The Halloween actress instantly knew Christopher Guest was the one for her
Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest’s relationship has been a whirlwind from the start.
The romance between the Freaky Friday actress and Princess Bride star began with a magazine and phone call. Though Curtis instantly knew he was the one, it took an in-person run-in for Guest to set up their first date, but within six months, they were husband and wife.
Now, almost 40 years later, Curtis and Guest are still in love. In honor of their 36th wedding anniversary in 2020, she shared a rare throwback photo of them on Instagram. In the caption, she wrote, “One of the longest relationships I’ve had seeking comfort and contact and connection is with Chris.”
The actress continued, “My hand in his. Then and now. Connected through our children and family and friends it became the links in our human emotional chain that have seen each of us through triumph and tragedy.”
Curtis has been open about how they have gone through their fair share of ups and downs. During a 1991 interview with PEOPLE, she said, “I don’t think we have an easy marriage. We have a difficult, but successful, marriage.”
Three years later, Curtis gave further insight into what Guest is like behind the scenes. “It’s hard to talk about Chris, because all you’re going to hear is the word ‘great,’ ” she told PEOPLE. “He’s a great listener, a great athlete, a great husband and father.”
Here’s everything to know about Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest’s relationship.
It was love at first sight
Curtis and Guest's romance started when she spotted him for the first time in a magazine and spoke their relationship into existence.
In a personal essay she wrote for PEOPLE in 2022, she revealed that there was a connection between her marriage and her iconic role in the Halloween movies.
“I was with the writer of the original Halloween when I saw my husband of 37 years for the first time,” she said. “Debra Hill and I were on my couch in West Hollywood in 1984. I opened up an issue of Rolling Stone, saw Christopher Guest in a Spinal Tap story and said, ‘I’m gonna marry that guy.’ (I did, six months later).”
Curtis expanded on this story in a different essay she wrote for Oprah.com in 2004. She explained that Hill told her who Guest was, saying he had been in the movie This Is Spinal Tap and she knew his agent. Curtis called his agent to give him her number if Guest wanted to call, but he never did.
“I went on with my life,” Curtis said. Weeks later, she saw Guest across a restaurant called Hugo’s in West Hollywood. They waved at each other, and he called the next day.
“On July 2, Chris and I had our first date at Chianti Ristorante on Melrose,” she shared. “And by August 8, when he left to tape a year of Saturday Night Live in New York City, we’d fall in love.”
They got married 6 months after meeting
Curtis and Guest wasted no time starting their future together. In her personal essay for Oprah.com, the actress revealed that "one day in September," they were talking on the phone when Guest told her he had gone for a walk on Fifth Avenue.
When she asked what he did there, he responded, “‘Do you like diamonds?’ ”
At the time, the couple were in a long-distance relationship due to their work — Curtis in Los Angeles and Guest in New York City — and it was hard for both of them.
In 1991, Guest told PEOPLE, “I had just fallen in love like a brick, and I was now in New York thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ ”
He popped the question, and they married on Dec. 18, 1984.
“Chris and I have a wonderful, complicated, imperfect life,” Curtis continued in her essay. “And a very real marriage. I’ll never know why I thought we’d understand each other when I saw his photograph."
Speaking on the subject to The Guardian in 2016, Guest said, “We still have that original photo hanging up at the house.”
They have two kids
After experiencing infertility, Curtis and Guest became parents through adoption, and they have two daughters: Annie and Ruby.
In Pact’s Point of View Newsletter, Curtis touched on her experience with motherhood, saying, “Motherhood is every wonderful cliché in the book. There is an unexplainable sort of thing you just feel. It’s a permanent commitment, one I’ve changed my life to meet.”
After growing up dancing competitively, Annie attended Kenyon College in Ohio and graduated with a BFA in dance in 2009. She's a dancer and was previously an instructor MNR Dance Factory in Los Angeles, where she first began her dance training at age 8.
Curtis and Guest's older daughter got married in 2019 to Jason Wolf in a backyard ceremony. While she has kept her personal life private, Annie sometimes makes appearances with Curtis on the red carpet.
Ruby came out as transgender in 2020, an experience she told PEOPLE was “scary” and “intimidating” but ultimately a positive one. “I wasn’t worried,” she said of sharing the news with her parents. “They had been so accepting of me my entire life.”
Since then, Curtis has been her daughter's biggest supporter. “Being a parent is about love and I love Ruby,” she said during an interview on Morning Joe. “Love her. People have said, ‘You’re so great to accept her love.’ What are you talking about? This is my daughter, this human being has come to me and said, ‘This is who I am.’ ”
Ruby married her partner Kynthia in 2022.
They’re both in the entertainment business
Both Curtis and Guest have years of experience working in Hollywood.
Curtis is an award-winning actress who is most well-known for her roles in slasher and horror films that have earned her the moniker “Scream Queen.” Aside from her iconic role as Laurie in the Halloween films, she has also been in comedies like Trading Places and the Academy Award-winning drama Everything Everywhere All at Once, which earned her an Oscar as well.
The actress is also a children’s book author, having released over two dozen projects since her 1993 debut with When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth. Curtis will release her next children's book in January 2024 titled Just One More Sleep: All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait . . . and Wait . . . and Wait about being patient around the holiday season. Most recently, she co-authored the graphic novel Mother Nature.
Guest is known as a writer and director but has also dabbled in acting. He starred in the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. He has also worked on movies like Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Mascots and For Your Consideration.
Throughout his five-decade-long career, Guest introduced a "distinctive style of fake documentary filmmaking that relies entirely on unscripted improvisations," per the Museum of Modern Art.
Their parents had unconventional careers
Another experience Curtis and Guest share is growing up with parents with notable careers. Curtis' parents were accomplished actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. Leigh is best recognized for her role in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho, while Curtis was in various films, like Some Like It Hot and Spartacus.
Meanwhile, Guest's father, Peter Haden-Guest, was born in England and was an editorial director at the United Nations. His mother, Jean Hindes Haden-Guest, was born in New York City and was the director of the American National Theater Academy (ANTA) before becoming vice president and head of talent at CBS a few years later.
According to The New York Times, Peter "acceded to a hereditary Labor peerage" after his father, Leslie Haden-Guest, died, and the same happened when he died.
In a 2016 interview with The Guardian, Guest revealed he’s a baron. “I’m Lord Haden-Guest,” he said. “And yes, that’s a novelty. Born into it by accident, obviously. And then your dad dies and you're the next one.”
Their personalities are very different
In a 2018 interview with Good Housekeeping, Curtis described her and Guest as “opposites,” saying they have been since they met and “always will be.”
“We don’t listen to the same radio station, we don’t read the same paper, we don’t go to bed at the same time," she said.
Curtis also called Guest "an intellectual" and revealed that for their 30th anniversary, they both read the history book Undaunted Courage, inspired by Lewis and Clark.
“Then we took eight friends and retraced a section of the Missouri River in canoes that followed the path of their expedition. We’re a little nerdy,” she said.
They have a supportive union
While Curtis and Guest may have their differences, they are always there for each other. In a 2021 interview with AARP, Curtis said, “I feel safe when I drive up and see that [he is] home. That’s the long marriage.”
“It’s the safety of knowing his car is in the garage, that I’m not alone,” she added.
Two years later, at a San Diego Comic-Con panel, Curtis shared that Guest had encouraged her to write her graphic novel, Mother Nature.
“I came home and I said to my husband, ‘I should hire somebody to write Mother Nature.’ He said to me, as Christopher does, very quietly: ‘Why don’t you?’ ” she recalled.
“I said, ‘Oh please, I don’t know how to write a screenplay. He looked at me and he said, ‘Yes, you do.’ ”
They know how to work through tough times
Curtis and Guest have been married for nearly 40 years, and like every marriage, they’ve experienced ups and downs. Whenever she has been asked about the secret to her relationship, Curtis has revealed it comes down to sticking together.
“Don’t get divorced,” she said on Today in 2015. “It’s a fascinating thing. I could write a book on marriage called Don’t Leave.”
Speaking with Good Housekeeping in 2018, she was asked the same question and elaborated on the subject.
“Don’t leave. There’s a recovery phrase that says, ‘Stay on the bus ... the scenery will change,’ " Curtis explained. "You think you’re having a bad week, stay on the bus, because one of these days you’ll look out the window and it’ll be beautiful."
She continued, "I think it can apply to almost anything where you feel unhappy in that moment. I’m not a wild romantic. I’m a realist. I respect him. And I just don’t leave.”
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