Their love brewed on similar interests in exploring taste buds and eventually led to an amazing romantic relationship between the pair.
Reba McEntire is spilling some beans about how she met her partner, Rex Linn, and quite amazingly it all started with some potato taters. On the set of The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw in 1991, McEntire, then 68, recalls meeting the 66-year-old actor, adding that they had a mutual connection in the form of producer, E.K. Gaylord II, but nothing really clicked then. It wasn't until January 2020 that she and Linn officially decided to start dating as per PEOPLE. The country diva discussed how her and Linn's appearances on Young Sheldon led to their first date over 30 years after they first met on The Jennifer Hudson Show.
"I was doing Young Sheldon, the TV show, Rex was doing Young Sheldon — so was Melissa Peterman, who played Barbara Jean on the Reba show. Rex texted me and said, 'You gonna be in town?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Well, let's go to dinner'," as she recalled the first time they went on a date. "We all went to dinner, had a good time, went down the street to a wine bar, and they said, 'Well, I understand you've already had dinner, but we do have some good appetizers'," said McEntire.
"I said, 'What do you have?' They said, 'Well, we have tater tots.' I went, [raises hand], and so Rex said, 'That's your nickname from here on out — Tater Tot.' We're the tots — sugar, and tater. So, we've been together ever since. He's a sweetheart," McEntire told host Jennifer Hudson, explaining that she now calls Linn by the nickname "Sugar Tot."
However, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out shortly after they started dating, and the Grammy winner's mother Jacqueline passed away from cancer in March 2020 at the age of 93.
While "taking care of all of mom and dad's belongings," McEntire told Hudson, 41, that she returned to Oklahoma and lived with her sister Susie, and Linn thoughtfully sent them food packages in the mail. "Every day a new something was coming in. We live in southeastern Oklahoma, Susie does... and it takes you a long time to get anywhere. So, here comes UPS or Federal Express, and Mark Eaton, my brother-in-law, was standing out on the front porch and said, 'What's he gonna bring today? What's he sending?'" she added as she talked about her initial days with Linn.
The actor sent pecan pie, lobster tail, steaks, and ice cream for them revealed McEntire. The love that brewed on similar interests in exploring taste buds eventually led to the bonding of an amazing romantic relationship between the two. The interview also hints at how the two continue to share a strong bond through food. As they say, the path to the heart passes through the stomach.
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