The actor, who is mostly known for intense and dramatic roles, has a softer and romantic side that only his wife is privy to.
Actor Ed Harris wooed his audiences as an unlikely romantic hero in the film Stepmom, but unlike reel life, he's been married to the same woman, Amy Madigan, for 35 years. The two actors met during rehearsal for a play in 1981 and continue to share a love for their craft.
The first time Amy saw him was when he was onstage in Sam Shepard's Cowboy Mouth in 1980. "It was like something you see in a movie or hear in a song," said Amy during an interview with Mary Ellen Mark for Time Magazine. "I just thought--'Well, there he is.' It was obvious to me that I'd see him again."
Then a year later they met at a first rehearsal for a new play, Sunset Boulevard. “There was a big semi-circle of seats; there was an empty chair next to me. She was late and I’ve never seen this woman before,” the Westworld star told Today. “She walked around everybody and sat down next to me. She had really colorful socks on.”
"I'd never seen socks like that before," he told Mary Ellen Mark. “My big line was, ‘I like your socks'," he said. While it's an unlikely pick-up line it really worked on Amy and soon they started dating. She also had eyes only for him since she saw him perform in 1980. So, one day at lunch break she asked him to come to her house for a tuna fish sandwich. "Nothing happened that day," said Ed, but eventually, "nature took its course."
They got married in the next two years and what helps them bond is their love for the profession. He realized that there was no way he would ever give up on her. “Marriage became inevitable,” he explained, “when she critiqued my performance in Fool for Love and I found myself listening without getting defensive.”
Almost two years after the couple got married, they worked on the intense drama feature film Alamo Bay together. During an interview with Mary Ellen Mark, the couple opened up about working with each other.
"Acting is largely a matter of trust," said Amy. "With Ed, because I know him, love him and trust him, I don't have to worry about a lot of nonsense. I know he'll be two hundred percent there," she said, and he responded in his deep voice, "You know I'll take care of you." She responded, "Yeah, and that's great." Ed said, "And vice versa."
Many years later, during an interview with Chicago Tribune, Amy was reminded how their work in Alamo Bay had "an almost desperate erotic charge." She laughed and said, "Desperately erotic --I`ve always wanted to be described that way. I suppose the closeness of being married gives us the ability and the freedom to do those kinds of things. I mean, with another actor you'd have to spend a lot of time and energy getting to know them first."
In 2001, when he was asked by the Guardian if working his wife was important for him, he said, "We have worked together, we've done several plays together on the west coast. We've done four films together. Amy's wonderful in Pollock." The admiration they have for each other keeps the relationship healthy and strong.
When he was asked six years later who was the greatest love of your life, he said in a heartbeat, "My wife." When you see the intense-looking actor, it is hard to imagine he has a softer and romantic side. He has been known for playing negative roles all these years in Hollywood. However, when he was asked by the Guardian "what does love feel like?" he said, "A lazy swim."