Ted Danson was madly in love with his wife until a traumatic childbirth damaged their relationship beyond repair

Ted Danson was madly in love with his wife until a traumatic childbirth damaged their relationship beyond repair

The actor has been married to Mary Steenburgen for the past 25 years, but before her, it was Casey Coates.

Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) NBC Television, (R) Rodin Eckenroth

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” However, sometimes, some mistakes engrave themselves so deep in one's heart that overcoming them seems like a big deal, especially when it's someone you thought you would spend the rest of your life with.

Ted Danson, 72, has been married to Mary Steenburgen for the past 25 years, but before her, he had given his heart to Casey Coates who was his second wife. Coates was a Hollywood producer when she met Danson but their love was not meant to be.

The actor's first marriage ended in 1975 and it was around the same time that he met Coates. Her Moments quoted him saying, "The idea of having more relationships boggles my mind," but Coates changed his mind as it was "love at first sight" for him, reported Closer Weekly.


When Coates became pregnant with their child, their love only grew. Although everything seemed to be alright, fate had other plans and something that happened during childbirth created a tiny crack in their relationship. But over time, it grew deeper and turned out to be the very reason their marriage came to an end.

According to Amomama, Coates suffered a stroke during childbirth in 1979 which left her paralyzed completely on the left side. Danson decided to take a break from acting so that he could focus on taking care of his wife.

Coates didn't know how to handle the situation. According to Closer Weekly, she said, "For the first month, I did nothing but cry. I gave Ted permission to leave me. I thought I was going to be a wipeout the rest of my life." But with Danson by her side, she sailed through the miserable time. The Three Men and a Baby star said that initially "it was horrifying," however, "after you get over the shock, you roll up your sleeves and work at getting things better."

Coates learned to walk again with Danson's help and as they were trying to get past the dark days, they adopted a daughter, Alexis. Even though everything seemed to be alright the trauma the couple suffered created "a huge rift between us — a massive lack of trust. We were adjusting to the fact that we weren’t the same people we were before it happened," Danson revealed.


While the actor was struggling to keep his personal life intact, his popularity grew after the Cheers was aired in 1980, for which he even received an Emmy nomination. "I’m forever grateful — it was an amazing 11 years of my life," he said. "I walk around and people smile at me because they’re remembering something funny that I was part of on Cheers." It turned out to be the best time of his career.

Unfortunately, his relationship with Coates which was hanging on the last thread broke after Danson began an affair with Whoopi Goldberg. During the filming of the movie Made in America, the co-stars became quite close. However, this affair didn't last long as both Danson and Goldberg broke up after he appeared in the blackface at a Friars Club roast.

Recalling the relationship, Goldberg said, "It was real painful, and it was very public and the loss of his friendship hurts a great deal. We can never go and have a soda, anywhere, I’m friends with almost every man I’ve gone out with, except this man."


The crack that had formed after the tragedy Danson and Coates endured, the affair turned into a steep hill that had no end. The couple went through one of the most expensive divorces in Hollywood which involved $30 million. The whole ordeal left Danson feeling like he'd never want to marry again, but then came Mary Steenburgen.

Just a year later, Danson found Steenburgen who was going through a divorce from actor Malcolm McDowell. "We found each other when I was 45 and she was 40,” said Danson. "We had lived a bit. Both of us stared down some demons within ourselves, and it was lucky that we met then," said the Fargo actor. He told Closer Weekly that Steenburgen still makes him "nervous," but he knows "when I die, I will have known in this life what it is to love as a human being and to be loved, and I am so grateful.”


After spending 25 years together, their love for each other has only grown deeper. "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," he added.