"I had no idea how hard single mothers have it, and I have so many resources that other working moms don't. I can't even imagine." Jean Smart admitted.
Jean Smart and her late spouse Richard Gilliland met while filming Designing Women. The couple met on the set of the program and fell in love right away. "We were never apart after that day. We lived about fifteen minutes apart and would talk on the phone every day for about two hours," Smart revealed on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
Gilliand was not just a charmer. He was a truly good man, Smart shared. “My husband was home to care for the littlest one and the other one was a teenager,” she told Variety. “He was a great dad, and he made me laugh every day,” Smart says. “I just want people to know how much he’s sacrificed for me to be where I am, and to get the opportunities that I’ve gotten and let his career kind of take a back seat to help take care of our home and our kids. And it kills me he didn’t get the chances that I got because he was so talented. I was very lucky when I met him.”
However, all was not rosy. The actress from The Watchmen "unexpectedly" lost her spouse on March 18, 2021, due to heart problems. Smart characterized his death as shocking, adding that she was still in mourning a year and a half later, in an interview with PEOPLE. "Well, certainly losing my husband was very unexpected, not something that I thought would happen for at least another 20 years. And having a young child, it's been unimaginable," she said.
She added, "Being a single mother is the hardest thing I've ever done. But we were both actors and, you know, the work has brought me great satisfaction and a great distraction certainly from my grief."
In an interview with USA TODAY, she explained how difficult it was being a single mom since her husband used to handle a lot of stuff at home. She shared that filming Hacks was especially difficult, "But it was a very difficult season compared to the first season because Dad wasn't at home running the ship. So I had this constant stress level of, 'What's going on with the house?' Plus, we had longer hours this year because of the locations, so it was, 'Did (Forrest) get breakfast? Did he get to school on time? Who's picking him up today? Who's getting him to this appointment?' That's just constantly on my mind all day, so that's hard."
The actress shared, "I had no idea how hard single mothers have it, and I have so many resources that other working moms don't. I can't even imagine."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Matt Winkelmeyer