Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Can't Stop Saying Adorable Stuff About Each Other (2024)

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen had both pretty much given up on love by the time they filmed 1994's Pontiac Moon together.

"I announced to all my friends — not dramatically, but very seriously — that I was done with relationships," Mary told Closer in 2018. The 2020 Emmy-nominated actor, who'd recently divorced second wife Casey Coates and endured a very public breakup with Whoopi Goldberg, had felt similarly.

But shooting a five-hour canoe scene as husband and wife helped turn fiction into fact.
"We paddled in sync," he remembered. "We went out as friends and by the time we came back, we were in love ... Ironic how life works in those moment. Once you throw up your arms and surrender, a lot of times things come your way."

The former Cheers star and Oscar winner for Melvin and Howard have since spent 27 years together, 25 of them married.

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Can't Stop Saying Adorable Stuff About Each Other (1)

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen on Madison Avenue on May 21, 1998 in New York City

"I’m madly in love with Mary Steenburgen. She’s a remarkable human being so I’m just incredibly blessed,” the 72-year-old once 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's not afraid to voice that devotion to her either. "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, 67, revealed to People. "And it does matter, someone just telling you that."

The events that led to their relationship contained plenty of twists and turns though. After a five-year marriage to actress Randy Gosch, Danson wed producer Casey Coates in 1977. Two years later, Coates suffered a traumatic stroke while giving birth to their first daughter that left her paralyzed on her left side. Danson helped Coates recuperate and they later adopted another daughter together, but the strain of the injury had created a "huge rift" between the two, Ted said. "We were adjusting to the fact that we weren't the same people we were before it happened," he explained to Closer.

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Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen attend the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles in 2004.

His alleged affair with Made in America costar Whoopi Goldberg struck the final blow to the relationship, which resulted in an estimated $30 million divorce settlement. Danson's new fling didn't end so smoothly either. After he appeared in a racially insensitive sketch (in collaboration with Whoopi) at a comedy roast, the couple called it quits. As much as it hurt then, Danson knows that the events let him to where he is now.

"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 said to Closer. "Life is messy. The older I get, the more I realize it’s okay to be imperfect. Because you can still grow and make changes in your life."

Steenburgen similarly found healing in their relationship. In addition to divorcing actor Malcolm McDowell in 1990, she had long felt the effects of her father's health problems. "My dad had a series of heart attacks when I was a little girl, and our world was shaped by these huge traumatic events," she told Closer. "I spent my childhood waiting for my dad to die."

Funnily enough, the actress found comfort in her future husband years before they even met. "When I was going through sad times, I’d watch Cheers at the end of the day to make me feel better," she added.

The Emmy winner's love for his wife stands as a stark contrast to the womanizing ways of Sam Malone though. "I like the way Mary laughs and smiles," Danson told AARP The Magazine in 2017. "I like her willingness to say yes to leap off tall buildings of life. I love her sense of fairness and right and wrong. And I don’t think you’re supposed to say this when you’re almost 70, but she’s very sexy."

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Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson out and about in New York City on May 14, 2017.

Danson's former The Good Place costar Kristen Bell is obsessed with their bond. "It’s almost intimidating spending time with Ted and Mary because of how solid and loving and connected they are," she told AARP. "Honestly, it’s beautiful how they obsess over each other."

They really are the sweetest. "I’m ridiculously in love with him," Steenburgen confessed to Closer. "I find him endlessly fascinating. He surprises me all the time and most of all he makes me laugh."

"I get nervous around her because I want to impress her. I am the luckiest," Ted replied. "When I die, I will have known in this life what it is to love as a human being and to be loved, and I am so grateful."

And for someone who has plenty of (fictional) experience with the afterlife, that's pretty high praise.

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Can't Stop Saying Adorable Stuff About Each Other (2024)


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