Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen — their quarter of a century romance proves that love does indeed blossom when you least expect it and that it can indeed heal emotional wounds.
How Did Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Meet?
Though they wouldn’t make each other’s acquaintance until 1993, Steenburgen was well aware of Danson’s comedic prowess. “I always thought Ted was brilliant. When I was going through sad times, I’d watch Cheers at the end of the day to make me feel better.”
The acting dynamos were brought together in 1993 by director Peter Medak who arranged a dinner date to gage their suitability to play a husband and wife in the film Pontiac Moon.
Danson — only a few years removed from a divorce that cost him $30 million and still smarting from the end of a whirlwind romance with one time co-star Whoopi Goldberg — remembers being “totally smitten.” For her part, Steenburgen needed a little more convincing.
Not only had the Oscar-winning actress just bid adieu to Malcolm McDowell, her husband of 10 years, and “announced to all my friends — not dramatically, but very seriously — that I was done with relationships,” but she also found Danson to be “the most ridiculous creature I’ve ever met in my entire life.”
It turns out that all it took for the two to discover something more between them than professional courtesy and pleasantries was a five-hour shooting day that saw them sequestered in a small canoe traversing California’s Big River. Years after the fact, Danson noted, “We went out as friends and by the time we came back, we were in love.”
Then Comes Marriage…
The pair dated one another for about a year and a half before Danson popped the question and Steenburgen enthusiastically said yes. The wedding took place on Saturday, October 7, 1995, at Danson’s home in Chilmark, Massachusetts.
Among the events, many attendees (at least 150 in total) were Cheers alumni Kelsey Grammer and George Wendt, as well as President-Elect Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary Rodham, and their daughter Chelsea.
At the ceremony’s conclusion, Danson became the stepfather of Lily and Charlie — Steenburgen’s children with McDowell while Steenburgen became the stepmom to Kate and Alexis — his daughters with ex-wife Cassandra Coates.
Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen – 25 Years And Counting
When asked to explain the secret to his decades-long relationship, Danson once demurred that it was merely because, “I’m married to Mary Steenburgen,” before adding, “We laugh a lot.”
In yet another interview, he labeled what they share together a “creative passion,” and said, “I like the way Mary laughs and smiles. 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.”
Taking a bit more of a pragmatic stance, Steenburgen explained to People in November 2018t, “We met when we were 40 and 45, and we had lived a bit. We met at a time when both of us had stared down some demons within ourselves and that was lucky that we met then.”
She also believes that the love and affection that they share “gets more profound and deeper as we go through the blessings and joys, but also the hurdles, of life together.”
And after declaring Danson, “My partner in the deepest sense of the word in this life,” Steenburgen claimed that she would “literally sign up for 100 more lifetimes with him.”