Actors Amy Madigan and Ed Harris celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this week.
The couple has been one of the strongest in Hollywood since meeting in the early 1980s, and they’ve had a surprisingly easy time mixing business and pleasure. The actors do and always have starred opposite each other every chance they’ve had.
Madigan and Harris, both 73, also had a bit of a movie beginning. They officially met in 1981 while co-starring in a play at the Melrose Theatre in Los Angeles, according to Broadway. They realized they “really like working together” and began filming Places in the Heart shortly after. But Madigan had already decided he was “the one” before an official introduction.
The actress first saw her groom while watching him perform in the Sam Shepard play Cowboy in Los Angeles in 1980.
“It was like something you see in a movie or hear in a song,” she told Life in 1985. “I just thought, ‘Well, there he is.’ It was obvious to me that I’d see him again.”
When she did see him again, the romance took off quickly. The two dated for two years and married on Nov. 21, 1983—before their first shared film debuted.
Ed Harris Says Working With Amy Madigan ‘Draws’ Them ‘Closer’
Since Places in the Heart, Amy Madigan and Ed Harris have co-starred in nine projects that include films and Broadway shows. Their most notable movies include Field of Dreams, Gone Baby Gone, and Frontera. While many couples claim they could never work with their partner, Madigan and Harris have learned that doing so helps them grow and remain close.
”The acting thing is so intimate and personal,” Harris told the Chicago Tribune during a 1985 interview. ”If we’re not working together… you can’t really talk about your day very well. When you’re working together, though, there’s so much that is shared, so much unspoken thought and emotion that goes into the work, that it really draws you closer.”
Madigan added to that by saying that “‘the closeness of being married gives us the ability and the freedom to do those kinds of things. I mean, with another actor, you’d have to spend a lot of time and energy getting to know them first.”
But the two have flourished and supported each other in separate projects, as well. During their marriage, Harris earned four Oscar nominations, and Madigan has earned one. They also became parents to daughter Lily Harris in 1993.
The duo hasn’t had much luck working alongside each other in recent years, but they were able to do a play together, Buried Child, in 2016. While talking to Broadway, Madigan admitted that they still actively look for joint projects.
“When [Buried Child] came up, I just remember Scott Elliott calling almost two years ago and saying, ‘I love this play; would you guys like to do it?’ That was an easy one,” she shared. “It’s how you sometimes hope things will turn out.”
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