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Ted Danson Gushes About His Career, Marriage and Family (Exclusive)

At age 71, Ted Danson simply couldn’t be happier with his successful acting career, his nearly 25-year marriage to Mary Steenburgen and their family. “We wake up and celebrate literally every day,” Ted said of his marriage to Mary, 66, in one of Closer Weekly‘s recent issues. “If we didn’t, we’d be idiots because we’re so lucky. We have great kids and grandkids, and we have each other. We’re madly in love.”

After suffering multiple heartbreaks earlier in his life, the actor finally found happiness with Mary. “I consider myself a family man, partially because my parents did it so damned well,” the actor said of his parents’ more than 40-year marriage.

During his early acting days — and after his first failed marriage to his college sweetheart, Randall Gosch, which he declines to discuss all these years later — Ted tied the knot with Casey Coates in 1977. “It was love at first sight,” the star said of his second wife.

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The couple later went through a terrifying time when Casey nearly died from a stroke while giving birth to their daughter Kate Danson. At the time, Ted — who is also a father to daughter Alexis Danson with Casey — put his acting career on hold to care for his wife. “I would have looked to Casey to do it had the situation been different,” he said.

Ted’s showbiz career really took off when he was cast as bartender Sam Malone on Cheers in the early 1980s. “I’m forever grateful — it was an amazing 11 years of my life,” he said of appearing on the sitcom, which also starred Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley and Kelsey Grammer, just to name a few. “I walk around and people smile at me because they’re remembering something funny that I was part of on Cheers.”

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After his marriage to Casey crumbled — his affair with his Made in America costar Whoopi Goldberg went public and led him and Casey to go through a $30 million divorce in 1993, one of the most expensive in Hollywood history — Ted wasn’t really looking to get married again when he met Mary in the mid-1990s.

Ted Danson Family
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“We found each other when I was 45 and she was 40,” Ted said, adding that the two bonded over their past failed marriages. “We had lived a bit. Both of us stared down some demons within ourselves, and it was lucky that we met then.” And when it comes to their relationship today, Ted gushed, “I’m still madly in love with Mary. She’s a remarkable human being, so I’m just incredibly blessed. It feels like Heaven on Earth.”

“We’re at an age when every single day is important to us,” Mary told Closer. “We just love that we found somebody in life that we get such a huge kick out of. We’re very romantic all the time.”

With four kids between them — Mary is also a mom to son Charlie McDowell and daughter Lilly McDowell from her past marriage to Malcolm McDowell — the couple is also madly in love with their grandchildren. “Mary says it’s like eating ice cream with no consequences,” Ted said of his wife. “It’s brilliant. You don’t have that adrenaline going through you. You’re not multitasking and wondering, ‘Can I have my place in the world?’ It’s delicious — you feel like an anthropologist. You get to look at them and go, ‘Wow, look at that. They’re thinking and talking!’”

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With his career also finding a second act with NBC’s The Good Place, Ted really couldn’t be happier with where he is now. “I’m kind of a Pollyanna. I’m having the best time. I have great kids and grandkids, and I’m married to the most beautiful, funny wife. It’s really my bucket list to enjoy every second I have with these astounding people around me. My life is brilliant, and I’m very grateful.”

For more on your favorite stars, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!

Ted Danson Closer Cover
Closer Weekly


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