Jamie Lee Curtis knew she would marry Christopher Guest after seeing his photo

Jamie Lee Curtis, 60, and Christopher Guest, 70, have been married for 34 years. They have two adult children together: Annie, 32, and Thomas, 22. E! did one their deep dive pieces about Jamie and Christopher’s relationship and it’s a nice retrospective of the quotes she’s given about their marriage. Christopher comes to Jamie’s events to support her but they’re a low key couple and he mostly keeps behind the scenes. He writes and directs films in the mockumentary genre including Best in Show and Mascots. He got famous after starring in This is Spinal Tap, the 1984 Rob Reiner mockumentary about a ridiculous British rock band. That’s when Christpher first caught Jamie’s eye, in a photo of him in character inside Rolling Stone Magazine. Jamie called her agent to pass her number to Christopher, but he didn’t call her until after they ran into each other in a restaurant. They fell in love, got engaged a few months later and the rest is history. I’m only going to cull E!’s best quotes but they did a lot of research for this piece and it’s worth reading if you’re interested.

She saw a photo of Guest in Rolling Stone in 1984, knew he was the one
“I looked at the man on the right, wearing a plaid shirt and a waggish smirk. I’d never seen him before, but I pointed at him,” Curtis recalled in a 2004 essay for O magazine. “‘I’m going to marry that man,’ I said to my friend.”

In fact, [Jamie’s friend Debra] Hill knew his agent (turns out Curtis and Guest shared an agency), so Curtis called Guest’s agent the next day—and he already knew why she was calling, Hill having beat her to the punch. A little embarrassed, she left her number for Guest to call her if he was interested.

He didn’t call…

They started dating in June, were engaged by September, married in December
As I sat down at Hugo’s, I glanced up and found myself staring straight at Chris, three tables away. He waved to me as if to say, “I’m the guy you called.” I waved back: “I’m the woman who called you.” A few minutes later, he got up to leave. Standing 20 feet away, he shrugged his shoulders and put up his hand as if to say, “I’ll see ya.” As he left, I looked down at my plate.

The next day, on June 28, the phone rang. On July 2, Chris and I had our first date at Chianti Ristorante on Melrose. And by August 8, when he left to tape a year of Saturday Night Live in New York City, we’d fallen in love.

Their “secret” to a long marriage
“Chris and I have a wonderful, complicated, imperfect life. And a very real marriage,” Curtis wrote in O in 2004. “I’ll never know why I thought we’d understand each other when I saw his photograph. Hidden in that smirk, I think, was a little secret that only I knew.”

Not that everything is always perfect, a big barrel of laughs 24/7 just because Guest happens to be a comedic genius, or a perennially smooth ride because Curtis is witty, wise and empathetic. She joked on Today in 2015 that her secret to a lasting marriage was, simply, “don’t get divorced.” She added, “It’s a fascinating thing. I could write a book on marriage called ‘Don’t Leave.'”

“You think you’re having a bad week, but stay on the bus, because one of these days you’ll look out the window and it’ll be beautiful,” Curtis mused to Good Housekeeping this summer. “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.”

[From E! Online]

Jamie is a truth-teller and she’s not trying to sell her marriage as perfect, which is why I like her so much. (I know these are old quotes, but they’re new to me.) You know who else said she would marry her fiancé after seeing him the first time? Ariana Grande and we know how that worked out. I don’t put that much stock in these type of stories, but after 30 years people can tell them. This is also one of those “got engaged quickly and it worked out for the long term” stories instead of a cautionary tale.

Jamie will next star in the political thriller, An Acceptable Loss, out early next year. I’m so happy to see her get leading roles again and hope this signals that we’re getting even more movies starring older women.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos credit: Getty and WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

49 Responses to “Jamie Lee Curtis knew she would marry Christopher Guest after seeing his photo”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Kittycat says:

    Somewhere Ariana Grande is writing a song called “It could’ve worked out…..”

  2. Laura says:

    I might be missing something, but who is “Hill” in that first story about calling agents?

    • Celebitchy says:

      It’s her friend I should have included that part and have added it for context

    • Lala11_7 says:

      Debra Hill is a name I remember seeing on SO MANY CREDITS regarding anything John Carpenter had a hand in…in the 70s and 80s…and I always took note…since we have the same last name

  3. Isa says:

    So that’s the photo she saw? Man, he’s lucky. 😅

    • Chaine says:

      Hahaha, and he plays such an idiot in the movie, too!

    • Nancy says:

      Right. How could she resist that hunka hunka burning love. Lust is in the eyes of the beholder!

      • Ali says:

        It’s really isn’t a about looks – he’s a comedic genius and is probably extremely fun to be around. He’s also rich and tall and funny and creative which flows into all aspects of life

      • holly hobby says:

        I believe he’s also royalty. A few years back I read he inherited a castle and title. Don’t remember what it was but I’m sure it’s on google.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think that’s the photo because she said he was wearing a plaid shirt. The smirk is the same, though. I always found him attractive. Their son looks so much like him.

      I love her and they are a damn cool couple.

      • Olive says:

        their children were adopted.

      • Esmom says:

        Olive, ha, who knew? He certainly learned the smirk, lol.

      • Olive says:

        @ESMOM i only knew because it was used as “evidence” as part of the ugly rumors years back that jamie was a hermaphrodite

      • Yup, Me says:

        What I heard was that Jamie is intersex, which isn’t an ugly thing to say about someone. It’s just an uncommon (but real) expression of the human experience.

      • Isa says:

        Oh I definitely agree that there’s more to a person than looks, but you don’t get to really experience their charm, sense of humor, etc. from a photo. It makes sense that that’s not the photo she saw, bc that one does him no justice.

      • Tictactoe says:

        Nicole Kidman is another one who had those intersex rumours about her as well.

  4. suze says:

    It’s a sweet story, and a realistic one.

    I just recently read someone, somewhere, say something similar about marriage.

    “It can get rough, but you just don’t leave the field of play.”

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      It’s so true. I’m with someone that I love but at the beginning, I wanted to give up and leave many times until I finally realized that no one will ever make me feel amazing every single day of my life becuase it’s impossible and it’s worth fighting for your relationship. Seems obvious but it was a difficult to understand (too many rom-coms?). I love him but from time to time there are days, especially when I’m sleep deprived, stressed or hormonal, that I look at him and think “really, him?” and everything he does suddenly annoys me and he’s not that handsome to me anymore, but then it just passes by itself and I can’t wait to come back home and see him. And there are more happy days then those bad ones but still – I need to fight with myself not to do something rushed and stupid every single time. I know how much I would regret leaving but I used to think that every bad day was a sign it’s not love until I realized that ideal relationships don’t exist. I wish someone explained it to me years ago.

      • Lady Keller says:

        @Norman Bates mother your relationship sounds a lot like mine. There are ebbs and flows and ups and downs and I know we have each had moments of wanting out, but overall we are so much better off for being together. We each could have left but instead we chose to stay and work on things. He has made me a much better person, more so than any other man I have been with.

        I was recently describing my relationship to a friend saying one day I want to punch him and I can’t stand being around him, and the next day I love him more than anything in the world. She looked at me like I was crazy. She always falls head over heels in love with men and follows them around like a starry eyed school girl, and in the end she is always disappointed. Me, I’m a realist. My husband is flawed, I’m flawed, our families are flawed, but I’m in it for the long haul. My motto could easily be “don’t leave” and Well, if I’m sticking it out I might as well make the best of it.

      • Erinn says:

        I think that’s something that takes some time to figure out, too. I’ve been arguing with my husband over the last couple of months over stupid little things. Things that at the end of the day really don’t matter – but I am a very reactive person, and in the moment those things seem so huge. We started dating when we were young teens. Next month I will have spent more than half my life with the guy. I absolutely adore him. But every now and then I get that nagging doubt that he doesn’t really love me, or that he’s done something dumb because he just doesn’t care, or because he’s trying to upset me. And he’s genuinely not. He’s such a sweet, honest, caring guy, but there are just some days where my own hangups convince me that he’s not. And it kind of blindsides him because I’ve worked up a narrative in my head of why he’s done something – or not done something – when he literally just completely forgot. Some days are just crappy days all around and it’s easy to push each other’s buttons. And that’s the thing – we’ve been together for so long, and have grown with each other so much that we know exactly how to annoy the other person. But even when I’m angry with him, or sad about something – there’s nobody I’d rather spend my life with. There’s nobody that has a perfect marriage. There’s nobody who spends as much time together who doesn’t end up in some sort of spat from time to time.

      • Nikki says:

        My mother kept me up half the night before my wedding begging me to call it off, because she felt he and I weren’t right for each other. 38 years later we’re still married, but if I’d had some money, I’d have left him when the kids were tiny. So glad now I couldn’t!! I love him very, very much, but we have strained times too. I always thought it was because he’s a Taurus and I’m an Aquarius, and despite our love and respect for each other, maybe we are just not as simpatico as many couples. But reading your post made me think: maybe most long term couples are like us; nobody is perfect!! (I literally gave up reading romance novels, because they’d piss me off..)

      • Mira belle says:

        (Wrong spot, good intentions) @normanbates so beautifully put, wise advice and inspiring words.

        “I realized that ideal relationships don’t exist. I wish someone explained it to me years ago.”
        And now you have for me and others and *thank you* 💜

  5. Enough S Enough says:

    I’ve always thought she’s one of the most fascinating women in the world. Someone I’d love to have dinner with and talk for hours. I wish her nothing but well.

    And if you haven’t seen A FISH CALLED WANDA — she gives a performance worthy of the best stars of the classic 1930s screwball comedy. Happy she’s working more frequently. I want to see her illuminating stories of women who are smart, dimensional and worth spending time with.

    • Nikki says:

      I agree with you on everything! BTW, he made the odd, understated little satire Best In Show, and I really liked it. It’s about dog show people. I could see why they are a great match!

  6. Babadook says:

    She is a queen.

  7. CharliePenn says:

    I think the wealth they have was probably very helpful in making their quickie marriage last so long and happy. Don’t get me wrong I’m very happy for them, I’m always happy to see a joyful marriage and I’m a big proponent of how wonderful marriage can be.
    But for the average couple, wooing and marrying that fast, you wouldn’t have developed the ability to navigate the hardest aspect of life together for most couples: finances and lifestyle expectations.

    • HeySandy says:

      I’m not saying quickie marriages are ideal, but…my husband and I’s quickie marriage makes theirs look slow paced lol. And we aren’t rich, but pretty happy sevenish years later. Sometimes it just works.

      • Nikki says:

        You’ve piqued my curiosity, Sandy!! Just exactly fast was your and your husband’s courtship?! 🙂 ps: wishing you many more years of happiness together!

    • Vizia says:

      Though they had the uncommon complication of Chris being a peer, and the expectations of that part of his life.

      • Olive says:

        i had no idea he was a peer until i was on her wiki a few minutes ago and she was described as a baroness!!

    • Phat girl says:

      Well, I can’t speak for anyone else but I slept with my husband within a day after meeting him. I know! It was crazy but he was sooo hot and I was sooo ready and the last thing I was thinking about was getting married. That was in 1992. Yes we are still together after three kids and 25 years of marriage and no we are not rich by any standard. We both had to work the whole time and support each other while I finished college. Our youngest son just moved out on his own and we are acting like it’s the ninety’s again!!! Now life has not always been easy (it never is when you have kids) and yes we have had arguments that would have broken up most couples I know but Jamie hit the nail on the head when she said “just don’t leave”. If both members of a couple think that way than odds are you will have a long and mostly happy life together. And trust me ladies, when you are 50 there is nothing better than a man who looks you in the eyes and still sees the 21 year old hottie you used to be.

      • Jaded says:

        “And trust me ladies, when you are 50 there is nothing better than a man who looks you in the eyes and still sees the 21 year old hottie you used to be.”

        Love that!

  8. Adrien says:

    Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel looked like a legit hot rock star, like a hot Jeff Beck. I totally get Jamie.

  9. Dee says:

    Gorgeous couple. Gorgeous story.
    “Don’t leave.” I love that.

  10. Sankay says:

    Olivia Harrison, wife of Beatle George, has said the same thing when asked about her marriage. She said she didn’t want to divorce. It takes not wanting to leave and stick with it whatever “it” is.

    • Nikki says:

      Ha, ha: when people ask how we’ve been married 38 years, we say we have just procrastinated! “Damn it, Howie! Weren’t you supposed to look up a barrister who handles these things??!”

  11. Laura says:

    I had no idea!! Thanks for the positive story!!

  12. shirurusu says:

    I literally had no idea her husband is the guy from Spinal Tap! That makes me like her even more. A Fish called Wanda and My Girl ❤️

  13. smcollins says:

    Love her, love him, love them together! They really do seem like a perfect match. I remember when she was on Oprah many years ago and was asked the “secret” to their marriage. Part of her answer was that it helps being married to the 6-fingered man (a nod to his Princess Bride character). Yep, love her!

  14. Lala11_7 says:

    Yup…Almost twenty years into my “love at first sight” relationship…what Jamie said sums it up…PERFECTLY…

    “I’m not a wild romantic. I’m a realist. I respect him. And I just don’t leave.”

  15. CheckThatPrivilege says:

    I love her. If only I could wear the hell out of a super-short haircut the way she does!

  16. Usedtobe says:

    About 3 years before I met my longtime love (24 years now) I saw his photo in a yearbook from a nearby school my friend went to. I said to my friend and her older sister that I was gonna marry that guy one day. The older sister said yeah right he was another girl’s boyfriend. Fast forward and I was casually dating/seeing an older guy and he referred to his friend, Dave, and I instantly knew who it was. It was the guy from the yearbook photo. So I met him, was in love instantly. Me and the older guy were much better as friends, went our separate ways romantically but continued to hang out. The summer went on and he set me up with Dave. What I thought was a summer fling has now lasted almost 25 years with a few hiccups here and there. We’ve never married but I knew when I saw him in a photo that we were meant to be. And please, I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes, I am so not a romance person. I don’t watch romance movies or read books, they make me want to puke but my story puts a smile on my face 🙂

  17. Summer says:

    My husband and I subscribe to the same philosophy. Short of abuse and infedelity, most marital issues are born of miscommunication, inflated expectations and just downright grumpiness. (We all have days where our fuse is short.) My husband is incredible — cleans the house without prompting, gets up with kids without whining — but he’s also human and male. Sometimes he is insensitive or short-sighted, but I chose him and I love him for who wants to be. I try to focus on the privilege it is to love each other and try to let the rest go. Or at the least, have it out and then move forward.

  18. Nikki says:

    Looked at the family photo, and at first glance, looked like the guy on the left was holding a big knife!! (It’s a program, but I sure did a double take!)

  19. Alyssa Calloway says:

    Cute story about a lovely couple. I really like her perspective on a lot of things. Though a little bit of my fondness for her disintegrated when she made her support of Chris Hardwick public. It seemed out of character to me.

  20. Jaded says:

    He was great in The Princess Bride – such an evil b*stard!

    I totally get what she says about “I’m not a wild romantic. I’m a realist. I respect him. And I just don’t leave.” I’m not a starry-eyed romantic either, I’m pragmatic and straight-forward, but I fell in love with Mr. Jaded on our first date. A year and a bit later he ghosted me and I was devastated – his marriage was long but unhappy (married too quickly for all the wrong reasons) and he paid for his mistake over and over and over. When the marriage finally tanked he came looking for me, admitted he f*cked up, apologized profusely and worked hard at regaining my trust. I think what worked for us in the end was that we never lost our friendship which is what lasts long after the passion and heat cool down.

  21. AppleTartin says:

    from IMDB ” Guest became the 5th Baron Haden-Guest, of Saling in the County of Essex, when his father died in 1996″ I love how low key they are. If a real housewife had married Guest she would be screaming up and down Park Avenue she was a BARONESS!

    Royalty is strict though because his children are adopted they are not in line to inherit the Barony. His younger brother Nicolas Guest will.

  22. Tictactoe says:

    I remember reading about this story in my teens (I’ve been reading celeb goss for decades). She has always mentioned seeing his smirk but it’s all very mysterious to me. What’s in that smirk, I’ve always wondered? Are they part of some secret society with special genetic coding signaled by facial expressions? Anyway, glad she doesn’t sugarcoat it, but on the other hand, I’m sure some of the celebs who do don’t do it because they want to appear perfect but because they’d prefer not to “air dirty laundry.”