When Danson and Mary Steenburgen met, they were both in relationships and decided to remain friends for a long time.
Everything changed between them years later during a canoe trip and a special picnic.
Today, they live happily with children from several marriages and enjoy their grandchildren on a beautiful ranch where the entire family gathers often.
Most people got to know actor Ted Danson from the sitcom “Cheers,” which aired for 11 years and earned him two Emmy Awards. He also won a couple of Golden Globes and became a familiar face on American television.
Newer generations might recognize him best from his appearance in “The Good Place,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Still, Danson’s film and television credits span decades and all kinds of varied projects.
However, Danson started his career right out of college in an Off-Broadway production called “The Real Inspector Hound.” Eventually, he moved to L.A. and studied at the Actor’s Institute, where he would later give classes.
His other major roles include “Something about Amelia,” “The Women’s Room,” and his television debut “When the Bough Breaks.” You might also remember him from “Dad,” “Made in America,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Three Men and a Little Lady,” etc.
His roles in “Cross Creek” and later “Pontiac Moon” marked him differently, as they set the stage for the rest of his life, as he met the person who would not only become his life partner. She became his colleague and the love of his life.
His Previous Relationships and Meeting Mary Steenburgen
Danson dated several women before finding true love. His first marriage was to Randall Gosh in 1970. They met in college and were married before their respective graduations. However, their careers took off, and they split in 1975.
The actor married his second wife, Cassandra Coates, in 1977, and they had their first daughter, Kate, two years later. Sometime later, they adopted another daughter, Alexis. However, complications from her only labor left Coates paralyzed.
That put a strain on their relationship. Danson famously dated actress Whoopi Goldberg while still married to Coates after meeting on the set of “Made in America” in 1992. The media discovered their affair, and Coates filed for divorce, which was finalized in 1993.
Unfortunately, the divorce was complicated and expensive for Ted Danson, and his dalliance with Goldberg ended in 1993 as well. Luckily, the actor was by then free to reconnect with someone special.
He had met Mary Steenburgen on the auditions for “Cross Creek” in 1983, but he was married to Coates then. Danson has expressed that it was a challenging time in his life. Furthermore, Steenburgen was also in a relationship. It was not the right time
Luckily, Danson was not cast to play Steenburgen’s husband in the project, and in hindsight, they both think it was better that way. But in 1993, they reconnected on the set of “Pontiac Moon,” although neither was looking for a relationship at the time.
Steenburgen had just divorced Malcolm McDowell, with whom she had two children, Charles and Lily Amanda. Danson didn’t think he was “relationship material” at the time, and the actress was not ready for anything more than a friendship.
However, the universe had other plans, and everything changed for them when Danson and his friends organized a unique trip. Suddenly, romance was in the air, and they couldn’t deny their feelings any longer.
Their Relationship Turned Romantic
Danson invited Mary Steenburgen on a canoe trip to Mendocino, California, with his friends. They had a picnic, and the actor called it “magical” and said that they came back in love.
Meanwhile, the actress revealed that they had lived since they were 40 and 45 already. They met at a difficult time when they were still staring “down some demons,” but ultimately, it was fortunate that they reconnected then.
Their relationship stayed steady from then on, and Danson proposed on February 8, 1995. He went to Houston, where she was working on “Powder,” to see Steenburgen for her birthday and popped the question as he knew she was the one for him.
They married on October 7, 1995, in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Their guest list included then-president Bill Clinton and the first lady, who were good friends with Steenburgen.
The actor’s daughter, Kate, and Steenburgen’s girl, Lily, were bridesmaids for the ceremony, while Alexis was a flower girl. The actress’ son carried the rings down the aisle.
Their Happy Marriage Today
After they married, Danson and Steenburgen starred in another project, “Gulliver’s Travels.” Their careers continued as they settled into a peaceful married life. You might remember them from “It Must Be Love” in 2004, where they played a couple who wanted to separate but got back together.
In 2009, the whole family gathered to celebrate Steenburgen’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Their four children from different marriages joined them. In 2013, the actress opened up about her life with the actor and how she also stopped dating altogether.
The actress opened up about being cynical about love since her divorce and thought their relationship would only remain a mere crush. She said:
“He’s definitely heaven-sent.”
Unfortunately, there were rumors about a possible divorce in 2017, but it was all because of their characters in “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” They played an exaggerated version of themselves, and the show’s couple was splitting up.
Danson appeared on “The Jess Cagle Show” and “announced” the separation, which people took a bit seriously. The story trended online, but people only got it when the episode aired. Still, Danson and Steenburgen had to explain things to their friends and family, who were all concerned.
Luckily, the rumors disappeared, and the couple continued their happy life. In 2018, Danson won a Critic’s Choice award and celebrated with a selfie on Instagram. The actor was acclaimed for his role in “The Good Place.”
Later that year, they discussed keeping the spark in their relationship. Danson revealed that he compliments his wife daily, which the actress confirmed to People that the actor constantly tells her she’s beautiful. She’s grateful because she knows that many women don’t have that kind of attention.
Steenburgen talked about her husband some more in November 2018 when Danson appeared on People’s Sexiest Man Alive list. She explained that their love grows “more profound” every day, and they share the ups and downs of life as well. She added:
“He is my partner in the deepest sense of the word in this life.”
The actress commented that their marriage was reinforced by kindness, tenderness, and strength. She called him the result of her dreams in her youth and didn’t take that for granted. Additionally, Steenburgen loves his handsome face.
In 2019, the actor revealed that their relationship is better because they practice meditation, something Steenburgen taught him at the beginning of their relationship. Danson is rather spiritual, and their marriage is a big part of that aspect of himself.
They meditate together, strengthening their relationship because otherwise, they’ll be too busy to be there for each other. The practice has also helped him immensely with his arthritis, which used to be debilitating.
In 2020, the actress posted a picture on Instagram to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. She captioned it with the following:
“Happy 25th Anniversary! This was SUPPOSED to be a sweet loving anniversary photo but you have a big piece of salad in your teeth. So there it is. 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. True, that is a big ass piece of salad but even that doesn’t mar your legendary beauty. I can’t believe how lucky I am. Happy Anniversary, Ted. Love, Mary.”
The actress has also revealed that Danson is always extremely kind to her. They still treat each other well with acts of service, like bringing each other coffee. But the main point is to appreciate their love each day.
The couple constantly praises each other, as Danson talked about his wife right before “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist premiere.” He said his “greatest role” is being Mary Steenburgen’s husband.
In 2021, they appeared on People’s Love Issue and discussed the secrets to a blissful relationship. The actress told the magazine:
“Everyone I’ve ever loved has taught me so much, but I feel like my life really began when I found him. I think love is just really listening to your heart.”
Meanwhile, Danson explained that his most important rule is always to tell each other the truth. He also said you must be grateful for your life as it’s the only way your heart can grow. The actor added:
“Part of being human is to experience loving and being loved. I have that every day. When that kind of circle of love and being loved gets going, it’s truly divine.”
On September 4, 2021, Steenburgen’s son, Charlie, married actress Lily Collins, best known for her role on Netflix’s “Emily in Paris.” The couple celebrated with photos and congratulations on Instagram as the entire family gathered in Dunton, Colorado, for the occasion.
In 2022, Danson told Kelly Clarkson on her talk show that he’s “helpless” when his wife is not around. He added that they used to have a two-week rule, but that has changed over the years. Now, they hate being away from each other for more than a day.
Their Beautiful Home and Life Together
Danson and Steenburgen live in a 4,000-square-foot ranch in Santa Monica, which they bought in 2018. They also own the property next door. They paid $5.15 million at the time, and it has three bedrooms and four bathrooms.
They’ve had other homes over the years, but their L.A. ranch seems the most famous, as seen during their online appearances and social media. In 2019, they sold a retreat home in Ojai, California, for over $8 million, which used to belong to Ellen DeGeneres.
Their children and grandchildren often visit. In 2020, Steenburgen posted a picture of Danson on Instagram and talked about their home and the “book nook” they created. The actress also lamented not being able to see her grandkids often due to the state of the world. She wrote:
“When we moved to our house, we created a little space for our grandchildren called The Book Nook. Now, every other day it’s our turn to read a couple of books to them from there, alternating with their other grandparents. I have a hard time not cuddling with them while I read, but I am grateful to have this sweet connection.”
Danson’s daughters, Kate and Alexis, and Steenburgen’s children, Charlie and Lilly, are all grown up and started having their own kids. The actors love being doting grandparents to them. Only Steenburgen’s daughter, Lilly, has had children: Clementine, Goldie, and Vera.
In 2018, The actress praised him for being a great father, stepfather, and grandfather. She commented:
“We have been grandparents now for six years. We have two granddaughters, and they can’t stop climbing on him. They just adore him. They basically see him as a jungle gym. He is Teddy — that is their name for him, and they just adore him.”
Everything the actor does is to be more “present” with his family, including his meditation to prevent suffering from his arthritis, an incurable disease. Danson explained:
“Anytime you are more present, more in your body and less in your mind, you’re available to be real with whoever you’re with … be present with my granddaughters, be with my wife, be real, be loving, be present.”