help” and “Nightmare Alley,” while he’s a sitcom legend with multiple Emmy Awards for his work in “Cheers.”

The Hollywood stars have been married for nearly three decades, with a relationship that is still going strong.

"Not to sound corny, but I would sign up for a hundred more lifetimes because he makes me a better person," Steenburgen told People in 2021 about their relationship. "He's a truly beautiful human being, a great, big soul."

Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson at 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar party.
Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson at the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar party.Dave Benett/VF24 / WireImage

Their relationship, though, goes back even longer than their courtship, with the pair meeting in the 1980s before they found love together years after that.

“We met when we were 40 and 45, and we had lived a bit,” Steenburgen told People in 2018 about reconnecting in the '90s. “We met at a time when both of us had stared down some demons within ourselves and that was lucky that we met then.”

Here’s a look at their romance.

They first meet

Danson, 76, and Steenburgen, 71, initially crossed paths when he auditioned to play her husband in the 1983 movie “Cross Creek.” He was married at the time to Casey Coates, while she was married to Malcolm McDowell. Danson didn’t land the role in “Cross Creek” and they both agree it was a blessing they didn’t get involved at the time.

“I was a hot mess back then,” Danson told People in 2021.

“I was married. He was married. That was not our moment,” Steenburgen added.

They meet again

It took another decade for Danson and Steenburgen to circle back to each other when they co-starred in the 1994 movie “Pontiac Moon.”

Love was still not on their minds, though. Danson had already divorced Coates and was coming off a high-profile relationship with Whoopi Goldberg, while Steenburgen had split from her first husband, Malcolm McDowell.

Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson in "Pontiac Moon."
Mary Steenburgen (left) and Ted Danson (right) in "Pontiac Moon," the movie where they fell in love.Alamy Stock Photo

“We both had sworn off relationships,” Steenburgen told People in 2021.

“Every single thing (about him) surprised me because I was pretty sure I knew who he was,” she said on “The Jess Cagle Podcast in 2021. “This is annoying, but I thought he was sort of a slick, breezy person. ... He was very soulful and of course devastatingly funny, which is a major turn-on for me.”

They became friends and developed a relationship from there.

“It wasn’t love at first sight. It was this gradual getting to know who a person was,” she told People in 2021.

Fate had something else in mind, though. Danson invited Steenburgen on a canoe trip with friends, which is when everything changed.

“It was very magical,” he told People in 2021.

“By the time we came back, I’d say both of us were in love,” he told “The Drew Barrymore Show” in 2022. 

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen at 1997 People's Choice Awards.
Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen at the 23rd People's Choice Awards on Jan. 12, 1997.Vinnie Zuffante / Getty Images

He proposes

Steenburgen was shooting the 1995 movie “Powder” in Houston when Danson flew to see her on her birthday to pop the question. The pair had already been together for two years at that point.

“I was so clear I didn’t want to be with anyone else,” he told People in 2021. “I couldn’t imagine not being with her at all times.”

They get married

The couple tied the knot Oct. 7, 1995, on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen in 2019.
Ted Danson (left) and Mary Steenburgen (right) on Sept. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

They’re a blended family

The couple never had kids together, although they each have two children from prior marriages. Danson has two daughters, Kate and Alexis, with Coates, while Steenburgen has son Charlie and daughter Lilly with McDowell.

“It is a remarkable, remarkable thing to blend a family and have it work the way it does work with our family,” Steenburgen told People in 2021.

They work together

What’s that they say about mixing business with pleasure? Danson and Steenburgen have worked together many times, in addition to “Pontiac Moon.” The couple starred in the 1996 miniseries “Gulliver’s Travels,” with Danson playing Dr. Lemuel Gulliver and Steenburgen appearing as his wife, Mary.

That same year, they teamed up to star in the short-lived CBS sitcom “Ink,” playing divorced journalists working together at the same newspaper. The show lasted one season.

Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson on the TV series "Ink."
Mary Steenburgen (left) and Ted Danson (right) co-starred on the CBS sitcom "Ink."CBS Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

They also starred in the 2004 TV movie “It Must Be Love,” about a couple that decides to divorce.

They also played fictional versions of themselves on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” starring as their married selves before divorcing on the show, which prompted them to have to assure friends they weren’t splitting.  Danson had many appearances on the series, while Steenburgen starred in six episodes during the show’s run, according to IMDb.

She also had a guest role on a 2022 episode of Danson’s NBC series “Mr. Mayor” and another guest spot on a 2020 episode of his show “The Good Place.” In addition, she also had an uncredited appearance on a 2004 episode of his sitcom “Becker.”

Ted Danson as Lemuel Gulliver and Mary Steenburgen as Mary Gulliver in "Gulliver's Travels."
Ted Danson (left) and Mary Steenburgen (right) in 1996's "Gulliver's Travels." The miniseries would win five Emmy Awards.Alamy Stock Photo

They celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2020

In 2020, the couple reached a milestone when they celebrated their 25th anniversary.

“Thank you for making me laugh today and every single one of the last 9,125 days. You are the goofiest, wisest, kindest, dreamboat in the world,” she captioned a selfie of them on Instagram.

They aren’t afraid to express themselves

Before the premiere of the second season of Steenburgen’s series “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” in 2021, Danson plugged the show while touting his love for her.

“My greatest role is getting to be the husband of this incredible woman,” he captioned a photo of them on Instagram.