Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have been married for 28 years this October. But the first time they crossed paths, wasn’t when their relationship kicked off.
In 1983, Danson auditioned to be Steenburgen’s husband for the film Cross Creek. Although they met while he was on set, he didn’t get the part and their relationship was no more than a casual greeting, which both of them say was a “miracle” and for the best.
“I was a hot mess back then,” Danson confessed to People in 2021, with Steenburgen adding, “I was married. He was married. That was not our moment.”
Ten years later, they reconnected after they both scored roles in the film Pontiac Moon. However, Danson had just broken up with Whoopi Gildberg while also finalizing his divorce to his second wife Casey Coates. Steenburgen was also newly divorced just three years prior, and neither of them were considering dating anyone in the meantime.
“We both said the same phrase to ourselves, which was: ‘Obviously we cannot be in a relationship,’” Danson explained. “I could ruin anything. I’m not relationship material.”
Steenburgen shared her similar feelings at the time, saying, “I wasn’t ready for anything like a relationship. We just kept working together and becoming better and better friends.”
And as a friend, Danson eventually invited his future wife onto a canoe ride with some friends, an experience he says was “magical”.
“We came back in love, to be honest, or I’ll say smitten,” he added.
Mary thinks that meeting each other later in life was the key to them being able to not only be together, but stay together.
“We met when we were 40 and 45, and we had lived a bit,” she said. “We met at a time when both of us had stared down some demons within ourselves and that was lucky that we met then.”
Lucky indeed, as here we are nearly 28 years later and they’re still happily married in their little blended family together, never having welcomed children of their own.
Even Steenburgen’s ex husband Malcolm McDowell has only great things to say about the couple, saying that he and his ex still have a “fantastic” relationship, sharing children Charlie and Lilly.
“I was sitting at my granddaughter’s 10th birthday party with Mary, Ted, and we were sitting there with the three granddaughters and my two children with Mary,” McDowell told People. And I was sitting there and I looked at her and I went, ‘This is all because of Time After Time [the 1979 film where they met].’”
Both Ted and Mary want to be together through it all, no matter the struggles and no matter how many lifetimes it takes.
“I want as long as possible in my life with Mary. I know it will have all of its hard parts but I want to experience love in all those moments,” Ted confessed, Mary adding, “Not to sound corny, but I would sign up for a 100 more lifetime.”
It’s nice to see a couple truly be together in every sense of the word and wanting to embark on the journey of life as one, without any other vision or desire different than the life they’re living now.