The 'Cheers' actor was married to producer Casey Coates from 1977 to 1993 but things went awry in their marriage after the birth of their child.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 21, 2021. It has since been updated.
Some Hollywood couples last and some don't. Sometimes, it takes celebrities multiple marriages before they find the person with whom they want to spend the rest of their life. It's not unheard of but rarely does it lead to becoming one of the most expensive divorces in Hollywood.
Ted Danson, 73, is having a great run with new and fresh comedy shows recently. He has been happily married to Mary Steenburgen for the last 26 years but all was not well with his personal life forever. The Good Place actor was once married to another woman on whom he cheated with a famous actress, but that relationship also didn't work. However, the reason why he left everything for the actress was just not enough in the end.
The Cheers actor used to be married to producer Casey Coates from 1977 to 1993. However, things went awry in their marriage when the Becker actor fell for his co-star Whoopi Goldberg, 65, according to Her Moments. The same man whose mind "boggled" at the idea of other relationships betrayed his partner of more than a decade.
Even before he met Goldberg, his marriage was strained since the birth of his first child. As happy as the moment should be, Coates suffered a massive stroke on Christmas eve in 1979 while giving birth. She was ready to end the marriage back then as she was unable to care for her child or be there for her husband, who had to take a break from his career to care for her.
She was told that she might never walk again but eventually, she regained her ability to walk. They spent many happy years together until he met Goldberg. They first met on the set of a popular late-night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show. The talk show host said that a woman can't be both beautiful and funny but Danson said of Goldberg, "You're wrong. Here comes a very sexy and funny lady," as per Her Moments.
"This was the first time that anyone had intimated publicly that I was actually very feminine and very pretty,” said Goldberg.
Four years later in 1992, they were cast together in Made in America, which is when their affair began, according to Hello!.
They used to make each other laugh and pull pranks on one another. On one occasion, Goldberg hired a full-sized orchestra to follow her co-star on the set. In response, Danson filled her trailer with balloons. Their joyful chemistry lit a spark between them.
The Mr. Mayor actor was still married to Coates while Goldberg was single after divorcing her second husband, cinematographer David Claessen. The co-stars tried to keep the news of their relationship out of print but the tabloids caught wind. His wife, Coates, found out soon enough and decided to leave him.
Coates left with their two children and $30million, making their divorce one of the most expensive celebrity divorces of the time. After the divorce, Danson and Goldberg didn't shy away from the limelight and were seen together in public often. However, their relationship didn't weather the storms they faced together and they split up after only 18 months together.
Tabloids at the time reported that the Three Men & a Baby actor left her because of pressure from his own parents. The other thing that sealed their fate was Goldberg's roast at the famous Friar's Club in New York City. Danson participated as her boyfriend, but received significant backlash, according to Her Moments. He made an error in judgment and appeared at the roast in blackface.
His set was full of racial slurs and didn't incite any laughter. Only his girlfriend was supportive during his set but the backlash was so severe that the couple couldn't last through it. Even before his divorce from Coates was finalized, his relationship with Goldberg was over. When he began filming his next movie, he was described as "a mess-and-a-half."
However, he did find love again and has been happy since. Danson said about his ex-girlfriend many years later, "I’d walk in Whoopi’s shadow for the rest of my life — I adore the woman."
Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Alberto E. Rodriguez, (R) Christopher Polk