The couple first met in 1983 when Danson auditioned to play Steenburgen's spouse on Cross Creek; however, it wasn't until 1993, on the set of Pontiac Moon, that their relationship turned romantic. The couple wed in 1995 and have since starred in several projects together, including Curb Your Enthusiasm and It Must Be Love.
"I want as long as possible in my life with Mary," Danson told PEOPLE in 2021. "I know it will have all of its hard parts but I want to experience love in all those moments."
Steenburgen echoed the sentiment, telling PEOPLE in 2018 that she "would sign up for 100 more lifetimes" with Danson. The Book Club actress believes they were meant to be together.
"There's no hollow in my heart where I don't love him, or where I doubt this love," she said. "There's no secret place where I say we weren't a thousand percent supposed to spend our life together."
From a romantic canoe trip to sweet Instagram tributes, here's everything to know about Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen's relationship.
1983: Ted Danson meets Mary Steenburgen while auditioning for Cross Creek
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Danson and Steenburgen's paths first crossed in 1983 when he auditioned to play her on-screen husband in Cross Creek. He didn't get the part, which was "a miracle" in hindsight, as Danson later told PEOPLE in 2021.
"I was a hot mess back then," Danson said. Steenburgen added, "I was married. He was married. That was not our moment." That moment came nearly a decade later.
1993: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen reconnect while filming Pontiac Moon
Ten years later, Danson and Steenburgen reconnected as costars in the 1993 film Pontiac Moon. However, they thought dating was off the table. "We both had sworn off relationships," Steenburgen recalled to PEOPLE in 2021.
At the time, Danson had just split from Whoopi Goldberg and was finalizing his divorce from his second wife, Casey Coates, with whom he shares daughters Kate and Alexis. Steenburgen had also recently divorced her first husband Malcolm McDowell, with whom she shares kids Charles "Charlie" Malcolm and Lily Amanda.
"We both said the same phrase to ourselves, which was: 'Obviously we cannot be in a relationship,' " Danson said. "I could ruin anything. I'm not relationship material."
Steenburgen added, "I wasn't ready for anything like a relationship. We just kept working together and becoming better and better friends."
Their friendship took a romantic turn after Danson invited Steenburgen on a canoe trip with friends in Mendocino, California. "It was very magical," he said. "We came back in love, to be honest, or I'll say smitten."
"We met when we were 40 and 45, and we had lived a bit," Steenburgen told PEOPLE in 2018. "We met at a time when both of us had stared down some demons within ourselves and that was lucky that we met then."
February 8, 1995: Ted Danson proposes to Mary Steenburgen
On Steenburgen's birthday in 1995, Danson flew to Houston, where his soon-to-be fiancée was filming Powder.
"I was so clear I didn't want to be with anyone else — couldn't imagine not being with her at all times," Danson told PEOPLE. The Cheers star said he spent about a month preparing what he wanted to say before getting down on one knee.
October 7, 1995: Ted Danson marries Mary Steenburgen
The couple tied the knot on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The groom sported a white coat and black pants while the bride wore an Elizabethan-style gown with lace sleeves. Then-President Bill Clinton, who attended with first lady Hillary Clinton, gave a speech at the rehearsal dinner. A longtime friend of Steenburgen's, Bill recalled a 1994 White House dinner where he told Danson, "Listen, I love this girl. You don't hurt her. Better do right by her."
Danson's daughter Kate and Steenburgen's daughter Lily served as bridesmaids, while Danson's youngest, Alexis, walked the aisle as the flower girl. Steenburgen's son Charlie was the ring bearer.
1996: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen star in Gulliver's Travels
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The couple costarred in the late-'90s miniseries Gulliver's Travels. Danson portrayed Dr. Lemuel Gulliver and Steenburgen played Gulliver's wife, Mary.
2004: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen star in It Must Be Love
The 2004 rom-com It Must Be Love marked Danson and Steenburgen's return to the big screen as a couple. They portrayed a married couple on the cusp of divorce who fall back in love with each other when a big snowstorm traps them under the same roof.
December 16, 2009: Ted Danson and family celebrate Mary Steenburgen's Hollywood Walk of Fame star
When Steenburgen received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was a blended family affair. She was joined by her children Charlie and Lily, her husband Danson and his daughters Kate and Alexis.
October 28, 2013: Mary Steenburgen describes Ted Danson as "heaven-sent"
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Steenburgen opened up about married life with Danson and recalled how she almost gave up on dating altogether before meeting him.
"I had actually, before I met him, gotten a little cynical about love," she told CBS This Morning. "I thought infatuation was about as far as it went, and then I met him."
She continued, "He's the real deal for me. He's definitely heaven-sent."
October 2017: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen squash divorce rumors
Danson and Steenburgen were just as shocked as fans were when they found out their characters on Curb Your Enthusiasm were separating. The couple play dramatized versions of themselves on the partially improvised sitcom.
Steenburgen later recalled how Danson broke the news of their fictional split during an appearance on The Jess Cagle Show: "I go, 'Wait, that's the story? That you and I are divorced?' And he goes, 'Yeah.' I go, 'Ted, it's our names. We're playing two characters that happen to have the same names as us.' "
The actress added, "By the end of the night when it aired, it was trending online." Following the episode's premiere, the couple were fielding texts and phone calls from concerned friends.
"It was very strange," Danson said.
January 11, 2018: Mary Steenburgen congratulates her "darling heart" Ted Danson on Critic's Choice Awards win
"Congrats to my darling heart on his Critic's Choice Award!!!!" Steenburgen wrote alongside a selfie with her husband. Danson was awarded best actor in a comedy series for his performance on The Good Place.
May 15, 2018: Mary Steenburgen shares how Ted Danson keeps the romance alive
Danson never lets a day go by without paying his wife a compliment, as Steenburgen told PEOPLE in May 2018.
"He does tell me every single day of my life I'm beautiful, and I do know a lot of women live without that," she said. "And it does matter, someone just telling you that."
November 9, 2018: Mary Steenburgen opens up about her marriage to Ted Danson in PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive issue
Steenburgen could talk about how much she loves her husband all day — and in 2018, she shared why she believes he is the sexiest man alive. "[Our love] just gets more profound and deeper as we go through the blessings and joys, but also the hurdles, of life together," Steenburgen said of Danson, who was featured in PEOPLE's 2018 Sexiest Man Alive issue. "He is my partner in the deepest sense of the word in this life."
She continued: "[This] is a marriage where the man in the marriage is secure in both his kindness and tenderness, but also in his strength. I definitely feel that he is the result of almost like dreams I had when I was young about someone I would want to spend my life with, and I really cherish that and I think neither of us take each other for granted."
She added that his facial features are just the cherry on top: "I love the strong jawbone."
October 17, 2019: Ted Danson says meditation allows him to be more present with Mary Steenburgen
Danson and Steenburgen took up meditation shortly after their 1995 wedding, and the practice continues to play a pivotal role for them. "The truth is my relationship with Mary is a big huge part of my spirituality," Danson told PEOPLE in October 2019.
"I feel like you're either in love, or you're in fear, and that's it," Danson said. "And because Mary and I really, really love each other, if one person is all of the sudden not in the space of love, it's like pulling an electric cord out, all of the sudden it's like, 'Whoa, what happened?' What's wonderful about her is she insists, insists that we stay in love! You don't get to drift."
The couple reap the benefits of meditation together. "Here's my excuse. Mary and I love hanging out. And we will chat and hang out and chat and hang out, and all of a sudden leap up and have to do our day. So it almost feels selfish to go meditate," he explained. "If we meditate consistently it's because we do it together."
October 8, 2020: Mary Steenburgen wishes her "dreamboat husband" Ted Danson a happy anniversary
On the couple's 25th wedding anniversary, Steenburgen posted a sweet tribute to her husband on Instagram. Alongside a photo of her smiling next to Danson, who had salad stuck in his teeth, she wrote, "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."
She continued, "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."
January 5, 2021: Ted Danson says his "greatest role" in life is being Mary Steenburgen's husband
Ahead of the season 2 premiere of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, Danson praised Steenburgen, who plays landscape designer and mom Maggie Clark on the NBC comedy.
"My greatest role is getting to be the husband of this incredible woman," Danson wrote on Instagram. In the photo, Danson is smiling at the camera while Steenburgen sneaks two fingers behind his head as bunny ears.
February 2021: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen are on the cover of PEOPLE's first-ever Love Issue
In February 2021, Danson and Steenburgen were featured on the cover of PEOPLE's first-ever Love Issue, where they opened up about all things love and shared their secrets to a happy marriage.
"Everyone I've ever loved has taught me so much, but I feel like my life really began when I found him," Steenburgen said of Danson. "I think love is just really listening to your heart."
The couple also said spending quality time together helps keep the love alive, and Danson added that his only rule is to "just tell the truth."
Danson continued: "If you keep being grateful for your life, your heart gets bigger. The bigger your heart, the more you get to love. 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."
September 4, 2021: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen celebrate son Charlie's wedding to Lily Collins
"Charlie, my son, and Lily, my daughter-in-law!!!" Steenburgen wrote alongside a sweet photo of the newlyweds on Instagram.
"Thank you for letting us all bask in the sheer beauty of your love for each other," Steenburgen continued. "My heart is overflowing and it almost feels like the last few days were some sort of beautiful dream. But it is all real, and I feel like the luckiest mother in the world."
April 17, 2022: Ted Danson jokes he's "helpless" when Mary Steenburgen is away
During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Danson said that he and Steenburgen used to abide by a "two-week rule" because they couldn't bear being away from each other for more than two weeks. But that rule has changed — they now can't go more than 24 hours without seeing each other.
"She's gone tonight and we're distraught," he laughed. "It's like I've turned helpless to be honest."
Host Kelly Clarkson added, "It's a codependency. It's awesome," to which Danson nodded with a smile.