They have had their ups and downs in the marriage but they always stuck through and how!
Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson first crossed paths in the 1960s while they were enrolled in Atlanta's Morehouse College and Spelman College, respectively.
Jackson had gone to Morehouse to pursue a career in marine biology. However, he fell in love with the stage after joining a theatre club for extra credit and changed his major to drama. Jackson frequently visited Spelman to perform in plays, and that's where he first met Richardson, a theatre major.
Per The Things, the two of them made acquaintance after they appeared together in a theatre program. Jackson graduated from college in 1972, and the pair dated other individuals while courting each other for a long time. The two then moved to New York in 1976 in order to pursue acting careers.
Ultimately, Richardson had to decide between a wealthy boy or an intelligent boy when it came time to marry. On August 18, 1980, Richardson and Jackson got married.
"I married the smart boy," she said, according to New York Times.
From the start, the two of them knew that they were going to stick with each other through thick and thin. “We actually thought we were going to be the black Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, but we were going to stay together!” Jackson told PEOPLE. “She’s had a good career. I’ve had a good career. So it’s worked.”
But their marriage wasn't always smooth sailing, they had their ups and downs, especially after Richardson stopped working once they welcomed their first child. Also, early on in the marriage, Jackson was addicted to drugs and wasn't always present for the family, he told PEOPLE.
"I had basically moved into the basement of our brownstone," he said. "I was like the troll in the basement, and every now and then I'd come upstairs and hover around to do something. I was addicted and being crazy."
But his wife didn't give up on him. In fact, she made sure to get him the help he needed and pushed him to go to rehab. "She didn't have to try to fix me," he said. "She could've just said, 'Get out,' and left me into the world, let me go and be whatever I was going to be."
"She gave me the chance to be the man I was supposed to be," he said. Once he got out of rehab, his career also took off, thanks to a role in Spike Lee's 1991 film Jungle Fever.
Jackson and Richardson have been married for over four decades and they both have had their fair share of highs and lows, but they eventually made it work. Jackson said that the secret to their successful marriage is simple: "It's two people who respect each other, love each other, and look out for each other."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Frazer Harrison