Courtney B. Vance, Angela Bassett ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ Premiere Ziegfeld Theater, NYC December 9, 1996. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)
The photo above is from the year before Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance said “I do.” The couple met at Yale’s School of Drama and went on to marry in 1997. They have welcomed two children, Slater and Bronwyn, birthed via surrogate in 2006, and have been each other’s biggest fans since day one. But their love story wasn’t as straight and simple as we’ve made it sound.
They didn’t make a love connection happen in graduate school, but when they crossed paths again in 1994, they decided to give each other a shot.
“We went out and dare I say it, it wasn’t memorable,” Bassett said on The Oprah Winfrey Show back in 2007 while promoting their book, Friends: A Love Story.
“He just seemed like a really, really nice guy, which translated to, ‘Kind of boring,'” she joked. “That was it. Wasn’t going to give him a second thought.”
But she did, and the second date went much better. The couple went out to play golf.
“We had a great time. It was a great date,” Vance shared. “I said, ‘I like her.’ Something was happening.”
He eventually asked to be her boyfriend via a note, and it moved the Oscar-nominated actress.
“I saw his heart in the note and we had spent that time together, that week together and I think I began to see the heart of the man and it was intriguing.”
And a kiss sealed the deal for Bassett. As she wrote in the book about their first big kiss, “He kissed me. I felt like a teenager. It was truly reminiscent of my first puppy love kisses. I got pin pricks and chills up the back of my thighs — and across my butt. Up my neck, across my scalp. There were these electrical impulses coursing through me. Courtney was a good kisser.”
And they ended up being a good match.
The rest is history, and here they are, 21 years of marriage later. Check out their love story in photos by hitting the flip:
Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance during Cicely Tyson Honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett during World Premiere of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Courtney B. Vance & Angela Bassett during Lionsgate Pre-Oscar Party for “Monster’s Ball” at Mirabelle Restaurant in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance during The 8th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Arrivals at Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES – MARCH 9: Actor Courtney B. Vance and actress Angela Bassett present an award during the 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on March 9, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 14: (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER AND US TABS OUT) Actors Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett attend the Jazz At Lincoln Centers Toast to Wynton Marsalis November 14, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS – MAY 12: Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett attend the Cove Atlantis Grand Opening weekend Silly 70’s Night on May 12, 2007 on Paradise Island in the Bahamas . (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com)
ER — “Heal Thyself” Episode 8 — Aired 11/13/2008 — Pictured: (l-r) Angela Bassett as Dr. Cate Banfield, Courtney B. Vance as Russell Banfield — Photo by: Matt Dinnerstein/NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 20: Angela Bassett, with husband Courtney B. Vance and children, at the NASDAQ stock market closing bell on December 20, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 03: Actress Angela Bassett and husband Courtney B. Vance arrive at the premiere screening of FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel” at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on October 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA – JANUARY 27: Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance attend the premiere of FX’s ‘American Crime Story – The People V. O.J. Simpson’ at Westwood Village Theatre on January 27, 2016 in Westwood, California.
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 29: Slater Vance, Angela Bassett, Bronwyn Vance and Courtney B. Vance attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel’s “Black Panther” – Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)