Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson met in college, fell in love and made a pact to stay with each other through all of life’s ups and downs.
The couple recently revealed in an interview that their pact has weathered life’s storms due to key things they’ve implemented to help it withstand 41 years since tying the knot.
“In the beginning, we always said the most revolutionary thing that Black people could do was stay together [and] raise their children with the nucleus of having a father and a mother, since everybody likes to pretend that that’s not the dynamic of the African American family. That it’s just children out here being raised by women, which we know is false,” LaTanya told PEOPLE about the couple’s mindset going into their relationship. “In order to change that narrative, we made a decision to say, ‘We are going to stay together no matter what. We’ll figure it out.'”
As with any real love story, things weren’t always easy and the couple experienced their set of challenges — one of them included Samuel’s battle with addiction.
Thankfully, LaTanya remained a constant supporter and was instrumental in helping her husband get to rehab and, subsequently, sobriety.
“She gave me the chance to be the man I was supposed to be,” said Samuel, now 30 years in recovery, as he credited his wife.
Even with all their joint and individual success — Samuel with his decades of box office hits and LaTanya being a Tony-nominated Broadway star — the two shared that family time with their 39-year-old daughter Zoe is still one of their biggest priorities.
As the couple works together as producers on the new Apple TV+ limited series drama The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, which stars Samuel, the wedded duo emphasized being grateful for their careers thus far and the love that binds them.
“I’m amazed at how busy we are in our seventh decade,” LaTanya, 72, expressed. “I’m grateful because I think of all the things that could be.”
Regarding his philosophy for a successful marriage, Samuel, 73, added: “It’s two people who respect each other, love each other and look out for each other.”
We wish them many more years of wedded bliss.
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