All About Angela Bassett’s Long-Lasting Marriage to Husband Courtney B. Vance

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angela bassett and courtney b vance

Black Panther star Angela Bassett and her husband, Courtney B. Vance, are both successful actors who have been married for more than a quarter of a century, making them a rarity in Hollywood. “Staying together so long, whether in the industry or not, I think the important thing is that you gotta marry the right person,” Bassett told People in 2020. “Make sure you’re both looking in the same direction, basically.”

Here’s a few key things to know about Bassett and Vance’s love story.

Who is Angela Bassett’s husband? 

Angela Bassett, 65, has been married to fellow actor and producer Courtney B. Vance, 64, for more than 25 years.

Related: Angela Bassett, 65, Defies Time in Sizzling Red Carpet Look

What is Courtney B. Vance famous for?

Vance has been working on Broadway and on screen for years, so there’s a number of different roles that you might recognize him from. He was a series regular on the NBC drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the third series in the sprawling L&O franchise, playing Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver. He played this major role throughout the first five seasons, departing the cast in 2006. More recently, he played a prominent role in the 2016 FX drama The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, starring as Simpson’s showboat attorney Johnnie Cochran.

Vance has also starred in a number of movies, including The Hunt for Red October, Hamburger Hill and Isle of Dogs. Plus, he works regularly on stage, and earned his first Tony nomination for his very first role in the original Broadway production of August Wilson’s acclaimed play Fences.

How did Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance meet? 

The couple first met during the 1980s, when they were both graduate students at the Yale School of Drama. But they weren’t college sweethearts—Vance was already attached at the time. “He had a beautiful, beautiful girlfriend at the time, who was also in drama school with us,” Bassett told People, reflecting on their college days. It wasn’t until 14 years later that their paths crossed again in Los Angeles, By then, both had found success in their separate acting careers. Vance had already won a Tony Award, while Bassett had been nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the 1993 Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It?

“I was single, he was single,” Bassett explained of their reunion, “and I had such an appreciation for him over those years—of his consistency, how he treated other people, of what a supporter he is, what a connector of people and ideas he is, how passionate he is.”

But things weren’t looking too promising after the couple’s first date. “Dare I say it wasn’t memorable,” Basset admitted during an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show. “He just seemed like a really, really nice guy, which translated to kind of boring. That was it. Wasn’t gonna give him a second thought.” 

Thankfully, she ultimately did decide to give him a second thought, and the couple’s second date was where sparks started to fly. “We had a great time,” Vance said. “It was a great date. And I said, ‘I like her.’ Something was happening.”

When did Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance get married? 

After dating for around three years, the couple got married in October of 1997. Their wedding date fell just a few weeks before Bassett was due to begin shooting a leading role in the 1998 movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back—and the way Vance stepped up to support her confirmed that she’d chosen the right man. 

“It was like, ‘I’m trying to do this, and I’m also trying to be Stella. Okay, it’s a lot going on here, and I need you to step in and help me out with this,’” Bassett told People. “He was like, ‘What?’ That’s all you have to do, is tell him to step in, and he shows up for you. Not just for me, but for any of his friends, whoever he loves, or whatever mentee may reach out to him. He steps up and steps in for you.”

Have Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance acted together? 

The couple have very rarely acted together. They briefly co-starred on stage together in a 2005 production of His Girl Friday, which played for a month at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. And in the final season of E.R., where Bassett starred as chief of emergency medicine Dr. Catherine Bancroft, Vance had a recurring role as her husband.

But Bassett and Vance still work closely together off-screen. They co-run a production company, Bassett Vance Productions, and in 2009 they published a book together. Titled Friends: A Love Story, the book details how the couple “navigate the fickle tides of fame, while keeping their relationship fresh and true” and have “carved a meaningful life together in spite of humble beginnings, family tragedy and the ups and downs of stardom with love, faith and determination.”

What show did Angela Bassett’s husband play on? 

Vance’s most famous role for modern TV audiences came in 2016’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. He played Johnnie Cochran, the notorious attorney who played a starring role in the defense and acquittal of Simpson. During closing arguments, Cochran famously argued that Simpson could not have committed the murders because a glove found at the crime scene appeared not to fit his hand, declaring: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Vance went on to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance as Cochran. 

Vance also made a memorable appearance in the 2016 HBO series Lovecraft Country, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor. He was a series regular on Law & Order: Criminal Intent for five seasons. 

Most recently, he was cast in Ryan Murphy’s new FX show Grotesquerie.

Related: Everything to Know About Ryan Murphy’s New Show ‘Grotesquerie’

Do Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance have kids?

Bassett and Vance welcomed two children, Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah, on Jan. 27, 2006. 

How did Angela Bassett have her kids?

The couple had their two children via surrogate, having undergone several years of fertility treatments in an effort to get pregnant. 

“I was devastated when it didn’t happen [again and again],” Bassett said during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. “I had to remain hopeful and resilient and, ‘Okay, let’s do it again.’” She went on to explain that they hadn’t initially considered surrogacy as an option, but after a friend introduced them to the idea, “the more we learned about it, the more we began to think that perhaps this was an answer for us.” 

Vance revealed that he wasn’t entirely surprised to discover that he and Bassett were going to have twins, because he’d had a premonition along those lines years earlier. “I had a dream about seven years ago that we were going to have twins,” he shared. “I didn’t know how it was going to happen.”

Bassett also spoke about the experience of being present for their twins’ birth, “just standing there together, holding each other with the realization that this is the moment that we’ve been working toward, praying for.”

More recently, Bassett discussed the challenges of being a working mother, admitting to People that she has often struggled with guilt about long hours on set spent away from her children. “I hope that what will come out of that is that they see a mama, a woman, a Black woman achieving her dreams, having success,” she reflected. “They’ll see that hard work pays off. And they’ll be about that life for themselves.”

Next, ‘9-1-1’ Renewed for Season 8 on ABC: What We Know So Far

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